tom-rule-headshotWhat would you get if you put Dave Brubeck, George Winston, Spyrogyra, Mozart, Haydn, Debussy, and Larry Fast in a recording studio that was next to a church with a killer pipe organ cranked to 11?

Arguably, Tom Rule.

Known for creative music and bad puns that are given with a smile, Tom Rule is a Macon, GA musician boasting 30-plus years of music experience as an award-winning artist and sound engineer. He has produced six albums, has credits on well over a dozen others, and has been named one of Macon’s top artists. Tom’s album it Should Be Called CHRISTmas was named best Christmas album of 2018  by Enlightened Piano Radio.

Rule has 20+ years teaching in higher education in computer and music at three universities (Mercer University, Middle Georgia State College, and Chattanooga State). He also accompanies the First Presbyterian Church choir in Macon, Ga., and can be seen playing the occasional gig around town – or teaching music lessons at Young America Music School.

Bands? Yes, he’s played in a few – from the Grapevine to the Bob Huellemeir Big Band to his own tom&co, along with the Joey Stuckey Band. He has spent time creating jazz, classical, and Christmas music in Macon, GA, Chattanooga, TN, and Columbia, SC.

Tom is happily married to his wife, has two adult children and two daughters-in-law that he likes better than his sons, and claims they all keep bringing more gray hair to his head.

Some fun facts:

  • He’s left handed
  • Thoroughly enjoys a good Pearls Before Swine, Peanuts, or Runes cartoon
  • You can’t pay him with a good coffee…but you might be able to bribe him
  • Dislikes watching most sporting events, except baseball
  • Has an “Enchanted Biker Cap” you should ask him about
  • Listens to more jazz and classical music than anything else
  • Might be the epitome of one who tells dad jokes*
  • Makes a mean homemade pizza
  • Has been known as the “Macon Mac Guy” and “The iPad Guy”
  • Will always remember the two times he beat his sports-loving son in an NCAA Bracket Challenge, with no research.

*Sponsored by his wife and children.

Q&A with Tom Rule:

What was the biggest challenge in creating the CHRISTmas album?

“Three things: Timing, originality, and ‘magic.’ Timing is easy to understand – balancing family life, a full-time and two part-time gigs, plus people’s schedules makes producing an album tricky at times.

Finding music that people will know they’ll enjoy but being original and different – especially with Christmas music – requires some research and trial and error. And when you’re trying to weave in elements of jazz, classical, funk, and more, that makes it a creative trial when you’re stuck!

And finally, what we call magic. Each piano part had some planning and framework, but is improvised. It usually took about five takes to get the solo piano pieces to a level of magic where Joey Stuckey (my producer) and I thought it should be.”

What made you want to do another album?

“The thought kept floating around in my head, even though I tried to forget about it. Finally, I figured I’d start writing music and see if the thought stuck around…which, obviously, it did. In retrospect, I was probably crazy to try this thing! I hope people find the final product worth the effort.”

This Macon, Ga musician has plenty of Christmas music, jazz, and classical for you to listen to. Click here for more!

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