By Lisa Morgan

There was a surprise winner in the Red Hot Battle of the Bands last Sunday, where 22 bands competed for prizes and trophies for first, second and third place. Winners were selected based on the number of votes that could be purchased for $1 each. The proceeds were to benefit Red Hot Ball Room, an after school program where kids can learn ballroom dancing.

Tom Edwards entered the contest with the band he’s been playing with for several years – The Mighty Delta Tones, as well as with a project he recently revived – Feisty Joe. He simply entered the Battle of the Bands for the fun of it, never buying a single ticket to add to his numbers, and never expecting to place. But when all was said and done, Tom Edwards’ Feisty Joe placed third, to the joy of those who had the pleasure of enjoying the band’s performance, and to the utter shock of its originator.

“I started Feisty Joe several years ago with Terry Dubas on drums (Refills), Tom Collins on guitar (Pictures from Eden), Glen Woods on bass (Bone Thumpers) and myself (Mighty Delta Tones) in 2005. We always did original music, co-written usually by Tom Collins and myself. We won the Coachella Valley Music award for best Country Rock Band. We went on to Vegas and recorded two songs at the same studio where Barry Manilow and Celine Dion recorded. Tom and I even played through the same amp that BB King used. But shortly after, the band split up. I had two bands going at the time, so I just continued on with Mighty Delta Tones, a blues cover band. But I have always had a passion to do original music – sharing my own feelings and expressions. So, this year, I decided to start it back up again with Joe Espinoza on drums and Axel Buche on bass. Axel travels to Germany often, so I enlisted Rick Stephenson (Mighty Delta Tones) for a few shows including this one. Some of the songs are from the original line up, and some are new. Winning was a total fluke. It was weird. I never expected to win. I didn’t buy any tickets myself. I’m just an old guy that has been doing this a long time. There’s a lot of new up and comers that are really talented, so I was just shocked.”


Edwards performed a 25 minute rock opera of a life unfolding from something very sweet, turning gradually into a song and performance that depicted a tragic overdose on heroin. Makeup was applied to Tom’s face by Jim Swayne during this performance to reflect the transition of a life taking a left turn. “I was just attempting to add a little theater to the music. I didn’t expect it to win me votes. I just wanted to get people thinking and talking.”

Tom Edwards is easily one of the most highly respected guitarists in the valley, who is passionate about his art. He is also one of the nicest people you could ever meet. You will truly enjoy this musician’s work, no matter what genre he is performing. You can see him and Feisty Joe at Plan B Live Music and Cocktails this Friday, January 2nd, starting at 9pm.
Plan B Live Music and Cocktails is located in Thousand Palms on the corner of Monterey and Ramon Road.

Follow Tom Edwards at the following links: