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On Tommy Talton’s third release from Hittin’ the Note Records in October 2012, titled Let’s Get Outta Here, he has written the most compelling music of his career. Always known as a gifted wordsmith and creator of authentically timeless melodies, Tommy has reached deep within his creative well to create a classic Southern masterpiece. Very special guests joined Tommy on the new release, including Chuck Leavell, Paul Hornsby, Rick Hirsch, Scott Boyer, NC Thurman, Bill Stewart, Kelvin Holly, Brandon Peeples, David Keith and Tony Giordano.
Tommy Talton is one of the best songwriters and guitarists of our time. He is a founding member of Capricorn Records group Cowboy. While in Macon, GA through most of the 70s, Talton was a studio musician recording with artists such as Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, Bonnie Bramlett, Martin Mull, Corky Lang (West, Bruce and Lang, Mountain, Dickey Betts, Clarence Carter, country legend Kitty Wells, Alex and Livingston Taylor, Arthur Conley of Sweet Soul Music fame, and more. He toured extensively throughout the U.S. with Cowboy and with the Gregg Allman tour, from Carnegie Hall (as special guests) to Fillmore West in San Francisco and most cities in between. Talton was also the guitarist on Gregg Allman's "Laid Back" album.
Tommy Talton was born too late to be a fan of rock & roll's first wave -- opening his eyes to the world in the early '50s, he should have missed Elvis Presley's pre-Army days, but he didn't mostly thanks to his sister, five years his senior, who went around the family's Orlando, FL area home singing the Memphis Flash's early records, along with those of Nat King Cole and others. His interest in the guitar began at age eight when he saw an instrument owned by one of his uncles and plucked one of the strings, and saw it vibrate and heard the sound it made, and by the time he was 13 he was pursuing the learning of the instrument in earnest. That coincided just about perfectly with the arrival of the British Invasion, and he became a fan of a local band called the Nonchalants, who eventually became the Offbeets and whose ranks included David Duff on bass, guitar, and vocals; drummer Tomm Wynn; and guitarist Dennis Messimer. It was Messimer's departure for military service in 1966 that left an opening, and an offer to the 16-year-old Talton -- who was still a fan of the group -- to join the Offbeets, who had already made some professional recordings. Later in 1966, the Offbeets merged with a group from Leesburg called the Trademarks, and formed We the People. This put Talton into harness alongside that group's lead guitarist, Wayne Proctor, two years older than Talton. They inspired each other with their virtuosity, not only in their playing (where they would switch off between lead and rhythm guitar and bass with Duff) but also their songwriting, and their differences enhanced each other's work, Talton into more straight-ahead rock & roll with a high level of sophistication while Proctor had a penchant for the angular and unexpected. Working both in collaboration and parallel to each other, they generated a strong array of original material, of which the highlights included Talton's "Mirror of Your Mind" and "Lovin' Son of a Gun."
We the People made a decent attempt to break out of central Florida to national recognition but never quite made the leap, instead leaving behind an impressive array of singles for the Challenge and RCA labels. In 1967 Proctor left owing to worries about the military draft, but Talton kept up the quality of his work, turning in "The Day She Dies," an exceptionally beautiful rock ballad that ended up as the B-side of their second RCA single, "Love Is a Beautiful Thing," while his next B-side, "When I Arrive," was more garage punk. He basically aged out of the group, and ended up leaving at 18, after nearly three years with the Offbeets or We the People.
Talton headed to Nashville (where We the People had worked for a time), and then to California, where he turned most of his attention to songwriting. Eventually, he linked up professionally with Scott Boyer, Chuck Leavell, and Bill Stewart to form Cowboy. He moved to Europe where he recorded and performed throughout most of the 90s with a group called The Rebelizers, with members of Albert Lee’s band, Hogan’s Heroes. Talton returned to the United States and formed the Tommy Talton Band in 2006 and has continued to tour since that time.
Talton, on Let’s Get Outta Here, “… I just like the songs as a matter of fact. The good thing is a lot of them were spontaneous lyrically and musically … These tunes are a compilation of positive movement and faith and love, and some feel good stuff with a sense of humor every once in awhile.”
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