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A Musical Life: Tom Page


Tom Page has been an integral part of the Wichita and Kansas music scenes for more than 20 years. The guitarist performed with acts such as Sunshine Family, Winking Spaniard, and Grandpa’s .38 throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, earning a reputation not only as a gifted guitarist but a remarkable songwriter as well.

In recent years he has led the Tom Page Trio, with which he has recorded "Dust Bowl Demos Part One and Dust Bowl Demos Part Two," and is also currently a member of the roots band Haymakers. Page is owner and engineer at TOPtone Studio, where he has recorded acts such as Wichita’s 69 Noses and the first solo release from Wayne Gottstine of Split Lip Rayfield.

My name is Tom Page and I am practitioner of the acoustic and electric flatpick guitar. 

So, there’s a lot of levels to playing music. There’s personal satisfaction, there is the creation of a mood that can translate to others, or emotional communication level.

Then you get into the various practical levels, such as the booking of gigs, the performance in front of people and the logistics therein. Within the logistic there can be all sorts of things to pay attention to such as making sure you’re playing with musicians you could live in van for a couple of weeks with. If you’re not, things probably aren’t gonna work out too well.

It’s really important to listen to the greats, whoever that is in your opinion. In the sort of music that I’m interested in Doc Watson is an obvious great who overshadows a lot of what I do.

I can credit Doc with being the first person to defy the laws of nature and demonstrate that the acoustic guitar can in fact be a lead instrument in ensemble.

Charlie Christian demonstrated that the electric guitar could be a lead instrument in ensemble 20-30 years earlier. And, along those same lines, Django Reinhardt brought to all of us the notion of lead acoustic guitar in early jazz bands.”

This commentary segment originally aired February 22, 2013.


Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.