Alan Tompkins is a true Renaissance man, what once was called a dilletante without a hint of disparagement.
Growing up in western Kentucky, he developed a passion for traditional music, and found that he possessed a knack for playing and singing bluegrass and Gospel songs. After relocating to Texas and obtaining both an MBA and JD, Tompkins has pursued a career in business near Dallas. He has remained active in the local music community, where he hosts a popular bluegrass radio show, and where he founded the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.
The Foundation, which Alan serves as President, is a non-profit that exists to promote bluegrass music through education and live performance. They help promote the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival, a free 2-day event held in Farmer’s Branch, TX.
Bluegrass Heritage was also the source of the Fanning The Fire film which we had discussed last year at Bluegrass Today. The idea for this short project, which follows a teen guitarist from his early interest in bluegrass to a stage set on the Foundation’s festival, was Tompkins’, and he provided the initial funding himself to get it off the ground. Since its 2011 release, the film has been awarded prizes in the documentary category at a number of film festivals.
But Alan is an artist at heart, and is set to release his first recorded project, No Part Of Nothin’, in June. The title is a self-deprecating nod to his own amateur status, playing off Bill Monroe’s iconic reference used to describe music he didn’t find worthy of his attention.
It’s hardly an apt description of the music Tompkins has slated for release, however. Accompanying him as lead singer are stellar bluegrass artists like Ron Stewart, Mike Bub, Stephen Mogin, Sam Bush, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Randy Kohrs and several others.
A debut single is available today, Alan’s bluesy take on the Gospel classic, This World Is Not My Home, popularized by Jim Reeves in 1962.
This World Is Not My Home: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/tompkins.mp3]
The track is available to radio programmers at Airplay Direct.
I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from No Part Of Nothin’.