...in fact, it already has! My latest album, Spiritfruit, was officially released on Friday, November 29 and is already selling well and earning very favorable reviews.

I've just published the first installment of my new blog series, The Rock & Roll Gospel! Once a month, I'll highlight iconic song lyrics...

Now that the crazy whirlwind of summer (playing up to 20 shows a month!) has wound down, I've been able to spend more time working on my upcoming album, Spiritfruit...

Winter in a state like Minnesota can be a slow and somewhat tough time for us working musicians...

I've never been a prolific songwriter. I'm not cranking out a tune a day... 

I love this time of year. As a Christian, no matter how stressful this season can be, with all its parties and shopping and overeating and bad driving conditions and commercial greed and overplayed Christmas songs on the radio... 

I bought my first Tom Petty album in 1980. It was Damn the Torpedoes, his latest. I loved what I heard... 

So here I am, over a year and a half into my return to self-employment as a musician. To say I'm thankful for the way things have gone would be an understatement. I've been blessed with the freedom, and financial provision, to work at what I love, and I don't take it lightly. 

I've worked hard over the winter adding venues to my list of places to perform. Happily, my summer is booked fairly solid (53 shows booked through the end of September), though I still have some dates I'd like to fill... if you've ever thought of hosting a House Concert, talk to me! It's the new 'thing' in parties. 

...that actually loves winter! I've heard a couple of people in the last few days say they're ready for spring. I'm like, "I'm ready for another blizzard!"

'Tis the Season once again. I love this time of year, though I do find myself sometimes wishing I could go back and experience Christmas as a young boy again...

I'm now 8 1/2 months into my self-employment adventure. Man, I AM LOVING IT!!! I can't believe I took such a long-lasting detour from the music business...

As of late, I'm adding some new and different types of venues to my schedule of performance dates, and I'm really enjoying it...

My last day in the property management business was December 31. Meaning, of course, that my first day as a newly self-employed writer/musician was New Year's Day. What better day to begin a New Adventure! 

After thinking about it for many years, I finally got around to making a Christmas album! I don't know what took me so long... music is such an integral part of the Holiday Season for myself and many others. It puts people in the Holiday spirit like nothing else. 

At one time, I made my living as a full-time musician. For nearly 9 years, I toured the US and Canada, playing shows in every kind of venue imaginable. Several years ago, I decided to get off the road and try the 9 to 5 lifestyle, a "normal" way of life that at the time seemed appealing and more stable. 

I've been busy in the recording studio... From Ordinary has just gotten the final mixes back for two newly recorded songs which will soon be available. One is a rockin' new song with a driving beat called "Do It All Over Again". 

Wow... there is truth to that old adage, "The older you get, the faster the time goes". It really does seem like the weeks, months and years fly by. There's nothing you can do to slow it down, so what I try to do is just appreciate every moment I have on this earth, stay positive, keep finding new things to do and discover, and try not to waste time or take it for granted. 

I must say, either the fall colors this year are exceptionally vibrant, or maybe I'm getting older (and wiser?) enough to truly appreciate them! 2015 is not far off, and I'm booking shows into the new year...

After a hiatus which included the departure of founding member Kevin Schuyler and the christening of our new bassist, Mike, FROM ORDINARY returns to the stage. 

...the new novel "Rapture of the Deep" by author David Grindberg, whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently at a book signing. We hit it off immediately, and are discussing bringing From Ordinary to his town of Fort Dodge, IA to perform a concert at his church in 2015. 

My Spirit-fueled rock band FROM ORDINARY is heading down a new, exciting path! We have decided to add significantly more cover material (other peoples' songs) to our playlist. We have many musical heroes whom we wish to honor by performing their music... artists like The Beatles, U2, Kansas, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, etc. 

Hope you had a nice Holiday Season. Other than our Pourhouse show on December 17, From Ordinary has been laying low. We're reconvening in January to discuss future plans, and the direction(s) we'd like to go. Holiday sales of our album, 211 Degrees, were good, and we're thankful that people are enjoying our music. 

My band, FROM ORDINARY, has just released its first album, 211 Degrees. Seven power-packed tunes pumped out by four music industry vets, influenced by acts like Squeeze, Beatles, Genesis, U2, Elton John, and a smidgen of Aerosmith. 

Wow... we are grateful and excited that our Kickstarter campaign was a success! We secured over $3800 in partnerships to help fund the recording of FROM ORDINARY's first record. We've finished one song, and are going into the studio again in early May to finish the album. 

My band, From Ordinary, has just launched a partnership campaign through Kickstarter, a company that helps artists, authors, and entrepeneurs create campaigns to help make their projects and dreams a reality. 

Plans are falling into place for FROM ORDINARY's upcoming recording project. We've written a few new songs (tried 3 of them out at our Fine Line Music Cafe show December 18) and are thinking we'll be going into the studio in February. WAJC-FM radio has already promised to play our new record on the air. 

I want to wish all my family, friends and fans a peaceful and inspirational Holiday Season. Try to find time to escape from the hustle and bustle to just sit back... breathe deeply... and reflect on all your blessings. Remember that God is always in control, and even in the midst of our difficulties, he is right there with us, ready to comfort and encourage us, even when this world makes no sense. That is why he came to earth in the person of Jesus, and why we can truly celebrate at Christmas time. A special "thank you" to all those in the past year who came to the shows, bought my music, or supported/encouraged me in any way. Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
It was an incredibly busy summer and early fall for Costello & Hipps and the Tom Hipps Trio, playing shows 2 to 3 nights a week on a pretty consistent basis. Lots of cool shows, including the Chart House in Lakeville MN (a newer venue for us) and a gig on the 22nd floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Paul (the views were tremendous, and so was the food:) Also, From Ordinary was doing a show or two a month, including outdoor concerts in Hastings MN and Minneapolis, along with shows at the Fine Line (Mpls), our favorite club. Through the end of the year, we're going to scale back on the live dates and focus on learning fresh material and recording... maybe even start prepping for a Tom Hipps Trio record along with the upcoming disc from From Ordinary. The Tom Hipps Trio appears at the legendary Piggy's Nightclub & Restaurant in LaCrosse WI this Friday-Saturday and once more in December, and Tom Hipps & the Shakers will be performing for the third year in a row at the Westfield Golf Club New Year's Eve gala. On December 18, From Ordinary will be doing a Christmas show at the Fine Line as guests of Mark Smeby, a Nashville artist who is originally from the Twin Cities area. They're also working on adding a very special guest (can't tell you who yet!) which will make that show extra cool! See you at the shows!
Last Tuesday we (From Ordinary) began working up material for our upcoming recording project. We put together a good new song. Everyone contributed, and we had an excellent time. We'll likely record four songs (an EP) to start with, because we want to have fresh material for the launch of WAJC in December. They have offered to "Christen" the station by playing a From Ordinary song as the very first song played on the station! How cool is that!!
My Christian rock band, FROM ORDINARY, has been named the official band of WAJC RADIO! It is a new FM Christian music and talk radio station hoping to launch around Christmastime. One of the most exciting things about this new station is that they will be giving a platform to LOCAL Christian musicians and bands. We will promote the station by adding their logo to our promotional items and advertising, and they will be promoting our shows on-air. We are discussing the possibility of simulcasting future shows live over the airwaves. Also in the works is an official Launch Party, featuring live music, food, giveaways, etc. Stay tuned!
Wow... the calendar is really filling up. Lots of shows in the months ahead with the duo, trio, and my two bands (not to mention a couple of weddings to sing at, a vacation to Colorado and hosting a BBQ here and there). I do like to stay busy. I've been making an effort to eat healthier this year, and have given up some not-so-good habits. One of the benefits... drum roll please... 25 lbs lost since January 1st! I guess sometimes New Year's Resolutions actually come to pass. Now I pray for strength to continue with these better lifestyle habits.
FROM ORDINARY, my Christian rock band, is excited to introduce our newest members: Jarrod Schroeder, a super-talented guitarist, and Lorne Streiff, drummer extraordinaire. Rounding out the lineup is Kevin Schuyler, the bassist and good friend with whom I played in the 90's band Unsung heroes. Going forward, FROM ORDINARY will be covering great Christian songs by other artists, some secular songs with positive and/or spiritual messages, and our own original tunes. We're currently in rehearsals for our new lineup's debut appearance at the Minneapalooza 2012 festival.
Some of you know that I'm a Big Brothers volunteer. My Little Brother Michael and I have been together nearly 4 years. When we first got together, I taught him the basics of drums; now, he's lettered in band at his school, playing drums and percussion. As a special "outing", I decided to take him into the recording studio with me and cut a Christmas song. We went to my longtime producer MW Nelson's studio and recorded "Early on One Christmas Morn" in just over 3 hours. We had a great time... Michael played various percussion instruments, added hand claps and sang some background vocals. The song is a rompin' stompin' old spritual with a small backwoods church feel. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO MY LITTLE BROTHER MICHAEL, so please click on the link below, download the song for only 99 cents, and make a great kid happy! http://cdbaby.com/cd/tomhippsmichaeljakubic
As we come to the end of another (busy!) year, I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you who have come to the shows and/or purchased music or merchandise. In 2011, we played a record number of Costello & Hipps shows and Tom Hipps Trio shows, and we've had a blast. The Tom Hipps & the Shakers band made its debut last New Year's Eve at Westfield Golf Club in Winona MN, and will return there this NYE for another swingin' party. The Tom Hipps Trio will appear at Piggy's in LaCrosse WI on Friday, December 23. We will be playing several Christmas songs that night... should be a fun way to usher in the Holiday. As always, I like to remind everyone to keep Christ at the center of the Season... after all, it's his birthday we're celebrating! (One final note: We will likely be taking the entire month of January off to rest, recharge, and work on NEW music!)
FROM ORDINARY is fresh off its gig at Crossfest 2011. Man, what a hoot! We rocked hard and had a great time. Yeah, it rained, but we didn't let it dampen our spirits. Sold lots of CD's and T-shirts... thanks bunches to those who purchased merchandise, and to Mike and Ashley, who manned the merch booth. Also, a shout-out to our buddy Randy, who helped with the details (stage setup, videography, etc.) Now, we focus on our MN State Fair gig, August 27 (see "calendar" page for details). Can't wait! Until then, back to the rehearsal room:) We're working on some brand new songs, including a great one written by Gordy that is sure to be a fan favorite.
It's official: FROM ORDINARY, our original Christian-flavored folk/rock band, is booked for CROSSFEST 2011. This will be our third straight appearance, and we're really excited. The band features myself along with Gordy Overing (drums), Dan Bergstrom (bass guitar) and new lead guitarist Phil Miller, whom we recently "stole" from the great state of Pennsylvania. We are scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 6pm for a 45-minute set. Other great bands appearing include SIXTEEN CITIES and headliners REILLY. Make plans now to be there!!
Ok, that Saturday night SHAKERS gig at Westfield was one of the best ever! So many friends and family there, it was mind-blowing. I wish I could have gotten to talk to every one of you, but there was only so much time to mingle. If I may say so, the band was ON that night (and the crowd enthusiasm made that happen)! We're talking about doing another show at Westfield in November, and are already booked there for their New Year's Eve bash.
NOW AVAILABLE! My new single, "Music, That Is" is now available for download on iTunes and other major online music retailers. I poured my heart and soul into this one, and I hope it resonates with others who have found music to be one of life's sweetest pleasures. You can also order it from right here on this website. Visit the "BUY" page and click on the "buy this single at CD Baby" link. Enjoy!
Yes, winter is finally loosening its claws and beginning to slink away, ever so slowly. SEE YA! I'm not generally a winter hater, but this one was especially long and cold and snowy and sloppy and gray and gray and gray. I went for a long walk in my neighborhood today and I felt more alive than I have in awhile. Looking forward to our gig at The Waterfront in LaCrosse, WI this weekend. It's a really cool lounge right on the riverfront... nice views, great food and good booz... I mean, rather... a fine selection of spirits! I'm hoping to have a final mix of my newest single, "Music That Is", finished soon. It will then be available for download at your favorite internet music site. Stay tuned.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I had the privilege of appearing in three (count 'em, three!) Christmas Eve services with the band at at Pleasant Valley Church. Such a talented bunch of people... it's always a pleasure to sing with them. Then, the Tom Hipps Trio performed at PV the day after Christmas, playing some of our favorite gospel numbers for the congregation. Tom Hipps and the Shakers played a NYE show at Westfield golf course and had a swingin' time. Lots of fun... in fact, we went ahead and booked next NYE there as well! A highlight of the evening was having one of my favorite teachers from high school, John Ruggeberg, come up and sit in on guitar (see pic on the "photos" page). Also my old bandmate Bill Lanik (see pic), who joined us on an old favorite of ours, "Ice Cream Man". To begin the new year, we took a couple of weeks off from gigging. Football on TV, fires in the fireplace, and food in my gullet... that about covers my time off. Oh yeah, and plenty of snowblowing. Good ol' Minnesota. Back to it this Saturday night, and I'm looking forward to it... the Tom Hipps Trio is performing at a new venue for us, The Rollin' Inn in Rollingstone, MN. The next weekend (Jan. 28-29) the Trio is back for 2 nights at Piggy's, the legendary nightspot in LaCrosse, WI.
I hope this finds you in good spirits. Everyone I know is busy, busy, busy this time of year (including myself). I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with being busy, but the key is to find those quiet moments when you can sit still, be silent and let God's peace wash over you. My favorite place to do that is in my living room. I have a nice view out my window and I love to sit in my chair and simply stare out the window and reflect on the blessed life I've led. Don't get me wrong... I have my share of hassles, headaches, and suffering just like everyone. But in those quiet moments, looking out at creation, I find it much easier to be thankful. There's also been a pair of cardinals at the bird feeder lately. It's always a little thrill to see the stark, bright red against the pale winter landscape. I'm honored once again to be performing at Pleasant Valley Church in my hometown of Winona, MN for three services on Christmas Eve; then leading worship for the morning service on Sunday, Dec. 26. I want to wish you all a peaceful, joyful Christmas... and always remember, Jesus is the true star of the show.
My new single "Generous" is now available through iTunes, CD Baby, and most other major online music retailers. "Generous" is a driving, harmony-rich song of praise. Also available: my last single, "Waiting For You", a lush, emotionally charged ballad.
Another Great Minnesota Get-together has come and gone. I always enjoy my appearances at the MN State Fair Crossroads Chapel. I believe this was my 6th or 7th straight year on the bill (could be more?). My folk/rock band FROM ORDINARY rocked the Chapel on Friday night, August 27 and I performed an acoustic set on Friday, Septemeber 3, joined on vocals by my talented friend Sarah Lawrence. Always a pleasure to serve with the wonderful Crossroads Chapel staff who work long hours to bring everything together each year. And yes, I most certainly partook in my annual footlong hotdog with mustard and fried onions:) Check out the photo page on this site for pics.
I'm excited and honored to have been invited to lead the music worship for 3 Sundays in a row at the church I grew up in, Pleasant Valley Church in Winona, MN. It is a wonderful place where I have many treasured memories since I began attending in about 7th grade, along with my mom, sisters, cousins and friends. Even though I moved to the Minneapolis area several years ago, I have returned to Winona and spent every Christmas Eve with my family and the fine folks at PV, as we call it. Pastor Rick Iglesias is an engaging teacher/preacher who challenges and inspires. I will be appearing with the worship band August 1, 8 and 15. Services are at 9am and 10:45am each Sunday.
After all the preperation and anticipation, Crossfest 2010 is wrapped up. I had a wonderful time playing a 45-minute set on Saturday with my band, From Ordinary. Also enjoyed hanging out with other musicians and the hardworking staff of this great event. If you missed it, mark your calendar for next year! Check out some photos on the "Photo Gallery" page.
Today marks the release of my brand new digital single, "Waiting For You". It is currently available exclusively through CD Baby, the best source of great indie music, for only 99 cents per download. (It will also soon be available on iTunes and most other major online music retailers.) "Waiting For You" is possibly the most emotional song I have written. It is a power ballad tinged with shades of Coldplay and/or Queen. Writing it was a deeply satisfying experience and I had a great time recording it with my longtime producer, Michael Nelson. I sincerely hope you like it and may even relate to the honest, soul-baring lyrics. http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/TomHipps
From Ordinary. The new name of the Tom Hipps Band is taken from our song, "From Ordinary", written by me and my longtime drummer and best pal, Gordy Overing. He and I, along with Kevin, Phil and TJ have been in rehearsals and are pumped for our June 26, 1pm Crossfest appearance. Make this show if you can... it will be our first with this lineup, and we want you to share the experience with us. See the "calendar" page on this site for more details, and go to the "photos" page/Photo of the Week and click on the thumbnail to see the new logo. Also watch for our exclusive band website coming soon!
My father, Mark C. Hipps, passed away April 26, 2010 at 6:15pm. He wasn't a perfect dad by any means, but we had many good times and in the past couple of years, he began to say "I love you" to those close to him. He also had made his peace with God, and I know for a fact he's in heaven. I had no idea I would miss him this much, this soon. Please see his photo in the Photo of the Week section on this site (click on it to enlarge).
UPDATE: Through this promotion (see below), CD Baby and its artists raised $24,000 toward earthquake relief for Haiti! * * * Starting on Monday, January 25th and continuing for two weeks, the online independent music outlet CD Baby (my favorite!) will donate $1 from every CD sale, and $1 from every download sale over $8.99, to the American Red Cross and to Mercy Corps, a Portland-based relief organization with a large presence in Haiti. With your help, we hope to raise tens of thousands of dollars. I will also match their $1 donation for every sale of my CD's or downloads. That's $2 per CD or minimum $8.99 download that goes to the relief effort in Haiti. There's no better time to both support independent artists AND help out some people in desperate need. Please go to the "Buy" page of this website and click on the "Buy this CD at CD Baby" link to be routed to the CD Baby website. Thanks and God Bless!
I''m excited the Tom Hipps Band has been asked to appear at Crossfest USA again this summer! This year's festival (held in Lewiston, MN) promises to be even bigger than ever, and will feature some of the finest acts in Christian music today, including Mark Schultz, Rush of Fools, Chris and Conrad, Everyday Sunday and Sarah Reeves. There will also be Minnesota Vikings coaches and players hanging out on Saturday, and stay tuned for an announcement regarding a surprise guest speaker (it's not official yet, but we're crossing our fingers:) Mark your calendar for the weekend of June 25-27 and plan to join us. I'll be updating info on this site as it develops, and visit www.crossfestusa.com for all the details.
Snow, snow, and more snow! But you know, I really don't mind it. Oh sure, I hate getting stuck in my driveway as much as anyone... that just happened a couple of days ago... but for some reason, the older I get, the more I enjoy winter. Having a good snowblower, a good heater in the car and a warm house with two fireplaces sure helps! And, I'm happy for the folks who run ski resorts or make/sell snowmobiles and other winter gear... not to mention the snowplow drivers... anything that helps people keep working in this bleak economy should be welcomed. Next Saturday, me and my Little Brother (BBBS) are going snowshoeing for the first time. It's a half-hour lesson, then a one-hour hike... hope I can keep up! Had a great time at the Cup A Joe's gig Friday night. This weekend, it's off to Rochester for a Friday evening Costello & Hipps show at the Canadian Honker, then to Wellington's in Winona for a Tom Hipps Trio performance Saturday night. And... I was rooting for the Colts, but who can be upset about the New Orleans Saints bringing some Super Bowl joy to that city? Next year, Vikings! Come back, Brett Favre!!!
Hey everyone... I hope you had a thankful Thanksgiving, a Christ-centered Christmas, and an enjoyable New Year's Eve, however you chose to spend it (check "past dates" on the calendar page for a brief recap of our show at the Gold Nugget). Although it was a busy and somewhat stressful time, overall I really enjoyed the Season... performing Christmas music at our shows, shopping for loved ones, listening to the beautiful carols and especially being "home" at mom's in Winona surrounded by family (and dogs!). My annual Christmas Singles Party was a blast, and my "Little Brother" and I (we're in the BBBS Program) shared a really special evening at my house, having dinner and exchanging gifts. He gave me a great book about the history of the MN music scene. I haven't started it yet, but I'm looking forward to reading it. I gave him a remote controlled car, and we had a fun time playing with it in my kitchen. Now, we head into a new year, 2010. It's easy to think, "Geez, another year passed and I'm not getting any younger... what have I really accomplished..." BUT, it's better to think, "Wow, another year of possibilities lies ahead! What can I do to make this a special year?" One thing I am going to work more sincerely at is SONGWRITING. In the past year, I've come up with some really fine song ideas... I think my best ever... but most are not completed. My goal is to finish up and demo at LEAST a full album's worth of material, and then some. My plan is to record the album in my home studio first. What I don't want to do this time around is quickly breeze through the writing and recording process. That's why I'm going to record the songs at home, then spend as much time as needed listening and re-listening and fine tuning them gradually. When they're as ready as I feel they're going to be, only then will I have them professionally recorded. I'm pumped, and can't wait to (eventually) share these songs with you!
My brother, Dr. Richard S. Hipps, has just released his latest book, "The Focused Life". I'm anxious to read it, and I hope you will consider picking up a copy as well. He is a gifted speaker and writer, and a heck of a guy! Here is a link where the book can be purchased: http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=154791 It's also available on Amazon. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Just want to take a moment and wish you all a Merry Christmas. I love this time of year... the music, the decorations, the goodies, the parties, the presents (receiving is nice but I truly enjoy giving even more), Christmas trees, and LIGHTS! I think I love the lights best of all. Someone once said that if you find yourself getting jaded by all the hubbub and commercialism that takes place this time of year, imagine that every single light you see on a Christmas tree or display represents a soul who has found Heaven. Ever since I heard that, I look at Christmas lights in a new, more meaningful way. The other thing is to remember why we celebrate... the birth of Jesus Christ, the gift of God who is equally available to all. God Bless each and every one of you this Christmas, and through the New Year. Thank you for being loyal fans and friends!
Finally made it to Graceland recently. Memphis, Tennessee. Birthplace of Rock n' roll, cradle of the blues, and home of my brother Richard, who preaches at Trinity Baptist. The Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studios, Beale Street, damn good barbeque at Marlowe's, warm southern hospitality, Gus's Fried Chicken... and perhaps most famously known for Graceland, the home (and final resting place) of Elvis Presley, purchased in 1957 for $100,000. The tour winds through the various rooms of the downstairs of the house (the upstairs, Elvis' private quarters, are roped off). If you care at all about Elvis, there's an odd mix of emotion... but mostly I felt a warmth, easily imagining the Presley family having many good times there, and almost feeling at moments like I was eavesdropping. The tour concludes in the Meditation Gardens, where the Presleys are buried. I got All Shook Up and couldn't speak. (See the "Graceland" group in the Photo Gallery for pics... click on thumbnail to enlarge photos and read captions)
On the PHOTOS page, click on a given photo to enlarge it and read the caption. On the CALENDAR page, to read the "gig diary" (recaps of recent shows played) click on "show past dates". To go to the website of the listed Venues, click on their name. On the MUSIC page, click on the song title to see the lyrics and short stories behind the songs. To purchase TOM HIPPS music, click on the "Buy this CD at CD Baby" link. Whole CD's and individual songs are available.
Both Tom Hipps albums, Everybody & Their Brother and Then Went the Demons are now available for sale digitally at about 370 Christian retail locations across the U.S. via in-store kiosks!

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