Hey, Spike: Summit County’s Tommy Shreve keeps people dancing from the mountains to the bayou
December 15, 2017
Smart guy, that Tommy Shreve, he lives in two places that appreciate live music — the jump up and dance kind.
Louisiana born and bred, Tommy is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader who performs classic rock, swamp pop, blues, Cajun and Zydeco.
He moved to Silverthorne in 1993, but now divides his time between here and Lafayette, Louisiana.
If Tommy's playing you're not standing still.
"With my own groups in the old days down south, I usually worked 150-175 gigs a year," he says. "After moving to Summit it dropped considerably, nowadays maybe 75 dates a year."
He's still pretty active for a guy 67 years old.
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Among those career highlights, Tommy made two appearances on NBC's Tonight Show; dozens of shows opening for Jimmy Buffett; over a dozen tours of Europe, Japan and Canada; toured with a theater company several times in Japan, the U.S. and in Barcelona for the '92 Olympics.
Today, he'll play solo, grab a fellow musician or two to join in, and when needed, Tommy pulls out all the stops with his "full-blown roadhouse band," Honky Tonk NONC (French for uncle). For a duo billing, Tommy usually calls on Pat Breaux, "a virtuoso on sax and accordion."
Over the years, in addition to Jimmy Buffett, Tommy performed with Wayne Toups, Sonny Landreth, Rockin' Sidney, Katie Webster, Warren Storm, G.G. Shinn, Zachary Richard, T.K. Hulin, Doug Kershaw, Red Beans & Rice Revue.
He still joins well-known Cajun Rock artist Wayne Toups as a guest soloist.
"I was full-time lead guitarist and tour manager for Wayne in 2015-16," he notes. "Now I'm occasionally with him and book dates with my own group."
Around these parts, Tommy played the Old Dillon Inn, Josha's and the Alligator in Breckenridge, Alice's in Dillon; and a "whole lotta weddings and conventions at all the resorts."
Among the locally famous with him on stage have been Brad Curry, Keith Synnestvedt, Mike Fauth, Randall McKinnon, Bob Alster, Steve Bee, Dave Nichols and Moe Dixon.
In a lower key aspect of performing, Tommy has been doing house concerts in Summit (with various partners/accompanists) when he returns from Louisiana.
Vouching for Tommy's guitar work and singing, Wayne Toups says, "Tommy was my first Zydecajun guitarist, recorded my first album, and has played with us at various times ever since. Young players around here grew up listening to him. He rocks."
Another endorsement comes from fellow entertainer and often booking agent Bob Alster.
"I booked Tommy Shreve in a wide variety of musical settings for over 20 years in Colorado," says Bob. "As a singer, guitarist, or bandleader, he's one of the most talented, versatile and professional entertainers I've ever had the pleasure of booking."
Silverthorne second-home owners Dr. James and Evelyn Rogers of Denver and their firm of Summit Analytical have Tommy providing private setting performances for friends and clients.
"For well over a decade we've trusted Tommy to provide high caliber music and production expertise for our events," they say. "He's a talented guy and a real pro."
Tommy met the Rogers through wife Elisabeth's property maintenance firm.
Tommy met Elisabeth, a native of Sweden, at the Lone Star Cafe in New York City, back in 1987. They became an "item" in '90 and married in Stockholm in '92.
Elisabeth's father, Sixten Ehrling, (1918-2005), was the Royal Court conductor of Sweden, headed the Detroit Symphony 1964-74, and led the conducting department at Juilliard School of Music, 1975-86. Her mother, Gunnel Lindgren, (1921-2010), was a principal dancer with the Royal Swedish Ballet.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org
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