About Tom Ralston
Tom Ralston is a 4th generation Santa Cruzan. Tom has established and expressed himself as a concrete artist, with many accolades along the way including being inducted into the Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame. He most recently became a Gail Rich award recipient by the Santa Cruz Art Committee. Although Tom did not have formal music training his passions have been writing, poetry and music.
Tom dabbled in music before but in 2005 Tom began writing songs on a piano loaned to him by his friend Patty Damron. Tom took voice lessons from Ariel Thiermann who encouraged him to do a live show. Another vocal teacher Pipa Pinon also encouraged a live show and now both of these teachers are Tom’s back up vocalists.
Gathering the Angels & Friends
Tom played a few original songs at an Ariel Thiermann house concert in December of 2012 and met guitarist and engineer Yuji Tojo. Yuji offered to help make a CD of Tom’s songs at his Harmony Hills Studio. Both Yuji and Tom asked various local Santa Cruz musicians and friends to play on the Tom’s first CD, and voila! Tom’s band, Angels & Friends, was born. Tom has enlisted string players Kristin Garbeff, Shannon Delaney and Jennifer Cass from the Santa Cruz Symphony, Cellist/Arranger Barry Phillips, Saxophone player Gary Regina, bassist Daniel Vee Lewis, Drummer Jimmy Norris (drummer Mike Shannon played on 2 of Tom’s recordings as well as percussionist Gary Kehoe); Jemila Pendleton on vocals, Mateo Lettunich on harp. Tom has written rock and roll songs, a spoken word song, a jazz song and ballads.