Art is ultimately about telling the truth. If there are people who don’t like the truth, you have to decide whether you want to do your art or whether you want to do ‘small talk,’ because if you get away from the truth to please other people who want you to not tell the truth, you have lost the artist in you.”  Martha Beck

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." CIA Director William Casey, 1981

“The artist has a special responsibility to speak out for social justice since their voices will be heard when others' are not.” Pablo Casals

Tom was nominated for the 2015 UN Nelson Mandela Award for “work that has spanned decades and continents sharing comprehensive and sobering interpretations of sociology and history with an easily digestible and entertaining format designed to inform and inspire peace.”

        The UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize recognizes the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity in the promotion of reconciliation and social cohesion, and in community development, guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nations.  

Tom has received 12 nominations in six categories from Just Plain Folks, aka The People's Grammies, for their 2019 International Awards.  

*** Being Civilly Disobedient ***

It Takes a Cabin to Stop a Pipeline

For the full song: Ain't Gonna Pass 

Tom performing at the Climate Mobilization event in Oakland, June 26, 2016

On a related note...  Climate Chaos & the Quabbin Woodlands     


Here is a link to a recent NEPR interview with Tom from "the road".  He attracted notice from the media because of a song he wrote about the planned fast-track executions of 8 men in Arkansas.  One of the execution drugs was set to expire.

You can hear the complete song: here


On behalf of the 14th annual Independent Music Awards and passionate music fans everywhere - it is our pleasure  to congratulate Tom Neilson on winning the coveted Vox Pop fan vote for It's A Crime To Tell The Truth in the Social Action Song category.

This is Tom's 2nd IMA Song of the Year and his 3rd nomination. 

Music for Social Change

“This is very good music. And very good politics.” Tom Paxton

“One of the savviest songwriters I know.” World Soul Records

“Does a great job of reminding people of what is really important, and the power of folk music to say it.” Michael Stock, WLRN, Miami, FL

Tom and Lynn performing Same Sex Marriage at PMN Winter Gathering 2015


Tom at Freedom Square

Winner- Kerrville Folk Festival

Winner- South Florida Folk Festival

Winner- IMA People's Choice Song of the Year for Social Action

"Heroes of the Cold War" selected for USSF Multimedia Arts Project 


"Individuals have duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."  Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal 1950