SHEFFIELD -- Tom Ingersoll is one of Berkshire County's Renaissance men. In addition to running his own business, he's a musician and a heck of a baseball player, having just led his team to the Berkshire Adult League Championship. But music, or more specifically, making music, is his first love, and he talks about that process, his early influences as well as what happened to his first guitar.
Q: When did you realize you had an interest in music?
A: In my early to mid-teens, I started dabbling with a guitar and a piano. By my late teens, I was writing songs.
Q: What was the first instrument you bought for yourself?
A:When I was 15, I bought my own acoustic guitar. I really loved that guitar, and maybe five years later, I was at a beach party and I left it at the beach. And when I went back the next morning it was gone. It killed me. I loved that guitar.
Q: You are primarily a guitar player. Do you play any other instruments?
A: Well, I have a house full of instruments: Mandolins, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, a drum kit. It's sort of fun to be in a house like that, where you trip over one of them and start fooling around with it. But mostly guitar, some piano.
Q: What did you listen to when you were growing up?
A: I was very fortunate to have two older half-siblings, and I listened to a lot of their stuff, mostly the Beatles and bubblegum 45s. Specifically, beside the Beatles, the Zombies, the Union Gap, the Moody Blues, the Monkees, the Turtles. Stuff that was fairly simple structurally, with pretty basic harmonies.
But a few years later, I discovered FM radio, and that turned me onto Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, ZZ Top. I loved that stuff.
Q: You have two CDs out ["Breakfast" and "Crunch" ]. Talk a little about the process of producing them.
A: I started recording "Breakfast" in 1996 with some of the local guys who were my musical heroes: Steve Ide, Bobby MacVeety, Dave Lincoln, to name them.
It took about a year and half to do each of them, and I'm about halfway through my next one. But if you added all the time together, it's more like a couple of weeks.
Q: So why the extended time frame?
A:Well, family, and work and other things get in the way. It's trying to figure out the scheduling that's the hardest. Say I need Steve Ide to do some work. Well, I have to contact him, drop off a little demo tape of what I'm looking for, and then we have to work out when he's coming over to record it. And maybe he gets it down in one session, and maybe we need more time, and so we have to schedule that.
Q: But you clearly enjoy the process, despite how long it takes.
A: I love being in the studio. It's fascinating to me. There are things that happen in the studio by accident that can be inspired. I love sharing ownership of the music with other musicians. I really enjoy what other people bring to the table, their interpretation of it.
Q: Back to working live. You are mostly a solo musician. Are there any Berkshire venues you enjoy?
A: Oh yeah. Dewey Hall in Sheffield is a great place to play. A great room. I can't say enough about the Gypsy Joynt in Great Barrington, and how they've worked to bring local live music to people. The Lion's Den is a great room, and the Old Egg in Egremont was the ultimate.
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