Dr Tom Attah is a practising musician, and Popular Music Performance Course Leader at Leeds Arts University. His Ph.D. in Popular Music was awarded by University of Salford. His research interests focus on the effects of technology on popular music and society, such as these relate to power, gender, media, history, race and discourse.

Tom’s academic writing includes international peer-review articles and book-reviews. Tom is currently co-editing a book for Routledge concerning the nature of narratives in popular music writing, and his chapter concerning the role of the north of England in the development of blues music is included in the edited volume ‘Sounds Northern: Popular Music Culture and Place in England’s North’ to be published by Equinox in 2018.

As a guitarist and singer, Tom performs solo, with an acoustic duo and as part of an electric band. Tom’s solo acoustic work includes his own original blues songs and has led to performances at major international music festivals. Tom’s music can be heard daily at Mayfair, London, where his compositions and recorded performances play in the former residence of Jimi Hendrix. Tom’s multiple national media appearances include performances and documentaries for the BBC and Sky Arts.

International festival appearances include:

  • Glastonbury Festival of the Performing Arts (UK)
  • Blues Sur Seine (France)
  • The British Invasion (Russia)
  • International Blues Challenge (US)
  • Blues Au Chateau (France)
  • The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival (UK)
  • Maverick Americana Festival (UK)

Solo tours and one-off shows include venues in Israel, United States, France, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Greece and Mexico.

PUBLICATIONS

Stories We Could Tell: narratives in the history of rock & roll (co-editor with Duffett, M & Halligan, B), Routledge Press (2018).

I thought I heard that up north whistle blow - the role of Manchester and Leeds in the Dissemination of blues music and blues culture (book chapter), Equinox Press (2018).

Halls without walls: examining the development, dissemination and perpetuation of the discourse on blues music and blues culture in the digital age, University of Salford (2017).

Sheila, take a bow: remembering Professor Sheila Whiteley (with Ferrett, D & Finding, D & Lloyd C & Inglis, I & Rambarran, S & Spelman N & Scott, DB & Warner, S), Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music (2016).

Feels Like Going Home: Mythologising the Story of the Blues A Contriatempo, the online Journal of Popular Music (2013).

Commissioned review: Popular Music and Society - the Fandom Issue, Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music (2013).

Mythbusting #7: The blues is a traditional style unaffected by technology, Blues in Britain Magazine (2013).

Mythbusting #6: Al Wilson had to re-teach Son House how to play the guitar, Blues in Britain Magazine (2013).

Mythbusting #5: Eric Burdon and the origins of The House of the Rising Sun, Blues in Britain Magazine (2013).

Mythbusting #4: Was Muddy Waters really painting the ceiling at Chess records when he met the Rolling Stones?, Blues in Britain Magazine (2013).

Commissioned review: The Jimi Hendrix Companion, Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music (2012).

Mythbusting #3: Was W.C. Handy really the father of the blues?, Blues in Britain Magazine (2012).

Mythbusting #2: Robert Johnson sells his soul to the devil, Blues in Britain Magazine (2012).

Mythbusting #1: Leadbelly sings his way out of prison, Blues in Britain Magazine (2012).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Halls without walls: examining the development, dissemination and perpetuation of blues music and blues culture in the digital age. Royal Musical Association, University of Liverpool, Digital Folk Symposium, University of Sheffield (2017).

Ain’t no grave can hold my body down: exploring the persistence of mythology in blues music and blues culture. Equal Platforms Conference, University of Gloucester (2017).

To make purple, you need blue: Prince and the modern blues aesthetic. Purple reign Conference, University of Salford (2017).

Sheila, take a bow: remembering Professor Sheila Whiteley (plenary session with Dr. Nicola Spelman). International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), University of Sussex (2016).

From the Delta to the Download: Influence and Effects of Technology in the Blues Innovation in Popular Music. Leeds College of Music (2014).

Whose Blues?: Issues of Identity and Ownership in Contemporary Blues Music Culture and Performance. International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), University of Glasgow (2013).

Feels Like Going Home: Mythologising the Story of the Blues International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), University of Salford (2012).