Tommy Buller – January Artist Spotlight
Artist Spotlight – January 2023
On the evening of Thursday, May 9th back in 2019, the Country Music Hall of Fame CMA Theater was packed with known artists and the best music one could hear filling the air to honor Keith Whitley. As Lorrie Morgan and Whitley’s son Jesse Keith Whitley hosted the concert, I can only dream of how great the atmosphere was that evening. Honestly, could you imagine a night that gives you music and statements from top acts like Gene Simmons (KISS), Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs, Caleb Daughtery and so many more. “That evening was probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever had the opportunity to do” is the statement Tommy Buller, my January Artist Spotlight, had to say about the evening.
The above greatest opportunity wasn’t even a thought of Tommy’s years ago as a young child starting to sing at the age of four but that shows what having dreams, heroes and working hard can do. Shortly after starting to sing at four, Tommy started playing the guitar. For as long as he can remember, there has been picking and lots of bluegrass pickers around. It’s environments like these that create kids with creativity and imagination. Within just a few years, Tommy was playing with his parent’s band and then began sharing his talent professionally. Throughout the following years, Tommy learned how to play the mandolin but has switched back to the guitar. Now, this doesn’t mean that guitar or mandolin are the instruments he totally loves because he also loved the fiddle, he just couldn’t stand listening to himself practice.
As a boy born on April 29th, in Omaha, Nebraska, Tommy has always had bluegrass in his blood. Bluegrass in Nebraska is not as known as the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail that has a stop known for its pioneer history, museums, and cultural centers. Bluegrass may not be as big as the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, home of the world’s largest indoor desert, world’s largest glazed geodesic dome and North America’s largest indoor rainforest but the traditional bluegrass tunes were strong enough to stay alive within the family circles and inspire young children like Tommy. Tommy has the goal of always staying true to the traditional style of bluegrass but in the same aspect, trying to keep up with the evolving times and music. As bluegrass has continued to grow over the years, sub genres have given bluegrass a wider and new audience, which is great!
Moving to Nashville has given Tommy more opportunities than there were in Nebraska. Although the locations may have changed, the amount of playing stayed the same – Tommy plays as much as he can. Tommy has grown a love for Nashville and all the places located there but Harley’s Country Store and Beer Garden in Bayview Texas (South Texas) is on the top of his ‘favorite places to play” list.
Over the years Tommy, like all others, has been inspired by heroes. Three of Tommy’s heroes are Vince Gill, The Time Jumpers and Keith Whitley. Vince Gill is a well-known American country music singer, songwriter and musician. Vince Gill has sold over 26 million albums, honored with 18 CMA Awards (Country Music Association), earning 22 Grammy Awards, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and many more achievements. The Time Jumpers are a Western swing band that was formed in 1998 by a group of Nashville studio musicians. While The Time Jumpers played regularly at the Station Inn, they moved to a larger venue (3rd & Lindsley in Nashville) where they had many guest artists. Fun fact about these two heroes of Tommy’s is that Vince Gill was actually a member of The Time Jumpers between 2010 and 2020.
The third hero that Tommy looks up to is Keith Whitley. An artist that had two albums released, close to 20 singles on the Billboard country charts, winning a couple CMA awards and being nominated for many other awards in just short time not only made a very powerful impression on Tommy but continues to do the same for him and many others. Keith also was recent inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022. Keith Whitley is that one hero that Tommy would have loved to meet up with and thank him for all the influence that he gave many singers in country and bluegrass. In the coming years, Tommy would love to create a collaboration with Becky Buller (no relation). He has been a fan of hers for years and feels that having the opportunity to work with Becky would be awesome.
The above-mentioned artists may have been heroes to Tommy, but his most inspirational people were his mother and father. They were not only great musicians, but they raised him to keep the faith in the good Lord above. Tommy would give anything to be able to hear her voice again. He would also love to be able to tell his mom all about his babies, his exciting career things, and all about the farmhouse they moved into in Tennessee.
For all of the new/up and coming artists, Tommy would say, “keep at it, never give up, keep your faith in the good Lord above and great things will happen.” As Tommy gives advice to new artists, he also keeps in mind his fans. He always strives to give his fans music that will allow them to feel that special something. He wants his fans to feel that something that his heroes allowed him to feel over the years.
Fast Firing Fun Facts:
What is your favorite Holiday and why? Thanksgiving because I love being around family and I love turkey.
Do you have a nickname? Hahaha – none that I can really share.
What is your favorite drink? I love Pepsi
What is your favorite type of vehicle? One that runs and gets me from point A to point B.
Do you have a hobby outside of music? I love to ride horses and heading out to fish when I can
What is your favorite kind of Ice Cream? Cherry nut
What is your favorite junk food? Doritos
Do you have any pet(s) and what are their names? I have three dogs (Gus, Lucy, and Aretha), four cats (Angel, Milo, Wichita, and one I just call Monster) along with my two horses, seven chickens and two ducks.
News or Upcoming news from artist:
Coming in the near future is a new album that Tommy is proud of. Tommy explained that there are some real personal songs on the album. There is a gospel song that his dad started years ago that Tommy was able to finish with co-writer Bart Hansen. You will also be able to enjoy a song that Tommy wrote about his father. Tommy is excited about sharing the new album with all his fans.
Website for artist, tour dates and/or merchandise:
Check out the artist/band website for all their new songs, tour dates and merchandise. The best way to support our local broadcasters and artists are through their sales – CDs, albums, shirts and etc. Let’s show our support – go check their website.
Learn more about Tommy Buller by visiting www.RBRentertainment.com and keep an eye out for Tommy Buller’s new website coming soon.