• “The most powerful songwriter in Ireland, if not the rest of the world.”
    Sing Out! Magazine
  • “Most gifted songwriter.”
    Irish Times
  • “Stirring, spellbinding performance.”
    Earle Hitchener, Irish Echo
  • “A master storyteller.”
    Dirty Linen Magazine
  • “His songs are unforgettable stories.”
    Radio Leipzig
  • “Richly talented singer and songwriter.”
    Boston Globe
  • “Tommy Sands is the only man, without a private army, who can intimidate me.”
    Loyalist politician David Ervine
  • “Through people like Tommy Sands, there will be an answer.”
    Belfast Telegraph

Tommy Sands, County Down's singer-songwriter and social activist has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. From the pioneering days with the highly influential Sands family, sharing Irish music from New York's Carnegie Hall to Moscow's Olympic Stadium, Tommy has developed into one of the most powerful songwriters and enchanting solo performers in Ireland today. He enjoys celebrity status in his homeland and elsewhere, tempered by artistic integrity and the sorrow of personal tragedy in his war-torn homeland.

Walking the road between protestant and Catholic, Tommy dreams of improving that reality. As part of the acclaimed Sands family, one of the most important traditional groups in the early years of Ireland’s folk revival, Tommy has worked to add beauty to the world and to point out where it still needs improvement.

Tommy’s songwriting draws the admiration of Nobel Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney, “You feel you can trust the singer as well as the song,” and the father of folk music Pete Seeger, “Tommy Sands has achieved that difficult but wonderful balance between knowing and loving the traditions of his home and being concerned with the future of the whole world.”

His songs, “There Were Roses” and “Daughters and Sons,” have been recorded by Joan Baez, Dick Gaughan, Dolores Keane, Seán Keane, Kathy Mattea, Frank Patterson, and The Dubliners. Tommy’s songs have been translated into other languages and are included in the English language syllabus in German secondary schools.

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“Shows the rare gift of combining objectivity with passion. His fine mellow prose sparkles with humour and compassion.” Frank McCourt

With a Fenian fiddle in one ear and an Orange drum in the other, Tommy Sands was reared in the foothills of Moume Mountains. His family was immersed in folk music — his father played fiddle, his mother accordion. Their kitchen was a place where protestant and Catholic farmers alike would gather to sing at the end of a day's harvesting. Tommy’s latest book, The Songman, published in the UK in 2005 and in the US in 2007, is the story of his remarkable journey through the turbulent days of the civil rights movement; encounters with the Bothy Band, Pete Seeger, and Ian Paisley; and a “defining moment” during the Good Friday Agreement talks.