Prior to MacLear's arrival in Los Angeles, at the of 19, he had spent formative years in London where he found an affinity for all things stringed - including lap slide, bottle neck and pedal steel guitars, dobro, mandolin, banjo and bass. So, when he walked into the legendary Topanga Corral he was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist just as a new kind of country music was being born. Emmylou Harris, the Flying Burrito Brothers the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Crazy Horse were all part of the scene. Soon the Scottish kid was on stage with them on the road this time as a bonafide country music guitar player, literally on any instrument with tightened strings.
Ry Cooder became one of MacLear's close friends, guide and mentor "He was one of the most influential people I ever met," MacLear says. "I learned so much from him. Tom MacLear has followed in Ry Cooder's footsteps, becoming one of the top Bottleneck guitarists in the business today. 'Never will touch Ry's level, but I'm proud to be part of a group of players who carry on his legacy.
MacLear proceeded to have one of those prolific, quiet careers that many true musicians have - not the guys on the marquee - but the ones who write the songs, play whatever lick needs to be played. He has written and or played for Rod Stewart, Annie Lennox, Concrete Blonde, among others.
He enjoyed a career within a career as the front man for the band "MacLear" during the Celtic rock boom, releasing four critically acclaimed CD's, most notably: "Highland's Fire" and "Second Chances" on the Freedom Records Label (BMG/Sweden/Germany) which received generous radio play on RTE Radio Ireland, BB3 Radio Scotland, England and became a festival favorite throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the UK from 1994 thru 2001. He has written screenplays, recently published the critically acclaimed book of poetry 'Inside A String' (published by Water Forest Press) and has produced art for such television shows as "Californication" and "Caveman."
MacLear's philosophy of music is that it is all about the song, all for the sake of the song. "That is the key thing, a good story goes a long way," MacLear says. "To stand on stage and see people ten rows back kissing or hugging because of something you've written or sung - to make people feel better or feel good - is the biggest reward. That's what is so special about art and why I do what I do," he concludes.
Tom MacLear & Friends are gearing up for a strong national radio and performance campaign to remind fans and industry alike that his music and his message is as strong as ever. Tom MacLear & Friends" are here to continue that 'Bloodline' of Southern California Country Rock Music for a good while to come.