Tommy Talton, born January 9, 1949 in Orlando, Florida, was an American guitarist, known in
particular for his slide playing and his extraordinary ability to find and play the essential notes to serve
the piece, without ever overdoing it. . American music fans know him best for having played with
Cowboy, Gregg Allman and during numerous recording sessions with Paul Butterfield, Allman
Brothers Band, Bonnie Bramlett, Clarence Carter, Corky Laing, Billy Joe Shaver, Dickey Betts, Kitty
Wells , Martin Mull, Johnny Rivers, the TSS trio (Talton, Sandlin and Stewart), The Rebelizers and
We the People.

At eight years old, before he even picked up a guitar or a bottleneck, Talton would slip a transistor
radio under his pillow at night and stay awake for hours, listening to local Orlando radio stations
WDBO, WHOO or WLOF. In this way, Talton began to develop an early ear for musical nuances. He
began to notice early on how the guitar and drummer played in relation to each other, or how the
keyboard worked with the drummer and singer. Talton paid particular attention to impeccable
harmonies, listening to vocal groups like the Everly Brothers. Initially influenced by Elvis Presley,
admirer of Sam Cooke, he also discovered the guitar around 8 years old with one of his uncles and
seriously studied it from 13, participating in We the People, which he left at 18 before, in 1969, joining
Cowboy, in which he played alongside pianist Chuck Leavell.

Cowboy was trained in Jacksonville, Florida. The core of the group therefore consisted of songwriters
Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton, with other band members coming and going at fairly regular intervals.
They will then record four albums. Shortly after forming, Cowboy was recommended to Capricorn
Records by Duane Allman, with whom Tommy Talton had become a close friend, and in 1970-71 it
went on the road as the opening act for the Allman Brothers. The album, "5'll Getcha Ten", was
released in 1971. Again produced by Johnny Sandlin, the album was recorded partly at Capricorn
Studios in Macon, Georgia, and partly at the legendary Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama. Songs on
the album included Boyer's "All My Friends" which was later covered by Gregg Allman on his 1973
album "Laid Back", and "Please Be With Me", also written by Boyer, certainly the piece best known
from the band and popularized (as usual!) by Clapton on “461 Ocean Boulevard”.

For most of the 1970s, Tommy was a session musician recording with artists such as Billy Joe
Shaver, Martin Mull, Corky Lang (West, Bruce and Lang/Mountain), Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts,
Clarence Carter, country music legend Kitty Wells, Alex and Livingston Taylor, Arthur Conley of Sweet
Soul Music fame, Johnny Rivers, and more. Many will also remember his contribution to the
legendary Allman Brothers album “Brothers and Sisters”. The group, going through a difficult period
(two deaths on motorcycles, alcohol, drugs, etc.), will call on the large family of southern musicians
including Les Dudek and therefore Tommy Talton who will come and play as reinforcements on
certain titles, the latter notably holding the acoustic guitar on “Pony Boy”. He also appeared on Betts'
debut album "Highway Call" and toured extensively with the Allman Bros, while continuing to
participate in sessions with other members of the Capricorn stable: Bonnie Bramlett and Wet Willie,
among others. Gregg Allman will remember him, calling on him again for his solo album “Laid Back”
released in 73 and which reached thirteenth place in the US charts. In 1974, Cowboy and Tommy
Talton toured as Gregg Allman's backing band and were featured on his album "The Gregg Allman
Tour" of that year.

In the eighties, Tommy Talton mainly spent his time producing some projects in Texas and Alabama
with different up-and-coming bands and songwriters. He then returned to his hometown in Florida,
preferring to move away from the musical world.

Tommy Talton knew Europe well: he lived in Luxembourg for 8 years. Arriving in the summer of 1994
to do a six-week tour with singer/songwriter Matt Dawson in Matt Dawson's Band, he got together
with the other musicians and finally Chris Janssen, the bassist, Peter Baron, the drummer and he
decided to continue. The group having exhausted its musical resources at the end of 1997, Tommy
Talton founded The Realizers with Guy Fritsch on bass, David Girardi on drums and Dom Tomschak
on guitar and harmonica, who was replaced in 2000 by Philippe "Croon" Cronmuller on the guitar,
part of the continuity. The album "Someone Else's Shoes" was recorded in Luxembourg with The
Rebelizers, before Tommy Talton's return to the USA in 2002, and modified and re-released in the
United States in 2008 as the guitarist's solo album, the latter adding five new songs to the album and
excluding three from the European sessions.

Thirty years after the release of their last album (the self-titled “Cowboy” released in ’77), Talton
reunited the original members from 1969 again in 2007 to participate in the recording of a new album.
For various reasons, this one will not be released at this time. Then in 2010, the band performed a
reunion concert in Macon, Georgia, which was later released the following year as "Boyer and Talton:
Cowboy Reunion 2010".Scott Boyer died in 2018, and later that year the 2007 recordings were finally released as "10'll Getcha Twenty."

Cowboy and Tommy Talton will leave the memory of a group and a guitarist-composer who
contributed enormously to southern rock, although, without denying it, the guitarist did not think he
was really part of the movement, instead assimilating himself to Californian rock or country-rock and
claiming the variety of musical styles covered. Is it because of these slight musical differences that
they were also certainly among the most underrated? The death of the guitarist, on December 28,
2023 at the age of 74, after losing his battle with cancer, unfortunately reminds us that it is perhaps
time to right this injustice.


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