Christmas in the Air 

The Holiday Season… and winter! …approaches once again. Summer was, as always, very busy with lots of shows and road trips. It's what I call my ant-storing-up-for-winter season, as this time of year is always slower, with no outdoor festivals or brewpub patio gigs to play here in the frozen north! But I don't mind… it's a wonderful opportunity to slow down a bit and enjoy the fall prep of my yard, the coziness of my house & fireplace, my home recording studio--my blessings. And the Holiday Season magnifies those blessings.

In the spirit of Christmas, I've created and posted on YouTube a lyric video for my song, “Christmas in the Air”. I think it turned out pretty nice, and I hope you enjoy it: Christmas in the Air - YouTube 

I wish you all the happiest of Holiday Seasons, and all the blessings the New Year can hold. Thank you so much for your support… it means the world to me! 

The 22nd Row 

I'm very excited about my latest project: I've assembled a band of talented, seasoned musicians to perform the music of Elton John. Elton's music was the chief soundtrack to my junior high days in the 1970's...  a musical companion through those sometimes awkward years. I would retreat to my headphones and marvel at the magical melodies he'd conjure from Bernie Taupin's insightful and inventive lyrics. I'd buy every album as soon as it was released and read every bit of information on the covers and inserts and look at all the pictures (that's just one more wonderful thing about vinyl... the packaging). His band, at their peak, was exceptional... so talented, so engaging... they truly worked TOGETHER as a band, and I loved that. This new group of mine already feels like family, and we're having a great time in this endeavor. Please visit our website at and we'll see you at the shows!

Oh... in case you're wondering where the name came from, remember this line from "Candle in the Wind"?

Goodbye Norma Jean / from the young man in the 22nd row... 

Into a New Year... 

I'm now 6 years+ into my return to full-time music, and I'm still survivin' :) I have been amazingly provided for, even throughout the covid epidemic that threatened to put me (and many others) out of business. Somehow, someway, God always came through with another gig, a music sale, a grant from a music foundation, a generous gift from a friend, or a check in the mail I didn't expect. I'm perpetually thankful for His provision. I'm grateful beyond words for the ability to make a living doing what I love most.
Gigs are returning in full force. I had the best December I've ever had, income-wise... 15 dates, some of them well-paying corporate events. Summer 2021 was very good too. Now 2022 is getting booked up, and I've been working on new material, freshening up the show. I'll be doing more outlying gigs requiring travel, which I'm looking forward to... especially with my new (used) vehicle, a Chevy Captiva SUV, to drive.
As Willie so eloquently sung it: "On the road again / I just can't wait to get on the road again / The life I love is making music with my friends / And I just can't wait to get on the road again."

We Need to Catch Up! 

It's been way too long since I've posted any news. In the past year, with covid shutting down so many things, it just didn't feel like there was a whole lot to report. But there's always something going on, so here goes... 

I've had over 40 shows cancelled, and many more never booked, because of covid. I even contracted it myself. But God provided in truly amazing ways, and I survived, physically and financially. Sadly, many people didn't, and many businesses closed. But vaccines are now available, things are opening back up, and I'm optimistic this spring and summer will be busy and fun! I hope people truly appreciate, more than ever, the freedom to gather in public to drink, dine, and of course, enjoy live music. I know I will. 

This past June, I had the opportunity to compose instrumental music for a PBS TV series, A Taste of History. Four of my songs were used in various episodes. I'll admit, it was quite a thrill to be watching it and hearing my music playing in the background. The show ended up winning four Emmys! It's nice to think I played a small role:)

In December, I recorded and released my sixth album of original material, Christmas Hope. It gave me something to focus on and keep the creative juices flowing. I was like a mad scientist in my home studio, often working late into the night and fussing over every detail. I'm never completely satisfied with anything I create, but overall, I was happy with the result. Sales of the album were a big help through the Holiday Season, so to all of you who bought a download or disc: THANK YOU. 

Most recently, my songwriting partner Gordy Overing and I were made an offer by a music publisher to purchase the rights to a bunch of songs we wrote together in the 1990's. This company specializes in placing vintage music in movies, TV shows, and commercials. It's an odd feeling literally selling your songs--giving up all rights to them--but it was a very generous offer we couldn't refuse, and we signed the contract on March 18. We will also collect writer's royalties on any placements, which is great, but we can no longer use those songs in any way without their permission. Weird! (But fine:)   

Well, it's nice catching up, and I'd love it if you post something in the comments section below about what YOU'VE been up to! Also, check out the Where I'm Playing page on this site for upcoming show dates, and make plans to join me!  

God Bless!

P.S. London music promotion company Music Gateway has published an article I've written on their website. I poured my knowledge and experience from many years off gigging into it and I sincerely hope it helps some beginners find their way in what can be a tough, but very rewarding, business. I get paid according to how many unique 'clicks' it receives, so it'd be great if you take a look! Click here: How To Get Gigs and Get Paid  

It Shall Be Released... 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.

Like this one by Peter Welle, Blogger/Musician: "After long months of recording in his home studio, singer-songwriter Tom Hipps makes a welcome return with Spiritfruit - his tastiest batch of carefully-crafted pop confections. Like Jeff Lynne’s work in ELO, Hipps’ music is colorfully produced, lush with backing harmonies and stacked with hooks, and all bearing the unmistakable creative fingerprints of its maker. Hipps’ move to the producer’s chair was right one; his choices never feel rushed, and there are sonic treats to be found in the nooks and crannies of every song in this collection."

I worked on this album for nearly three years, and if there was ever a labor of love, this is it.  I feel I've really hit my stride as a composer, artist and producer.  The album's overall theme is hopeful and upbeat, promoting "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control"... the fruits of the Spirit, as sung about in the title track.

I hope you'll consider picking up a digital or CD copy of the album.  To do so, visit the Support My Work With a Purchase page on this site. Thanks!


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. I've got about 6 tracks completed. I feel it's the best work I've done, and I can't wait to share it. I'm recording and producing this one in my home studio, a first for me. I hope when it's released, you'll pick up or download a copy, then let me know what you think! 

Here It Comes... 

Winter in a state like Minnesota can be a slow and somewhat tough time for us working musicians. There just aren't as many opportunities to perform as there are in nice weather. Summertime lends itself to additional opportunities, like restaurant patios, marina bars, company picnics, music festivals, city celebrations, etc.  I made it ok through the winter, in fact I enjoyed the additional time off to write, record, and enjoy my cozy house, but now I'm gearing up for a very busy summer. I've already booked 14 shows in June, 16 in July and 18 in August. And I'm not done yet... there are more shows in the works. But I'm thrilled to be blessed with the work... I do not take it for granted. As always, thank you so very much, all you who support me by coming to see me play and/or purchasing music. Have a wonderful summer, and I hope to see you at some of the shows!   

Upcoming Album and Other Uncertainties :) 

I've never been a prolific songwriter. I'm not cranking out a tune a day... in fact, sometimes a month will go by without any concrete creative output. Being that live performance is currently my main source of income, I focus on that first, and write/record when I can. But I do manage to produce a song here and there, and eventually they add up to an album's (or EP's) worth of material. Of course, the reality of the music business is that the traditional "album" is not the dominating music medium it once was. People now "consume" music by streaming, YouTube, downloads, etc.  So, why not just release a single every few weeks and forsake the idea of releasing a traditional album? Well, it may as simple as some of us artists being "old school"... we hate to let music traditions die. And if we wait long enough, some things come back around... for example, vinyl is making a slow but steady comeback (yay!). In a nutshell, I hope to be releasing a new album/record/collection of songs sometime this year. I've got a few pretty good songs in the can already, and when I feel I have enough quality tunes, then I'll let you know, in hopes you'll download a copy, or buy a CD... or better yet, buy an old-fashioned vinyl album--because I might just release it in that form as well!   

On another front, I've also been busy working with music libraries... those are the guys that supply movies, television, and advertising with their background music. I'm creating tracks (some are instrumentals) and shopping them around, and have signed several songs to music libraries already, and have licensed some to various companies. You can hear some of the tracks in the "Today's Top Ten Songs" feature on the Home Sweet Home page of this site. Let me know what you think! 

Heavenly Peace 

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'm still able to sit in my living room at the end of the day, with only the lights of the Christmas tree glowing, and relax and rest in the fact that Jesus came into the world over 2,000 years ago and still gladly gives his peace to those who will only ask for it and then open their minds and hearts to it. Keep that sentiment, focus on the baby Jesus, the grown-up Jesus, the crucified Jesus, and most importantly, the risen Jesus... and you'll find that the noisy static of the outside world is kept at a distance. You can climb into your bed and sleep in heavenly peace. 

Silent night, holy night / Son of God / Love's pure light / Radiant beams from thy holy face / With the dawn of redeeming grace / Jesus, Lord at thy birth / Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

May God bless you, and may you embrace his grace, mercy and peace this holy and beautiful season. 

Goodbye, Tom Petty 

I bought my first Tom Petty album in 1980. It was Damn the Torpedoes, his latest at that time. I loved what I heard... songs like "Refugee", "Here Comes My Girl", "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Even the Losers" had a somehow raw-yet-at-the-same-time-polished sound to which I gravitated. As a new songwriter, I wanted to create music like he did. And I liked his attitude... strongly opinionated, but not forceful or rude. In fact, he was quite the laid-back dude. And he loved The Beatles, and he loved Elvis, and I did too. He also reminded me a bit of my first guitarist, Rick Glenna, in looks and in attitude. I loved that he battled his record company when they were going to charge a dollar more per unit for his about-to-be-released record just because he was a hot commodity and they knew they could get it, and he withheld the master tapes until they agreed to keep it at the going rate for albums, $8.98 at the time. In fact, he threatened to title the album "$8.98" ...and he would have, I'm sure, had they not backed down! (And perhaps that's where the inspiration for that song came from...?) My bands through the years have covered several of his songs, including "I Won't Back Down", "Free Fallin'", "Runnin' Down a Dream", "The Waiting" and "Refugee" to name a few. "The Waiting" is still in my solo show repertoire, and methinks I'll be adding another title or two. 

So, another music legend, another influence on my own craft, has passed. Though I've never met any of my true music idols, they become a part of me, of my psyche... a part of my life. Thankfully we have recordings and video and the internet to keep our legends alive. If you think about it, before these mediums came about, when an artist was gone, they were gone... period. No way to ever hear them again. So I thank God for records, I thank him for films and photos, and I thank him for Tom Petty.

P.S. If you want to see an excellent film biography of Petty's life, check out Runnin' Down a Dream, directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It plays like a good movie... as Tom's life surely did.