In 1990 Tom Walbank found himself, like so many bluesmen of lore do, at a crossroads. An aspiring cartoonist, he was immersed in the Scottish zine culture, with his eye on a career in comics. But he loved playing blues, too.
“I decided I would have to concentrate on one,” Walbank says from his home in Tucson, where he’s resided since 2000. He chose music, and since doing so he’s performed around the world and released dozens of blues recordings, often incorporating dub, punk, and rocksteady textures into his albums – many of which can be heard on his Bandcamp page
. Still, his passion for pop art endured. Wanting to explore his dual interests together, he began drawing portraits of blues artists. “I started with one of Bukka White, and I kept doing them wherever I was,” Walbank says.