Mentions in past issues of Wood&Steel (he's performed at our Winter NAMM booth and at other Taylor-sponsored functions) accurately described Boyer's crisp, clean, postmodern approach to Chet-begat fingerstyle technique. He never overreaches in an attempt to dazzle with empty flash; as adroit a player as he is - and make no mistake, Boyer can flat out play - his is a technical fluency as unassuming as Tom himself is self-effacing and polite. You won't hear him flub transitions or miss notes in mid-lick, trying to impress. His playing is centered, assured, focused. Boyer is, in many ways, the quintessential contemporary fingerstylist.
He also is alive. A couple of years ago, Tom was diagnosed with throat cancer. He found out the day before he performed at a Taylor Guitars for Schools presentation and never said a word to anyone. The next several months of radiation and chemotherapy were harrowing, debilitating, traumatic, humbling.
Boyer wrote two of the tunes on this all-instrumental CD - "A New Beginning" and "Path of Friends" - while struggling through the early stages of treatment, when fear framed his words and medically induced pain choked his voice. They are oddly reassuring mid-tempo ballads, twining equal threads of gratitude, faith, resignation, and a simple love of life that might be taken away. Two other pieces - "Let It Hap'n" and "Skippy" - were written after he got the "all's clear" call from the doctor, and they tap-dance with Chet-inflected joie de vivre, tempered with an infusion of the poignancy that colors much of Tom's playing.
Other selections, mostly originals but including such chestnuts as "Over the Rainbow" and "All of Me" (with the great Tommy Emmanuel on smokin' second guitar), beautifully frame the fingerstylist's art. Music like this makes you happy to be alive. And especially happy that Tom Boyer is.
- John D'Agostino, Taylor Guitars
Check out the artist's website:
1. Let It Hap'n
3. A New Beginning
4. Sadie Shuffle
5. My Best Friend
6. Georgia On My Mind
8. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
9. All Of Me
10. Erb Essence
11. Cop Out
12. Path Of Friends
13. Angel Over Crest