Smokehouse Ramblers' singer/songwriter Tom Malafarina was born July 23, 1955 in the town of Ashland, Pennsylvania in the heart of the "Hard Coal Region". He grew up in this hard working, hard drinking blue-collar community amid pitifully low income levels and frighteningly high unemployment rates. From this humble, constantly struggling community, with its strong ethnic bonds, Tom learned the importance of hard work, honesty, determination and most importantly need for keeping a good sense of humor about life.
In 1967 at the age of twelve Tom was given his older sister's S&H Greenstamp acoustic guitar and began his life-long love of music. Tom spent countless hours practicing his guitar until it became like an extension of himself. Tom never sought to be a "lead guitarist" or "guitar soloist" but concentrated on rhythm and bass guitar. He enjoyed strumming and picking and combining notes to form chords and riffs that allowed him to express his emotions through his songs.
During the 1970's Tom play in a variety of local Schuylkill County Pennsylvania bands of all types. From "Wedding bands" to, "Rock Bands" to "Blues Bands" to "Progressive Rock Bands". It was at this time that he first became familiar with the blues through some of the well know British Blues Artist of the time like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.
At the age of 22 Tom decided to take a break from performing for a short while. Little did he know that this pause would last for about TWENTY THREE YEARS!
During the time when he was "retired", Tom continued to play at home and jam with other musicians whenever he could, while attending evening college and building a career as a Computer Aided Manufacturing Engineer. During this time his love for the blues grew, as did his desire to compose and perform blues songs exclusively. It was during this time that he discovered World War II era blues as well as the Delta and Piedmont acoustic blues styles and began studying them.
At the turn of the 21st century, with the onset of the new millennium, Tom came out of retirement with a mission to focus all of his musical talents as a singer/songwriter in one direction, the BLUES.