Tomberlin: Andalusia is special

Published 12:33 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Songwriter says he found inspiration while working here

Luverne native and Nashville songwriter Bobby Tomberlin attributes his start in the music business to Andalusia.

“Andalusia is so special to me,” Tomberlin said. “Because that is where I met my song writing mentor, Billy Henderson. When I moved to work in Andalusia, I had given up on songwriting and this dream of moving to Nashville to pursue music. I went on a trip with my dad to Nashville and I drove down the street and I saw all of these people and thought to myself, ‘I don’t know anyone here. How am I going to get my foot in the door?’ So I ended up working at this radio station in Andalusia and the very first day I meet this guy named Billy Henderson and he had already had success. He took up time with me and that led me into getting into the music business.”

Tomberlin will open this weekend for  Steve Dorff, whose appearance is part of the Covington Arts Council’s 2019 season. He  said that touring small towns like Andalusia and his hometown of Luverne is important.

“For the most part, I play in bigger venues like in Los Angeles and Nashville,” Tomberlin said. “But any time that I get the chance to do a show in a smaller town, I jump at the opportunity. It just seems like the people in these small towns like Andalusia appreciate having someone come into their town because it doesn’t happen as often.”

The Grammy, Country Music Award and American Country Music nominee said that he enjoys the chance to play music all over the nation.

“This will be my sixth time going to Alaska and I think that is one of my favorite places,” Tomberlin said. “Of course I love playing at the Blue Bird Café in Nashville because it is a very special, intimate listening room and I love performing in the mid section of the U.S., like Michigan. Wherever I am, I am loving it for the most part.”

Ever since Tomberlin was a child, he remembers that music was a part of his life.

“I remember sitting on a tree stump singing ‘I Saw the Light’ when I was like three years old,” Tomberlin said. “I mean I had a make believe radio station in my room when I was five and then I started working as a disc jokey at my home town radio station when I was 11. I was interviewing people like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Keith Whitley and Hank Jr. on the telephone. If there was an artist that would come to Montgomery to perform, my parents would always drive me up there and I would be standing with the press to meet them.” 

Tomberlin’s new CD, Out Of Road, features songs that he wrote with Mac Davis, Bill Anderson, Mo Pitney, Bobby Bare and Dean Dillon.  Guest vocalists on the project include Bobby Bare, Vince Gill, Sylvia, Bill Anderson, Linda Davis, Mo Pitney and Hilary Williams. Tomerblin was a cast member of the CMT hit series, The Singing Bee, for five seasons and appeared in the film, Brake, starring Stephen Dorff.  He is a costar in the upcoming film, Wheeler, with Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson. 

An Evening With Steve Dorff: The Hit Songs and the Stories Behind Them is scheduled for Sat., March 23, from 7 p.m., until 9 p.m., at the LBW Community College Dixon Center for the Performing Arts.

Individual performance tickets are available at Harold’s and at The Star-News, and are $15 in advance. Individual tickets are  $18 at the door and $12 for children.