Bandleader and guitarist Tom Swadley was born in Johnson City, Tennessee where he took up piano at the age of 9 and the guitar as a teenager. Tom proudly served in the US Air Force from 1969-1973, and was stationed in England for most of his service. He returned home, where he finished his education at East Tennessee State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and later a master’s degree in City Management. Tom’s career in public service includes work with Councils of Government (COGS) in Sumter and Charleston, South Carolina as a Grant Writer and Roving City Manager, and later as Interim City Manager for the city of Bristol, Tennessee.
Tom spent most of his musical life playing Blues, Rock & Roll, and Bluegrass guitar before devoting himself to Irish Traditional Music in the 90’s. Inspired by the records of the Bothy Band, Tom was one of the four original founders of Sigean, which was formed in 1997. Tom’s guitar heroes include Duane Allman, John Doyle, Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Eamon O’Leary, and John Walsh.
Tom and his wife, Connie are the proprietors of The Ball-Park Corner Market,which serves the Most Exceptional hot dogs in Bristol, Virginia and Memory Lane Cafe, which serves the Most Exceptional tamales known to humankind. They are the proud parents of three adult children, Jordan, Morgan, and Brian, and proud grandparents.
Knox County native R. Reagan De Busk developed a fascination for ethnic and world music in his teens. He started playing Irish flute and tin-whistle in 2006. Before he became addicted to Irish music, Reagan played trombone in marching and concert bands, and in jazz ensembles and swing bands. He also played African and Indian percussion, various ethnic woodwinds, and Baroque and Renaissance recorder during his tenure as a free spirit in the nineties. He is quite happy to be playing with Sigean after a longish stretch of not “playing out”.
Reagan derives inspiration and instruction from the playing of such traditional artists as Frankie Kennedy, Matt Molloy, Seamus Tansey, Sean Potts, Sean Ryan, John Skelton, and Michael Clarkson. His favorite flute is made by Washington state maker Casey Burns and his favorite whistle is made by Michael Burke.