Tom Hoffman

The Early Days Of Nickels

The Early Days Of Nickels

“Jack of all trades, ace of none” is how our featured artist describes himself.

A 10 year veteran of, Tom’s musical roots reach all the way back to the 60’s & 70’s.

The 90’s saw Tom (aka tunesmithth) venture into songwriting. His past few decades were spent as an amateur tunesmith, rather than a performing musician.
He never lost his love of playing! The difference is that most of it occurs in the privacy of his home-studio. These days playing serves as the means to an end. That end being written, arranged & recorded songs. It’s all about the songs & the creative process…a uniquely rewarding labor of love.

Who are your main musical influences?

Clapton, Billy Joel, The Doors & John Rzeznik to name a few.

Which of your own songs is your favorite?

I really don’t have a single favorite.
Depending on the criteria (originality, lyrical content, social relevance, musical composition) there are songs that I hold in higher esteem than others.
“Slow Down” is one that I’ll always consider special because it was my first. That was the point at which I transitioned from “I believe I can write” to “I know I can write”. Speculation became reality!
Tom Hoffman

Tom Hoffman

What are your musical plans for 2017?

  • Although I don’t plan to write any new material this year, I do plan to rework the entire arrangement for a 2014 instrumental. Loved the song…hated the original arrangement! I’ve already begun the process.
  • As time allows, I plan to continue in my role as supporting staff here on Songstuff. As a regular member, the site was beneficial to my creative efforts. As site staff, I have the opportunity to pay that benefit forward.
  • Last but not least, I’ve been asked to participate in a reunion rock show. My last group (“Nickels”) was a musical fixture in the St. Louis area for decades. The plan is to reassemble various incarnations of the group, with each playing a full set of cover material from their specific era. Since many of the previous members play in other bands, the logistics of something like this are a nightmare. That being said, the organizer (Frank) is trying his best to work out practice & performance schedules that everyone can live with. We’ll know more as the year progresses, but it promises to be a hoot !

If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?

In this age of software short cuts & electronic gadgetry, don’t underestimate the importance of musical ability & knowledge.
With it, you’re a musician making the most of available tools.
Without it, you’re just another software jockey!
Nickels Reunion

Nickels Reunion

Does being a member of Songstuff help you with your music?  

Definitely! More-so in my early days of membership, but I still find useful information here today.


Tom Hoffman Music Site

Tom Hoffman on Songstuff

Making lyrics feel natural, sit on music in such a way that you don't feel the effort of the author, so that they shine and bubble and rise and fall, is very, very hard to do. Whereas you can sit at the piano and just play and feel you're making art.”
Stephen Sondheim