Originally from New Jersey, Tom began a rather ordinary "Leave it to Beaver" life on Long Island, New York. Although a great uncle played first horn for the Metropolitan, and a grandmother who picked on a mandolin, Tom leaned in listening tastes toward the contemporary of the time, such as Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps it was the breakaway lure of the "Thunder Road" that took him to Boston to study at Bentley College, where the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez inspired Tom to begin making music himself. It was in 1976, Tom recalls, that he purchased his first guitar--a Yamaha, for $79.99. He learned a few chords at the time, but didn't get serious until life found him years later, settled in Maine. In 1990, he joined a country band, playing bass guitar. Performing before audiences became a calling for him, so Tom began formal guitar lessons with Roger Sampson of The Boneheads fame, and three years later formed Riverside Drive with good friend Don Roak. For the next 13 years, Riverside Drive performed hundreds of shows-wherever audiences would have them-at Grange halls and adult homes, chowder fests and flower shows, campgrounds, corporate functions, riverboat cruises, and luaus. From this experience, he discovered songwriting and a joy in performing his own work.