"As the host of Tossed Salad on KPTZ FM in Port Townsend, I have the pleasure of hosting many fine writers, singers, and musicians, but none more engaging than Tom Begich. He requires a close listening, for his lyrics show deep intent and his guitar accompaniment graces his song. He even whistles, a rare treat." - Phil Andrus, host of "Tossed Salad" on KTPZ Radio, Port Townsend, Washington November 15, 2015
"If I was looking at the program of events for a Friday night in Port Townsend and I had to choose between Greg Brown and Tom Begich, I'd go see Tom Begich" - Phil Andrus, host of "Tossed Salad" on KTPZ Radio, Port Townsend, Washington November 6, 2015
"All I know is that this [Traveling Through] is a beautifully crafted piece of work... I call it 'Roaring Asphault and Time-Stained Curtains'" - David Gistelli, Roche Winery and Vineyard, June 2015
"Two thumbs up..one of those albums you sit and talk and drink beer and listen to all night long" - Jack Tobin, KNOR Radio on "Traveling Through" 1/3/2015
- Radio Interview with music on WBKM's "Paradigms" Show! Interviewed by host Baruch, the show airs Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 8 PM EST, but is also available as a podcast from
I tunes. Dennis Lind, Producer of "Traveling Through" opens the segment!
"His debut at the Rear Window a little over a year ago, Tom Begich delivered an incredible two sets of his music that made for a perfect evening. Tom not only plays and sings extraordinarily well, but he is also an excellent human with some great stories." - Rear Window Listening Room, Ganado, Texas - December 2014
"Six Truths: fifty sonnets" makes it to Brooklyn! Now featured in the Mellow Pages library...
Featured on Alaska Daily October 27, 2013 for both music and "Six Truths: fifty sonnets", Joined by Paul Benoit! The above link takes you to the page. From Dorene's commentary: "Beautiful words can be fierce when they cut close to the heart...
More than his written words, which had an honesty that cut to the heart of the matter and left one lingering in what was and what might have been - Tom shared some great music with us. His songs, true to his poetry, cross between the smoky worlds of jazz and blues."
Featured on The Camile Conte Show on September 19, 2013 - talking about music and life... She's now off on her own adventure across America reporting live from everywhere!
Featured on Alaska Political Insider June 21, 2013 for both music and "Six Truths: fifty sonnets" link no longer on site, though here was a screen shot from the show:
Featured on the Anchorage Observer's "In the Phonebooth" show
March 13, 2013 - A fun interview with James Le Mausier that walks us through the streets of Manchester and Cairo, and the cafes of Anchorage and points beyond...
Featured on Alaska Political Insider (links below)
January 11 and March 15, 2013 Democratic elections in Egypt, music, education and growing up as a Begich in Alaska...
You Tube from the January 5, 2013 Sitka Grind
Selected earlier media:
Two radio shows celebrating Tom Begich in Dillingham
Before getting there (link):
Tom Begich has taken a different... path. (Begich): "Maybe musicians in some regard are the front line of politicians because we take perhaps more controversial issues and put them out there... Its all about being in front of peopole and working with people and telling a story...". Its a path that often leads Begich away from Alaska... ... and so he is living the dream and coming to DIllingham to share his musical stories... (Begich): "I tell stories... each of the songs tells a story about something... This is going to be a good night... I'm not only going to play you music, but I am going to tell you stories..."
After the show (link) (Adam Kane):
Tom Begich [came to Dillingham]. He shared stories of his life and the many people he has met on the road... His music was able to inflict strong emotion on many in attendance. (Rolfe Buzzell): "Tom is really fun to play with. He is a great storyteller and he has a lot of depth and breadth to the kinds of stories he tells and the kind of music he plays... and he's a very good finger-picking guitar player -- he's just excellent." (a listener): "Well... if you were not [there] you missed out on the oodaba of the cowabunga of the night's concert. It's like Woodstock when I was there...". (a listener): "Good lyrics, good guitar playing and passionate storytelling." (a listener): "I enjoyed the show immensely". (a listener): "...that was a fabulous show... I enjoyed every moment of of it...".
SLO Folks Scores More Great Shows
New Times (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Like a novelist weaving a twisted tale of humanity undone, Tom Begich creates music that resonates with conflicts. Hailing from the far north, Begich was part of the Alaska music scene in the early 80's. His easy picking style with blues rythms and storytelling skills combine to create an American tapestry of song.
Cool Blue Light: 9.5 out of 10
By RON YOUNG, July/August 2006
Cool Blue Light is the fourth CD by Alaska native Tom Begich, and in my opinion, is his best so far. Begich is an authentic troubadour, crisscrossing the country, playing at small venues and house concerts, and obviously gathering on a first hand basis much of the material that makes its way into his songs.
This album contains twelve tracks, eleven of which he wrote, and while he has a great voice, his songwriting is his major strength, and fortunately, unlike me, he knows better than to write “run on” sentences, which generally cause the FolkWorks editors major grief every time I do a review! [Editor’s note: You can see we left this one in!]
Kidding aside, this is a good all round album and very easy to listen to. Begich has managed to surround himself with a dozen highly competent musicians, who successfully round out the sound, and enhance the overall strengths of the album. I especially enjoyed the title track, and also the song called Bakersfield. In fact, now that Buck Owens has passed on to that great Hee-Haw in the sky, the city of Bakersfield, may want to adopt Tom Begich, on the strength of this song. Other good songs include Charleston and To Be With You, as well as the epic Journey’s End, with words by Keith (K.P.) Liles and music by Begich.
Cool Blue Light is a well engineered and packaged product, and should bring Tom a whole lot of new fans. He’s an interesting type of guy, the sort of person that you feel you could get to know over a couple of pints in a quiet bar, which, not surprisingly, is where I first met him. If it’s your good fortune to have him show up in your neck of the woods, he is well worth the effort to go and see. On a scale of one to ten, I’d give Cool Blue Light a nine and a half.
A 'Cool Blue Light' shines bright for low-key singer-songwriter
By AMANDA BECKER (04/01/05)
AK This Month
Leave the glaring limelight for others; Tom Begich prefers a more subtle hue. And the singer-songwriter explores that idea on his latest disc, "Cool Blue Light." The lyrics and music suggest rather than demand, inviting the listener to pause and reminisce on life, if just for the moment, and find romance in the shadow of humanity while quietly dabbling in every day situations.
"'Cool Blue Light' is a raw, an honest and a mature work of art," local poet and longtime friend Keith Liles said at the November release party. His poetry can be found on the cut, "Journey's End."
Begich also carries on the tradition of the story song – a method popularized
by one of his greatest influences, Harry Chapin. That folk legend’s “talking
blues” style is evident in Begich’s music. Like Chapin, the Anchorage
musician captivates the audience – making the music and his story-songs
almost tangible with the simple delivery of words and rhythm. Read
Begich, Holder to perform at Silverbow
By KORRY KEEKER (03/31/05)
Songwriters Tom Begich and Terry Holder have toured through Alaska and down the West Coast since meeting a few years ago at Side Street Espresso in Anchorage.
Their music differs. Begich favors finger-picked blues and acoustic introspection. Holder's songs are inspired by Jackson Browne and Patti Griffin. Still, they're often told that their styles complement each other.
Begich and Holder will stop at The Back Room at the Silverbow Inn at 7 p.m. Friday. It's the first trip to Southeast Alaska for Holder, a 20-year Alaska resident. Begich last played here in 2002 and has appeared at the Alaska Folk Festival many times. Read
Music career heats up with 'Cool Blue Light'
By J. MARK DUDICK (11/19/04)
Daily News correspondent
Folks around town pretty much pigeonhole Tom Begich as the mayor's older brother.
But the rest of the world -- from Sitka to Montana, Vermont and beyond -- knows
him as a talented singer- songwriter. "People come up to me at shows and say, 'We knew you played music, we just never
figured you played it that well,'?" Begich said last week between packing for
a midnight flight to Washington, D.C., and fielding questions about his CD-release
celebration on Saturday at his favorite watering hole, Side Street Espresso. Read
BUMPING & GRINDING
(The Adult Way)
by Jelena Andjelkovic (4/27/03)
Tom Begich, a singer-songwriter from Anchorage, sang two songs from his upcoming CD, "Neon Cross" and "Fat Moon." As the last song put the audience in a romantic mood, after the intermission, Island Caravan Dancers tried to stir up some passion with two traditional Middle-Eastern dances - blessings for good life dance, and a belly dance. Darryl followed with a mix of stand-up and song (would that be called a song-up?!?), and then Middle Aged White Guys took over the stage. Now, you young pipsqueaks might think a bunch of middle-aged white guys would be the most boring thing you ever saw. No, not THESE guys! They were a blues band with an awesome harmonica player, and they got the audience clapping, snapping their fingers and stomping their feet in no time.
Tom Begich came back on stage for the second time to share his impromptu songwriting efforts. During his first appearance, he asked for 10 random words from the audience, and promised to come back with a song written using those words. Now, with such words a succulent, spank, genitals, and the name of a local politician, one would think nothing meaningful could be written, but not Tom. He put together a funny little ditty that got the audience laughing their heads off. On top of everything, it sounded good too.
(Crazy World Records)
Brian MacMillan, The Anchorage Press (12/14/00)
Tom is back with his third CD in as many years, and the songs just keep
getting stronger. The latest offering from the Jimmy Buffet of Anchorage
folk musicians is another collection of songs in a traveling vein. He mines
his experiences on the road like an old sourdough on a gold claim; swirling
the water of life around waiting for the sweet nuggets to appear in the
His voice is a mellower version of Dire Straits vocalist Mark
Knopfler, rich and husky, yet understated. Some of the melodies
are reminiscent of '99s
Hotel Metropol. The opening track "Road to Ruin" almost seems like part two
to that CD's title track.
Once again he has collected an awesome assortment of local musicians to
flesh out his ideas. Bernard Glansbeek joins him on upright bass for the
sleepy love song "Slow" and plays a nice mandolin on other cuts. Don Morrell
plays on several numbers but really shines on the string-o-caster on the
Kris Rosenstrater is the king of the understated backbeat;
Karl Pasch contributes some clarinet and wood flute accents;
and Beth McKay adds some lovely background harmonies to this
The Anchorage Daily News (1/16/98) describes Such a World, Tom Begich's debut CD, as “a sunny
Saturday siesta with a cold glass of Carta Blanca cerveza." Adds
music reviewer Brian MacMillan, "Begich's finger-picking guitar
style is as soft as a tropical breeze, and he enlisted several
locals to make it even sweeter."
Anchorage Daily News
S.L. Guthrie (5/ 7/99)
Three out of four stars "The local's third [sic]
CD begins with a beautiful instrumental, 'Alex's Theme,' featuring
Begich on guitar, Tom Bargelski on piano and a haunting cello
performed by Robert Tornfelt. The song captures the CD's essence:
the music. "Begich is the rare artist whose composing skills
aren't limited by his own playing -- the melodies envelope his
raspy, Tom Petty-like voice. He's also smart enough to enlist
talented locals such as bassist Terry Klemensen, Kerry Maule on
Trumpet and guitarist Mark Manners. 'Holes in My Blues' contrasting
images in rhymes like 'the patience of a minister, the passion
of a sinister man about town." Add an unexpectedly eerie
steel guitar line from Javier Matos and the song sizzles. Most
of Begich's lyrics convey heartfelt emotions without becoming
banal. 'Unfinished Conversation,' for instance, deals with the
difficulty of trying to say just the right thing to make a relationship
work, no matter how impossible the task. Many of the songs, in
fact, involve relationships, particularly unrequited ones."