Tom Ghent 2018 Rhode Island Hall of Fame Inductee

April 23rd Tom Ghent.png

Submitted by Don Graham
Photo Credit: Bob Jessa

Tom Ghent, the music pioneer, is about to be recognized and enshrined for his everlasting contribution to folk music from the 1960s to present day. After 50 plus years of performing, Tom is being inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame on April 27, 2018. We caught up with Tom in New York City.

“I’m in my old stomping grounds in New York where I cut my musical teeth so many years ago. I just did an incredible show at The Old Stone House just south of Prospect Park. Great acoustics and a warm receptive crowd.” I asked about his Hall of Fame nod, “I’m originally from Rhode Island and was invited back there to take part in a songwriting seminar kind of deal that went really well. About four months later, I was back home in Nashville and got the call that I was being inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. It’s an incredible honour.”

Hope Artiste Village and this year’s induction ceremony and concerts will take place on three days – April 26, April 27, and April 29. The Hall was founded in 2011 includes musicians and musical figures who were born in Rhode Island or pursued a musical career in Rhode Island. Fellow folk legend Paul Geremia is included as are John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band of Eddie and the Cruisers fame. Also being inducted posthumously this year is David Blue. “It’s extra special being inducted with David. David and I go way back to performing the same venues in Rhode Island, pre-Greenwich Village days. In the Village days, we worked the Gaslight many, many times. The ironic thing is, I had moved back to New York and in 1982 I was out running as I did every morning. I was a tennis pro at one time and was still in pretty good shape. Early one morning I was running home on MacDougal Street covered in sweat when I ran into David Blue who looked like he was just getting home. He said ‘Man that running’s going to kill you.” Not long after David died of heart attack while running. I miss him a lot and I’m sure his spirit will be with us on induction night.”

Tom GhentTom GhentTom is best known for his songwriting but his songwriting is only one branch of the Tom Ghent tree. He is also an accomplished artist in his own right, a session guitar player and background vocalist. His solo albums are "Tom Ghent" on Tetragrammaton Records, "Yankee's Rebel Son" on Kapp/MCA Records and "All Strings Attached” on Sutherland Records. As a live performer, he has a comfortable way of connecting with his audience and making them a part of every performance. His songs have been recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Gene Watson, Bobby Bare, Rita Coolidge, Bobby Goldsboro, Mama Cass, Michael Settle and dozens of others. “Whiskey Whiskey” is considered a standard. He has played lead guitar for Mickey Newbury, appeared as a background vocalist on Joan Baez’ “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.”

On the night of the induction, Tom will get to do a live set and show his talent once again to the hometown crowd. “I’m really looking forward to performing that night. It will be a full circle night for me.” Congratulations Tom Ghent, well deserved.

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