DORSET-RAISED Tom Waters is playing a homecoming gig with his band Electric People at Dorchester Corn Exchange later this month.
Tom, 22, has spent most of his life in music, accompanying his Dad Ben, Mum Ruth and sister Molly from a very early age on tours with Charlie Watts, Jools Holland, Ronnie Wood and other well-known blues and jazz musicians.
The young Waters children would travel on the tour bus, go to the sound checks and soak up all the sights and sounds.
Tom got his first sax after travelling to Edinburgh at the age of five to see his dad play with Rocket 88 and hearing Willie Garnett and Don Weller, two of the UK’s finest sax players, play for the first time.
Charlie Watts was so impressed he let Tom do a few tunes with the band despite his tender age.
Charlie invited Tom to Hyde Park to see the Rolling Stones in 2013 – and organised a saxophone lesson with top sax players Bobby Keys and Tim Ries, who also presented Tom with a new sax to help him on his way.
Tom attended school at Broadmayne and Puddletown when the family lived in Owermoigne but left secondary school to tour with his father – his mum teaching him where she could and the rest of his education being done by distance learning.
Tom did 900 shows worldwide between the ages of 13 and 16 and in that time also got to play with second-line bands from New Orleans – Southern Komfort Brass Band – chart-topping pop bands from Canada – Broken Social Scene – and the great Keito Saito in Japan.
He was offered a place at the prestigious Purcell Schools of Music in London aged 16 and there met his good friend Jack Thomas, who now plays drums in the Electric People. The pair have played in many different bands and went on to The Royal Academy of Music together.
Tom played virtually every night while living in London and became a regular at Ronnie Scott’s, The 606 and countless other clubs.
Ben, who lives in Sherborne, said: “Touring regularly from a young age led Tom to meet all sorts of musicians around the country and one was Marcus Praestgard-Stevens, at Coolham, a modern wonder of the world. How can any 18-year-old play the guitar that well? He is a virtuoso and Tom is delighted to have him in the band.
“It also led to him meeting the last piece of the jigsaw, the great Artie Zeitz, playing the Hammond like he has six hands. He plays right-hand solos and left-hand pads and then plays the bass –remember, there is no bass player in this band – with his feet.
“This is almost a lost art, and when Artie has two Leslie speakers on the stage and a Hammond organ, it is one of the biggest sounds around.”
Tom has an impressive CV having recorded with The Rolling Stones and Sir Ray Davies, played in the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and performed hundreds of sell-out shows worldwide.
It is hoped the homecoming show will be a special night, celebrating the music he loves – blues, rock, jazz and electric.
Local legends The George Hall Trio will be special guests for the night and will open the show at Dorchester
Corn Exchange on Friday, April 28, at 8pm.
Tickets priced £22 are available from tomwaters.co.uk