Tom Breiding

Last updated

Tom Breiding is an American musician, originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. [1] He has released 14 albums, beginning with his 1992 release Railroad Town, and provided guitar or vocal tracks for several other albums by other artists, including several records with fellow Pittsburgh artist Bill Toms.


Music career

Breiding was a staff writer for Tom Collins at Collins Music Corporation, on Nashville's Music Row in 1991. At that time, Collins was the largest independent publisher in Country Music in the United States, responsible for launching the careers of Barbara Mandrell and Ronnie Milsap. The exclusive publishing deal with Collins allowed Breiding to collaborate and make contacts with many other writers, artists, and publishers. The resulting catalog of material was purchased by Acuff Rose/Opryland Music in November 1999, and later by Sony/ATV in 2002.

Beginning with his 1992 release Railroad Town, Breiding has released 14 albums. He has also provided guitar or vocal tracks for several other albums by other artists, including several records with fellow Pittsburgh artist Bill Toms. He has been the full-time guitarist in Toms' band, Hard Rain, since 2002.

Breiding's television and radio appearances include Humanities on the Road on Pennsylvania Cable Network. His performance of "Steeltowns, Coalfields, and The Unbroken Circle" won a Tele Award for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

In 2008, Breiding worked with Pittsburgh artist Rick Malis on When We Shine, a compilation CD celebrating Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary. The project was funded by a regional asset grant to Calliope: Pittsburgh Folk Music Society. Brieding and Malis conducted writing seminars with student songwriters and collaborated on all of the album's 15 tracks. The album was produced and engineered by Tom at AmeriSon Studio in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

His most successful release is The Unbroken Circle: Songs of the West Virginia Coalfields which spent 16 weeks in the top 100 of the Americana charts in 2008, peaking at #55.

Songs from Breiding's 2011 release Beauty in Paradise were featured for seven consecutive weeks on Echoes, a syndicated radio program broadcast on more than 500 public radio stations across America.


Breiding is actively involved with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), providing the music for the Fairness at the Patriot campaign in 2013 and 2014. He also made contributions to the Centennial Commemoration of the Ludlow Massacre and the 2015 Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas. In 2016 he performed on Capitol Hill in front of 10,000 union members to petition the U.S. Government to ensure cradle-to-grave healthcare for the country's coal miners. [2] He also performed in front of thousands in support of 1,100 striking Warrior Met coal miners in Brookwood, Alabama. [3] Much of Breiding's work with the UMWA is documented in his 2015 album and film release River, Rails or Road.

He has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and an educator in the area of art for Gateway to the Arts in Pittsburgh.


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mother Jones</span> Irish-born American labor and community organizer (1837–1930)

Mary G. Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones from 1897 onwards, was an Irish-born American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent union organizer, community organizer, and activist. She helped coordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nitty Gritty Dirt Band</span> American band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country rock band formed in 1966. The group has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California. Between 1976 and 1981, the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ApologetiX</span>

ApologetiX is an American Christian parody band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The band was founded in 1990, and since then, has played in almost all 50 states, released 40 studio albums, and built up a fan club that includes over 65,000 people. The band is currently composed of J. Jackson on vocals, Keith Haynie on bass guitar, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner on drums, Bill Hubauer and Chris VonBartheld on keyboard, and Tom Milnes and Tom Tincha, both on lead guitar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mystery Train</span> Song written by Junior Parker

"Mystery Train" is a song written and recorded by American blues musician Junior Parker in 1953. Originally performed in the style of a Memphis blues or rhythm and blues tune, it was inspired by earlier songs and later became a popular rockabilly song, as first covered by Elvis Presley, then numerous others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coal strike of 1902</span>

The Coal strike of 1902 was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners struck for higher wages, shorter workdays, and the recognition of their union. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to major American cities. At that time, residences were typically heated with anthracite or "hard" coal, which produces higher heat value and less smoke than "soft" or bituminous coal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Rush</span> American singer-songwriter (born 1941)

Thomas Walker Rush is an American folk and blues singer and songwriter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vassar Clements</span> American jazz, swing, and bluegrass fiddler

Vassar Carlton Clements was an American jazz, swing, and bluegrass fiddler. Clements has been dubbed the Father of Hillbilly Jazz, an improvisational style that blends and borrows from swing, hot jazz, and bluegrass along with roots also in country and other musical traditions.

<i>Will the Circle be Unbroken</i> (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album) 1972 studio album by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Will the Circle be Unbroken is the seventh studio album by American country music group The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with collaboration from many famous bluegrass and country-western players, including Roy Acuff, "Mother" Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Merle Travis, Pete "Oswald" Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, and others. It also introduced fiddler Vassar Clements to a wider audience. The album was released in November 1972, through United Artists Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Blair Mountain</span> Violent early 20th century American labor dispute

The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest labor uprising in United States history and the largest armed uprising since the American Civil War. The conflict occurred in Logan County, West Virginia, as part of the Coal Wars, a series of early-20th-century labor disputes in Appalachia. Up to 100 people were killed, and many more arrested.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Hutchison</span> American singer

Frank Hutchison was an American early country blues and Piedmont blues musician and songwriter. Okeh Records promotional materials referred to him as “The Pride of West Virginia,” and he is thought to be the first non-African American musician to record in the country blues idiom. Hutchison was best known as a slide guitar player, where he held the guitar in his lap and used a pen knife as a slide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eric Andersen</span> American musician

Eric Andersen is an American folk music singer-songwriter, who has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead and many others. Early in his career, in the 1960s, he was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene. After two decades and sixteen albums of solo performance he became a member of the group Danko/Fjeld/Andersen.

The Westmoreland County coal strike of 1910–1911, or the Westmoreland coal miners' strike, was a strike by coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers of America. The strike is also known as the Slovak Strike because about 70 percent of the miners were Slovak immigrants. It began in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on March 9, 1910, and ended on July 1, 1911. At its height, the strike encompassed 65 mines and 15,000 coal miners. Sixteen people were killed during the strike, nearly all of them striking miners or members of their families. The strike ended in defeat for the union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Powers Hapgood</span> American politician

Powers Hapgood (1899–1949) was an American trade union organizer and Socialist Party leader known for his involvement with the United Mine Workers in the 1920s.

<i>Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two</i> 1989 studio album by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two is a 1989 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album follows the same concept as the band's 1972 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which featured guest performances from many notable country music stars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bashful Brother Oswald</span> American musician

Beecher Ray "Pete" Kirby, better known as Bashful Brother Oswald, was an American country musician who popularized the use of the resonator guitar and Dobro. He played with Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

<i>Jack Elliott</i> (album) American folk musician

Jack Elliott is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1964. It was his only principal release on the Vanguard label.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Story (British band)</span>

The Story is an English psychedelic folk duo comprising the former Forest member Martin Welham and his son Tom Welham. They write and record melodic songs that range from psychedelic pop to stream-of-consciousness folk and play an array of predominantly acoustic instruments as a backdrop to their blend of vocal harmonies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colorado Coalfield War</span> 1913-1914 labor uprising in Southern Colorado

The Colorado Coalfield War was a major labor uprising in the Southern and Central Colorado Front Range between September 1913 and December 1914. Striking began in late summer 1913, organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) after years of deadly working conditions and low pay. The strike was marred by targeted and indiscriminate attacks from both strikers and individuals hired by CF&I to defend its property. Fighting was focused in the southern coal-mining counties of Las Animas and Huerfano, where the Colorado and Southern railroad passed through Trinidad and Walsenburg. It followed the 1912 Northern Colorado Coalfield Strikes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coal Wars</span> Series of armed labor conflicts in the US (1890 to 1930)

The Coal Wars were a series of armed labor conflicts in the United States, roughly between 1890 and 1930. Although they occurred mainly in the East, particularly in Appalachia, there was a significant amount of violence in Colorado after the turn of the century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elizabeth Hayes</span> American physician (1912–1984)

Elizabeth Hayes, known as Dr. Betty Hayes, was an American physician who drew widespread attention in 1945 for protesting the unsanitary conditions in Force, Pennsylvania, a company-owned coal town where sewage was contaminating the drinking water. Fearing a typhoid outbreak, Hayes, the company doctor, asked her employer, Shawmut Mining Co., to clean up the town and provide another source of water. When Shawmut refused, Hayes quit her job, and 350 miners struck for nearly five months in support of her.


  1. Behe, Regis (March 27, 2005). "High-caliber talent flies below the radar in Western PA". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review .
  2. "The promise of 1946".
  3. "At a massive union rally the promise of a better south".