March 13th, 2023 6pm Stage 1
Tom Letson is a musician and visual artist based out of Haines, AK. As a young adult, when some are eager to build their profession and success, his calling seemed a bit more humble. Following the footsteps of musical pioneer Woody Guthrie, Letson set off to each crack and crevice of the United States by freight train & thumb. Seeking refuge under bridges and sleeping beside highways, he considers it dumb luck to still be alive and well. He is somewhat of an outsider to the underground roots movement and manages to stay autonomous to superficial constructs that often govern other working artists. With that, there is a raw honesty rooted in his work that manages to attract listeners wherever he roams & rambles.
In his personal life, Letson is always working to find a balance between his troubadour lifestyle & his attempt at a subsistence existence. “At times it feels like a constant struggle,” he says, “but it keeps life meaningful.” Although he originally hails from New England, his songs are an extension of the Piedmont & Old-Time Appalachian traditions. They sound as if resonating from the same hollers as Roscoe Holcomb or Dock Boggs, or being busked along the same street corners as Blind Willie Johnson or Reverend Gary Davis. He writes them as a “tool for healing” diving deep into the subconscious, and “vomiting” out a spontaneous prose that carries you through as if caught in his dream. They tend to be a little dark, a little gritty, and rich with life experiences.