was born on Tyneside and brought up in a pub on
the famous Scotswood Road with clientele drawn
from the Irish and Scottish communities. This is
where he first experienced traditional singing and
fiddle music; the Hornpipes of James Hill amongst
his first influences. 50 years on Tom McConville
is widely acknowledged as THE authority on the
music of James Hill and produced the first CD
devoted entirely to Hill’s compositions.
musical journey started in the North East folk
clubs in the early 70s. Newcastle’s thriving
Irish scene provided the opportunity, with his
first band, to support Sean McGuire, John Doonan,
The Fureys, Boys of the Lough and even a lock-in
with The Dubliners. Tom still credits the
legendary Sean McGuire, the fiddle genius from
Belfast, for teaching him his bowing techniques.
professional in 1974 he joined Bob Fox in a duo
then folk/rock band Magna Carta to play all over
Europe. A memorable partnership with Kieron Halpin
produced two award winning albums and top billing
at The Cambridge Folk Festival.
next group Dab Hand made several visits to the USA
where Tom met with another of his hero fiddlers,
Byron Berline. After a spell with Syncopace and a
partnership with guitarist Chris Newman, Tom spent
the next 11 years recording & touring with
Northumbrian piper Pauline Cato.
new venture brought great success and immense
respect from his peers and public alike.
Throughout his many collaborations he has
continued his solo show at venues large and small.
“A sandpaper-dry wit, eye-watering skill on
the fiddle, great vocals... you just can't help
feeling that a performance by Tom is like visiting
an old friend” is how one folk club
organiser describes him.
saw Tom working with Scots instrumentalist of the
year, Aaron Jones & All-Ireland Champion
flute, fiddle and whistle ace Claire Mann. Along
with Kieran Boyle, Peter Tickell, Dave Wood &
Kevin McGuire, Tom completed a stunning solo C.D.
Tommy on the Bridge. Musically brilliant,it
attracted great critical acclaim. Two more solo
albums followed: Tommy on Song and Tommy on the
Road. Tours with these albums played a major part
in Tom being voted Musician of the Year at the BBC
Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Tom has travelled extensively as a duo with David
Newey and with three & four piece line ups
featuring David, Shona Kipling, Phil Murray and
for his musical accompaniments, Tom has played on
hundreds of albums. The list includes: Barbara
Dickson, Richard Thompson, Allan Taylor and
Lindisfarne. Whilst he has shared stages
throughout the world with Stephan Grappelli, Sean
McGuire, Mark O'Connor, Paul Brady and The
Chieftains, Tom has never forgotten his roots and
is as happy in the intimate atmosphere of a small
folk club as he is at the largest festivals. Tom
McConville is a world class act!