Tommy is a founding member of Capricorn Records group Cowboy. While in Macon, GA through most of the 70s, Talton was a studio musician recording with artists such as Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, Bonnie Bramlett, Martin Mull, Corky Lang (West, Bruce and Lang, Mountain, Dickey Betts, Clarence Carter, country legend Kitty Wells, Alex and Livingston Taylor, Arthur Conley of Sweet Soul Music fame, and more. He toured extensively throughout the U.S. with Cowboy and with the Gregg Allman tour, from Carnegie Hall (as special guests) to Fillmore West in San Francisco and most cities in between. Talton was also the guitarist on Gregg Allman’s “Laid Back” album.
How did you get your start?
I was born too late to be a fan of rock & roll’s first wave. I should have missed Elvis Presley’s pre-Army days, but I didn’t mostly thanks to my older sister, who ran around our house singing the Memphis Flash’s early records, along with those of Nat King Cole and others. My interest in guitar began at age eight when I saw an instrument owned by one of my uncles. I plucked one of the strings, saw it vibrate, heard the sound it made and it was all over after that. I was hooked.
What was the biggest surprise or revelation you had when you started?
Really just how fun it was. It really came easy for us. We are all friends, playing music and people were listening. It really just happened for us. I never remember a time when I said, “This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.” I really just kept doing it.
Knowing what you know now, if you could do something over, what would it be?
I probably would have paid more attention and been more aware of what I was going through at the time. I also would make sure that not to let anything get in between me and the music.
If you were to start fresh today and you didn’t have any contacts in the music world, but you had all of your collective knowledge and experience, how would you get started?
I would find a great sound engineer. Someone who is as good, if not better than I am with the music. Engineers are so critical to having your sound be what you want it to be when it’s reproduced. I think in today’s world it’s critical to have a great sound guy. Someone who is excellent at their trade.
Top 3 Takeaways to support your success in the music business:
1) Have pride in your music. Don’t just play anywhere for “a pitcher of beer.” Make sure you become known for the quality and passion of your music.
2) You must be disciplined – disciplined to learn and hone your craft. Really pay attention to what you are doing.
3) Don’t let anything come between you and the flow of the music.