Tommy Sands, Co Down's singer, songwriter and social activist has achieved something akin to legendary status in his
From the pioneering days with the highly influential Sands Family, bringing Irish Music from New York's
Carnegie Hall to Moscow's Olympic Stadium, he has developed into one of the most powerful songwriters and enchanting solo
performers in Ireland today.
His songwriting, which draws the admiration of Nobel Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney and father of folk music Pete Seeger,
prompts respected US magazine "Sing Out" to regard him as "the most powerful songwriter in Ireland, if not the rest of the
His songs, like There were Roses, and Daughters and Sons, which have been recorded by Joan Baez, Kathy Matthea,
Dolores Keane, Sean Keane, Frank Patterson, Dick Gaughan, The Dubliners and many others have been translated into many languages
and are currently included in the English language syllabus in German secondary schools.
Although constantly performing on stages all around the world he prides in taking his music down from the lights and
into the darker corners of society. One of his current projects, teaching underprivledged prisoners in Reno, Nevada to write
their own song with which to defend themselves in court is currently creating a wide spread stir in the world of community
art in the United States. Back home in Northern Ireland he has just completed a CD written with Protestant and Catholic schoolchildren
about their own areas, in towns and villages around Northern Ireland. During the Good Friday Agreement Talks, his impromptu
performance with a group of children and Lambeg drummers was described by Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon
as "a defining moment in the Peace Process".
Mary McAleese, who was cast in a romantic role with Tommy in a local play just before she became President of the Irish
Republic has kept up the friendship and periodically calls upon him for advice on cultural events.
Sands, "It would take
a mean bastard to dislike him", according to Eamon McCann in Hot Press, has a way with words to charm and disarm and coax
a chorus out of the tightest jawed audience.
In May 2002 Tommy Sands received an honorary doctorate of Letters from The University of Nevada for his outstanding work
as musician and ambassador for peace and understanding and, May 18th was pronounced "Tommy Sands Day in Reno".For more info.
go to my links section for a link to Tommy's site.
Most of the guitar work for Tommy's songs is provided by Marc Fahrbach from Germany who is a big fan of Tommy Sands.