“A couple of days actually we were in there and I didn't even bring my list with me. I'd left it somewhere else and I would just ... play whatever I felt like. And that's the way I do my live shows; that's the way I've done everything.”
In addition to touring with the Mike McClure Band, Skinner has been conducting his Wednesday Science Project for about 12 years. While the Tulsa-based band has moved its weekly gig around from time to time, for the past year, he and his friends have been playing at The Colony.
Also, Cody Canada & The Departed, the Red Dirt Rangers and Stoney LaRue are among the like-minded musicians who have covered Skinner's songs and cited him as an influence.
“I really do appreciate the way those younger guys treat me ‘cause they treat me good, with respect. But it's sort of baffling, too, because I wasn't inventing anything,” Skinner said. “I just wanted to be John Prine or Graham Parsons real bad, you know, that's all I was doing was imitating those guys and playing and having a blast. It wasn't like I was in a lab making any secret thing up.”
While Skinner may be humble about his songwriting and influence, Red Dirt Rangers singer/mandolin player John Cooper lavishly praised both.
“Hey, man, Garth Brooks wanted to be in Tom Skinner's band just like we all did. He was just persistent enough to keep at him until Tom finally said OK,” Cooper said. “You know, we all wanted to be Tom Skinner. The first time I saw Tom ... I was just like ‘This is the coolest thing I've ever seen. I want to do that with those guys.' And I know Garth felt the same way — we all did.”
You know, we all wanted to be Tom Skinner.”
Red Dirt Rangers singer/mandolin player