By Alison Decker
NASHVILLE, TN — Up-and-coming singer, acoustic guitarist and songwriter, Tom West, from Adelaide, South Australia is working on a new album with anticipated release date in May. West visited Nashville on Sunday, March 27, touring and playing his latest album titled Antarctica in the Lounge at Nashville City Winery.
West refers to his music as a mix between the contemporary folk music and American bluegrass genres. Antarctica is in memory of his departed father, who passed away in 2018 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS. It is a terminal neurological condition that affects motor functions and muscles that control tasks such as walking and talking. According to John Hopkins Medicine, there is currently no known cure for this disease and it affects as many as 30,000 people with an estimated 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Songs from West’s albums explore his relationship with his father in the most cathartic way he knew how; he grieved his father’s passing through songwriting and singing. Particular songs of his dive deeper into his grief such as “If This Is Longing,” “Paradise,” and “Nowhere To Go.”
“My album Antarctica formed as a tribute to my father and his battle with ALS,” West said. “If I could ever do a charity event or fundraiser to allocate funds for ALS research and funding I would be eager. It is a cause that is dear to my heart after watching what my father suffered through in his last years.”
South For Winter, another rock band with a blend of folk, blues and classical tones opened for West.
West performed at his current home city, Chicago, on Thurs., Mar. 24 at the Uncommon Ground Lakeview before heading to Nashville. West’s plans for this year are to travel and play with fellow musicians and friends as much as possible to help support his family and partner back home in Adelaide.
West was living in New York when COVID-19 hit at the beginning of 2020 and was forced to return home to South Australia due to lockdown restrictions and lack of work.
West said, “It was a double-edge sword because it was great at the time but difficult. When the borders opened COVID numbers rose in Australia, particularly Melbourne. I was lucky because the city I live in had very few cases and followed the stay-at-home orders.”
“Everything really went digital during the nearly two-year lockdown. Tom had to rely on SoundCloud and online applications to record and publish his music until we could get permission to leave Australia to return to the States to begin the recording of his new album he wrote during lockdown,” said Sian Walden, West’s publicist.
In the midst of the two-year lockdown, West worked on his music and song writing and produced I’m Livin’, which he recorded in a studio session with Ryan Freeland in Chicago and released on June 18, 2021 via AntiFragile Music. In 2021 West was nominated for Finalist Best Release in the Sam Awards among other awards. He has performed at Folkloria Fests in Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver and New York City.
West said, “The people in Nashville have been so welcoming and open to collaborating and sharing experience. My hope down the road is to have a humble, sustainable career with longevity to support my family. I want to continue writing and playing music in Australia and The United States. It’s not about winning awards for me but interacting with other song writers and doing what I love.”
A schedule of West’s tour is in progress and can be found on his website https://www.tomwestmusic.com.au/ with all the up-to-date locations and times of his upcoming shows with fellow musicians.