The Fox Theater
Flying Fish/Rounder Records Recording Artists
TOM BALL & KENNY SULTAN
"America's Good Time Blues Ambassadors"
Born in Los Angeles on Sonny Terry's birthday (October 24, 1950) Tom began playing guitar at the age of eleven and took up harmonica two years later. A teenage member of the Yerba Buena Blues Band in the mid-1960's, he played Love-Ins and Sunset Strip nightclubs before leaving the country for most of the '70s. In 1978 he came back to the U.S. and teamed up with guitarist Kenny Sultan - a partnership that still flourishes today and has resulted in eight duo CDs and literally thousands of concerts and festivals all over the world.
A noted blues historian, he has written countless articles on the music for various publications and has taught harmonica at the university level. In addition to working with Kenny, Tom has also played on , performed and sung on countless film soundtracks, TV shows and commercials, recorded four solo guitar CDs, written five instructional books and authored a couple of novels.
His solo projects include "Guitar Music" (Kicking Mule/Fantasy 3906-2), "18 Pieces for Solo Steel String Guitar" (Talk-O-Phone 922), "Solo Guitar - Music From Films" (Dog Boy 05), and newly released "Solo Steel-String Guitar Music for the Holidays" (Dog Boy 08). For a free sample and download of a couple tracks, click his MySpace page.
In 2002, Tom's first novel The Marty Graw Book was published by Booklocker. Reviews have included comments like: "hysterically funny," "off-kilter," "touching," "I laughed and cried," "had me laughing hysterically," "loved every minute," and "I think I'll go read it again."
It's not hard to see why Tom has been on the cover of both American Harmonica Newsmagazine and Harmonica World, or why Blues Revue called his playing "stupendous." Meanwhile he has carved out a secondary career as a solo guitarist and "kills time" writing both music books and fiction. His most recent studio projects include playing on the soundtrack to the film "Hoot," (w/Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, etc) and on the latest two Kenny Loggins CDs, "How About Now" and "All Join In."
Currently Tom resides in Santa Barbara with his artist wife Laurie, two antique cats and 1000s of 78 RPM records. His daughter Shay is a renowned singer and model residing in NYC. For more information on Tom's career, feel free to check out his individual website at http://www.tomball.us/.
Kenny Sultan Teaching App
For all you Martin Guitar fans: have you heard of the "Martin Kenny Sultan Signature 000-18"? Check your Martin dealer 'cuz it's now on sale! REF: PDF file.
Martin's Dick Boak states this is "to pay tribute to Acoustic Blues Artist Kenny Sultan. Kenny is an extremely loyal Martin owner, player and advocate with a large following in the blues community."
"He owns, performs with and records with an amazing array of Martin guitars including 1936 0-18, 1939 000-42, 1943 0-18, 1940 00-18, 1936 00-17, 1943 00-17, 1936 000-18, 1943 000-18, 2007 000-18 Kenny Sultan Custom Edition, 1932 OM-18, 1940 D-18, 1951 000-21, 1967 D-12-35."
"Clearly his favorite size and style is a 000-18 Sunburst upon which this Custom Edition is inspired and based."
REF: Santa Barbara Independent March 15, 2007
Kenny has been playing guitar since the age of seven. Soon thereafter, his brother introduced him to the blues of T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins. The effect was permanent.
Confirming his love for music and the blues, he graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he majored in Music/Ethnomusicology.
A noted teacher, he has taught music, guitar and music history at the university level and has conducted countless workshops and seminars. His published instructional works include three books and three videotapes for Centerstream/Hal Leonard, the latest being "The Blues Styles of Kenny Sultan."
In addition to recording with Tom, Kenny has also appeared as a sideman on numerous recordings by other artists, and has two widely acclaimed solo guitar CDs with Solid Air Records.
In 2001, Kenny released his first solo CD, titled "West Coast Blues". At the suggestion of Executive Producer James Jensen to "keep it funky and play from the heart," Kenny states, "This music is played as if I were sitting on my couch around midnight playing for myself." Acoustic Guitar Magazine raved, "Fluid grooves and a slew of very tasty licks."
Kenny's most recent solo project has been the newly released, multi-angle instructional/concert DVD "Kenny Sultan - Guitar Blues", for Warner Brothers/Solid Air. It's been called "a virtual encyclopedia of blues licks and patterns!" The accompanying book "Guitar Blues", has now also been released.
Kenny's Vintage Guitar Magazine in-depth story and interview
Further info on all the Kenny and/or Tom products can be obtained by clicking on the titles (or pictures) below.
Check it out, and join their host of friends.
Please note that all CDs, books, videos, etc, are also available by mail order directly from Tom & Kenny, and at prices probably less than what your friendly neighborhood web store might charge! The boys are also happy to sign and/or personalize any of these products. For information please feel free to Email either Tom or Kenny.
Tom and Kenny were featured artists at the 38th Annual SPAH Convention, the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, held in Denver, Colorado, August 15-19, 2001. In addition to their concert, they also conducted workshops that were extremely valuable. SPAH, international in scope, is the largest harmonica society in the world, and many of its members make the annual trip to the conventions to see, hear, and meet their idols, as well as attend workshops and jam with their friends.
|Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan
Tom and Kenny have been bringing their unique blend of guitar and harmonica blues, rags and good time music to widely diverse audiences for more than 25 years. Their live performances include concerts, clubs and festivals all over the world, and they were the only musical act in America to play all four venues of the 1984 Olympic Games.
Together and separately they have worked on countless film scores, TV soundtracks, commercials and sessions. They've appeared on television internationally, were featured on the "Levi's 501 Blues" commercials, have played for audiences of 300 million via Voice of America and are frequent guests of National Public Radio. Their eight duo albums have garnered much critical acclaim throughout the world, and their music from the film "Over The Edge" won the duo the prestigious Telly Award in 1994.
At home wherever they go, Tom and Kenny fit in at blues, folk, bluegrass and jazz festivals, and their extensive teaching backgrounds make them a natural choice for college campuses or venues which feature workshops. Because their music is a blend of American roots styles, they are regulars overseas, drawing rave reviews wherever they go.
Tom and Kenny are equally at home as a headliner or as an opening act, and over the years they have shared the stage with some of the very best, including the likes of Luther Allison, The Allman Brothers, The Beach Boys, Norman Blake, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Blues Brothers, David Bromberg, Gatemouth Brown, Jackson Browne, Ray Charles, Clifton Chenier, Ry Cooder, Albert Collins, Elvis Costello, James Cotton, Robert Cray, Christopher Cross, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Freddy Fender, Vince Gill, Nancy Griffith, David Grisman, John Hammond, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, Jeff Healy, Don Henley, Billy Idol, Iron Maiden, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Albert King, B.B. King, Leo Kottke, Alison Krauss, Fela Kuti, David Lindley, Living Color, Kenny Loggins, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Kathy Mattea, John Mayall, Michael McDonald, Brownie McGhee, Jim Messina, Bill Monroe, Van Morrison, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Willie Nelson, Neville Brothers, Newgrass Revival, Randy Newman, Johnny Otis, Queen Ida, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Rice, Seldom Scene, Paul Simon, Simple Minds, Michelle Shocked, Ricky Skaggs, Koko Taylor, George Thorogood, Toto, Big Joe Turner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Doc & Merle Watson, Junior Wells, and many, many more...
|What others are saying:
Blues Revue: "Stupendous playing."
Tom and Kenny in the LA Times - Feb 16, 2001
Tom and Kenny in Acoustic Guitar - Dec 2001
Tom and Kenny in Santa Barbara Independent - Dec 2002
Tom in Palisadian Post Online - Feb 27, 2003
Tom in American Harmonica Newsletter - Jan/Feb 2003
Kenny in Food & Home - 2nd Quarter 2008
Tom & Kenny in Traveling Boy - April 2008
Tom & Kenny in Big City Blues - Aug-Sep 2009
- Tom & Kenny in
Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine - Fall 2010 (1 of 3)
- Tom & Kenny in the SCENE - Sep 24-30, 2010
- Tom & Kenny in
- Tom & Kenny in
- Kenny's Vintage Guitar
April 11, 2012
Cold Spring Tavern
on most Sunday afternoons when they are not touring.
Next upcoming out-of-town events:
08/14/12 - Dallas, TX - SPAH Convention (Tom) 08/15/12 - Dallas, TX - SPAH Convention (Tom) 08/16/12 - Dallas, TX - SPAH Convention (Tom) 08/25/12 - Santa Barbara, CA - Lobero Theater (w/ Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur)
Harpers' International Giglist
Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan are available for tours, concerts, festivals,
For bookings outside the U.S., contact:
To automatically get on Tom & Kenny's email mailing-list and be
advised of upcoming
|Confusion||Sonyatone ST-1006||1981||LP (out of print)|
|Who Drank My Beer?||Kicking Mule KM-176||1983||LP (out of print)|
|Bloodshot Eyes||Flying Fish FF-386||1986||LP||CS||CD|
|Too Much Fun||Flying Fish FF-532||1990||LP||CS||CD|
|Filthy Rich||Flying Fish FF-619||1993||CS||CD|
|Double Vision||Flying Fish/Rounder FF-656||1996||CS||CD|
|Guitar Music||Kicking Mule Records KMCD-3906-2||1987/1996||CS||CD|
|20th Anniversary - LIVE!||No Guru Entertainment NG 2000-2||2000||CD|
|West Coast Blues||Solid Air Records SRCD-2013||2001||CD|
|Guitar Blues||Solid Air Records SRCD-2037||2002||CD|
|18 Pieces for Solo Steel String Guitar||Talk-O-Phone 922||2003||CD|
|Happy Hour||No Guru Entertainment NG 2005-2||2005||CD|
|Music from Films||Dog Boy 05||2007||CD|
|'Tis The Season||Dog Boy 08||2009||CD|
|Cole Porter Delovely||Solid Air Anthology - One Track by Kenny||2009||CD|
|Poppin' Guitars||Solid Air Anthology - One Track by Kenny||2009||CD|
|My Favorite Martin||Solid Air Anthology - One Track by Kenny||2009||CD|
Books by Tom Ball:
Books by Kenny Sultan:
Videos by Kenny Sultan:
For those of you who live near Santa Barbara or plan a visit, both Tom and Kenny teach private lessons downtown (Kenny on guitar, Tom on diatonic harp.)
Films and TV Shows featuring
For details and samples of Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan recordings, click Rounder
Come Back Often
Update: April 12, 2012
Copyright © 1999-2012 Ball & Sultan
All rights reserved