UTR: How did the dream of this Randy Stonehill tribute begin, and how did it develop over time?
Tom: It was Randy’s best friend Ray Ware’s idea. He asked Terry Taylor (Daniel Amos/Swirling Eddies/Lost Dogs, etc) who has produced 4 of Randy’s records, for his input and they developed the concept. I moved to Nashville from California in 2020 and Ray asked me to create a Kickstarter campaign, which I was thrilled to do. I took the reins of the whole project soon after because I had more time and the right connections. The idea started out as a single 10 or 12 song album but as more and more folks started hearing about it they wanted in on it so we expanded it to 22 songs on a double disc set. I felt confident that with the artists we were getting, the Kickstarter would make up for the extra production money being spent.
UTR: Are there any tribute songs that you are especially excited about on this double album?
Tom: There are so many great songs it’s hard to choose, honestly. Most of these people are dear friends and I can assure you that nobody phoned it in. They really gave 100% to the project, which is such a tribute to Randy’s influence in their lives. I suppose the thing that really strikes me at this point is after listening to all of these incredibly diverse interpretations and some of the surprising and delightful re-arrangements of Randy’s songs, I find myself astounded how great a songwriter Randy really is. Most people have an image of Randy as this wacky, “bigger than life” persona onstage and in videos – but when you strip all that away, what you’re left with are some of the greatest songs ever written in this genre.