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Paul Nelson

an article on Tom from 1975!

Here is a piece Paul Nelson wrote about me 31 years ago. He passed on in June 2006. Rolling Stone called him "Rock’s finest critic" and last week he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tom Pacheco spent most of his formative years listening to wild Texas music in the snowbound towns of Massachusetts, and his songs reflect the best of both worlds-the wide-open, tough-tender, rolling-country, romanticism of the high plains drifter and the sturdy, hand-hewn, careful, and conscientious classicism of the New England folk artist. A mythologist for the Main Street everyman, Pacheco draws his inspiration from sources as diverse as the Grand Ole Opry, rock & roll, science-fiction, and, of course, modern country music. (One could list Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, and Ray Bradbury as influences and not be wrong.) He is a distinctly American artist-perhaps even a national regionalist-who appreciates the problems of this country but who chooses to explore neither the political nor the philosophical aesthetics of a post-Kafka Amerika but rather the flesh-and-blood people and passions swallowed up in the Great American Heartland. Here are tales of hometowns and harvests, diners and dance halls, saloons and singles bars, flying saucers, funerals, bikers, bus stations, grandfathers and children, trees and cats, legendary songwriters, murderers, lonesome heroes, and lost loves-all told in a natural direct wonderfully, economic and vigorous style that takes the long as well as the short view. For Tom Pacheco, both the past and the future coexist with the present, and he writes, plays and sings seamlessly and beautifully about all three. I like him a lot.

-PAUL NELSON

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