With 5 solo albums to his name, Tom Portman has been a consistent eclectic and prolific force in Irish music. His work focuses on our relationships to each other and the natural world; exploring themes of place, mythology, the cycles of life and death and the emotional landscape of life. Hopefully, these creations resonate with others and give voice to our shared human experience.
Portman is an advanced multi instrumentalist on finger style guitar, Dobro® and lap steel, performer, composer and songwriter based in the west of Ireland. In addition, he also performs and composes music on the Violin. There’s a wide range to his work - from the Blues, Irish melodies, swing, rag time through bluegrass to Indian ragas. His broad skill set along with an eclectic set of musical influences places him in a unique position as a performer composer and recording artist.
Tom’s musicianship is gaining renown both in Ireland and abroad for his one man shows and performances with a plethora of acts. Since 2015 he has been touring with Grammy nominated Louisiana slide player Dege Legg, whose music featured in Tarantino’s film ‘Django Unchained’.
Appreciated by many artists, he’s supported the likes of Eric Bibb and Preston Reed. A long list of album collaborations offers a testament to his versatility, as does his Dobro playing on International feature film animation ‘The Ugly Duckling and Me”.
In 2019 Tom became an endorsed Duesenburg Artist and received the Music Network Instrument Bursary towards a Duesenburg guitars ‘Fairytale’ Lap Steel. In 2021 he completed a 1st class honors Masters Degree in Songwriting at the University of Limerick.
In addition, Portman teaches instrumental classes for over ten years in Galway through the GRETB, ‘Maoin Ceol’ School of Music, Athenry Music School.
"If it has strings, Portman can play them. Not only play them but bend them, scratch them, shape 'em and mould them into a collage of beauty. This latest is a gorgeous collection of magical soundscapes that take the listener to other places - this is a melting pot of Americana, Irish trad., world and the magical. There'll surely be plenty of airings on Blue of the Night
CARL CORCORAN Presenter, Blue of the Night
‘A softly spoken singer songwriter who can sing the blues with the best ...his guitar was an extension of himself. .a spirit of true Irish blues throughout his work... Adrian Lavelle, Spirit of Voice
“Supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council”.