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MP3 Tom N. Tierney - Off The Beaten Path

Different, deep, God-searching acoustic folk with a touch of classical and blues.

16 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Gentle, GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel


Here''s my CD info, and my story is below. Hope it helps you get to know me a little better, and whether my CD is something you might want to own. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I welcome them.

Also, can I be honest with you? This CD is not for everyone, and I know that. I’m probably looking at being accepted by less than 1% of 1% of the crowd. (My friend Carl thinks it''s more.) First, Christian, that narrows the field to what, about 40%? Then of that 40%, maybe about 5% want to hear folk music, then of that 5%, maybe 1% might want to hear experimental, deep stuff. So, I am searching for those few people who can appreciate and would possibly like to team up me, perhaps in the physical, but more realistically in the spiritual plane, who have a deep longing for the things of God and want use their creative, off-the-wall stuff to reach others. If that’s not you, bye-bye, I wish you well. If it is, you’ll know you’re supposed to be here when you arrive. Let’s pray for each other, and commit our stuff to the Lord, and see what happens. Let me know. He is an awesome God.

My CD, ‘Off the Beaten Path,’ is self-produced and is a collection of my early songs. They are walks down paths hardly traveled by others – take your shoes off and feel the mud squish between your toes. Not a lot of rhythm – more meditative in style, folk-picking like that butterfly ascending through the pine limbs like they were guitar strings. That’s me, getting out of here.

Some of my songs, like Isaiah 42, are heavy-duty –- get ready for the sky to crack open and the future to pour in like a river. The Scripture stuff … simple. I would be looking at a passage in the Bible and suddenly hear a melody and think, ‘what the hey … here goes!’ and it would take off from there. Others are experiences as a young Christian with a real, sometimes harsh or blunt, look at reality (the way I saw it.) Others are longings from deep within my soul.

By the way, three guesses as to what that thing is next to my head on my CD cover with the yellow dot in it surrounded by the bluish-colored field. (Answer below)

I do not sound like Paul Simon, James Taylor or Bob Dylan, except maybe if you put all three of them (and their early stuff) together into one pot and shook it real hard, tossing in a major dose of Jesus. Maybe I''m getting too far out on some limb here (the one that butterfly above just passed.) Anyway, their music, and others like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, greatly influenced and shaped my early guitar playing.

I have about 30 new song ideas I penciled down since early 2005 (one I talk a little about below), and the Lord seems to be opening a door for some studio time so I’m pretty excited.

Deep down I am also a poet, artist and visual mathematician as well as a musician. Music is just one way of expressing the feelings I have about experiences. I’d like to share two poems, which follow. Portions of them are in a new song piece I’m working on. It’s not on this CD, sorry. It will be on my next one. (I have more poetry on https://www.tradebit.com – if you''re interested, just do a search there on Tom Tierney. One of my poems, Anymore#49, won their editor''s choice award.)

Anymore#46 (crushing void)

See the leaves move but not the air
Silent Spirit searching
Dying world, crushing void
Gentle imploring wind
Lifting, bending, pushing, sending
And I don''t wander anymore

Sky and mountain palette
And solitary green plant
Forgotten in a hot sea of concrete freeway
Brief existence attesting, alone
Tiniest fragment of life, Your brush
The wings of a bird, a pattern on stone
And the substance of men''s lives

Anymore#43 (fearful fists)

Numbing scenes of sameness parade by
Dulled-down dreams
From awareness sink slowly
Gritted teeth grind
Bear it, swear it, tear it,
Fearful fists flailing fuming folly

Then sudden silence
Calm quoting calm
Oil balm pouring in soothing madness
Like darting birds at dusk
Through clear air storm-cleaned
Hidden meaning rises, seen

If I have learned anything, it''s that God is an all-consuming fire. The closer you get the more those refiner’s fires will burn out the junk (like being totally absorbed with yourself.) I feel like an Amish man who uses electricity (and plays guitar and writes songs.) I am more interested in seeing the manifestation of the ‘sons (and daughters) of God’ (Romans 8:19), meaning those that will do what Jesus did while He was here on earth -- the Holy Spirit in action with accompanying miracles and signs and wonders -- than I am in putting on any ‘shows.’ But I will, if requested. Time is short. Jesus is coming soon.

Hope you enjoy my CD if you decide to buy it.



P.S. Many thanks to Nathan and Tracy Elliott (she has a CD here on CD Baby), who let me know about this web-site and urged me to put my CD out here. We are working on some songs together.

Oh, and here’s my background in music, my story, in case you''re interested. (I think it''s unusual, like my CD, or I wouldn''t bother)(:

I was a high school musician in Hampton, VA in the late 60''s where I played the sax for one year, then switched to the Bassoon (that instrument in symphonies that looks like a bed-post next to the oboes). I loved it because there was too much competition in the sax section, so switching gave me my own chair and stand (plus it was weird and cool) and I DIDN''T HAVE TO MARCH with it -- although they made me ''color-guard captain'' so I didn''t get out of marching completely.

But the big event in my life (although I didn''t realize it at the time) happened when I auditioned to become a U.S. Navy musician in Norfolk and was accepted. What they didn''t tell me (or maybe they did and I didn''t realize it) was that ''acceptance'' meant you got into the school of music where they trained you for six months (after you enlisted and went through boot camp like everyone else), but then you had to audition to get out of the school and play in any bands. If you flunked that final audition, the Navy could ship you out wherever they wanted. This was during the Vietnam War, so as a young 17 year-old, it was a scary proposition. So, yes, you now know approximately how old I am. And, yes, I practiced my butt off learning scales and arpeggios and passed the final audition and did my four year tour in the Navy where I played lead alto sax in bands on Guam and in Seattle. I still play the sax, and no, it’s not on this CD.

So what does this have to do with acoustic folk songs and guitar you may be thinking? Well, I''m getting to that. I bought a guitar in the Navy Exchange on Guam (my first duty station), put some nylon strings on it, plunked around with it and did some things I shouldn''t have done which caused my mind to get messed up (won''t go into that) -- but caused many deep questions and cleared the way for God at a later time.

I got out of the Navy and went to music school at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA where I studied classical sax and music therapy (more to help me than others, really) and took guitar lessons from a renaissance lute player, which was really cool and I fell in love with it. I really didn''t start writing songs until I was a mental health technician (not a patient!) in a mental hospital in Hampton, VA in 1980. I became a Christian in 1981, and this album is a collection of songs and stories (set to music) from that time until about 2000.

Answer to quiz:
It''s an old floppy drive! It''s on a piece of art I did and use for my CD graphic, called ''Technology Temple". I painted it black, flecked it with gold paint and mounted in on a piece of marble as the central focus of the piece. Any guesses as to what the curved black thing is which also goes over the blue marble and touches the floppy drive on the left? (hint: It''s a pretty common thing, found in just about every kitchen.)

If you’ve read all the above, congratulations! I wish I had a prize for you. Let me know, and I’ll autograph my CD for you. Thanks again. Write a review of my CD if you’d like – I’d appreciate it!

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