have to start somewhere. George Strait did it with Strait
Country. Alan Jackson stoked the flame with Here In
The Real World, while a shy wannabee from Oklahoma paved
a road to fame and fortune by sticking to his family given
moniker, Garth Brooks. It’s what every artist both
loves and fears: the first album. It’s the beginning of a
career in music, or it can become the sad legacy to a dream
Meet Michael Thomas.
He’s just starting to gain some public attention, courtesy
of his mini album, Bonafide Country Boy. Here at CSO
Central, we think you, like us, will be impressed.
Hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this daytime
construction worker and nighttime country crooner is, as his
album suggests, both bonafide and country.
He gained his stage confidence while playing in the family
band, The Cannonball Express. It was there his love
of country music grew. That early induction has led to
writing and singing and comes backed up with a multi-talent
for playing bass, guitar and, as he did in the family band,
But the real talent shows and shines when Thomas sings. He
sings country. He sings clear and clean. He drawls. He hits
the bullseye with a voice that just fits. He has feel, and
he has passion. He has the makings of taking his chosen
career to a wider audience. Like all the mentioned music
icons above, you have to start somewhere. This is a great
With a self-funded and family supported venture to Nashville
in 2007, Thomas has, with the help of a small and selected
network, delivered with an album that is lacking in fillers,
but is complete with five fan and radio-friendly tunes.
Straight out of the chute is the opening cut and title
track. With a tight and driven backing of drums, fiddle,
steel and guitar, Thomas lets loose with one of three
self-penned cuts on his independent release. The song is a
hat tilt to the fun times had when you’re living the full
life of belts and buckles, tractor pulls, cold beers and
Friday night by the lake …” You can tell who we are by the
sound of our voice, we was raised this way but it’s still
our choice – we’re redneck bonafide country boys.”
A slower pace comes fuelled with mellow tones, perfect for
Thomas’ rich vocals, as he shares an often forgotten truth
on “Speed of Life”. Life doesn’t have to be lived in fast
forward; in fact, when we take our time and engage fully, we
often see, hear and feel more than our hurried neighbors do.
Else But You” is a fiddle-touched ballad. Thomas pines,
whines and laments, beautifully, while telling what every
man has told someone special at some special time. For guys
lost in romance, looking for an “aw shucks” sentiment to
share, this is your song.
Way” confirms for a bonafide country boy, love’s softer
moments can be harder than a rodeo fall or more lasting than
the offered blisters of a rough saddle. Thomas leads with
his cowboy heart, painted for all to see on his cowboy
shirtsleeve, as he decides between the lure of an 8-second
ride or a made home. It’s a storyline like George Strait’s
“I Can Still Make Cheyenne”, with Thomas wrestling between
the realties of shattered bones or a broken home.
The album ends on “Drowning In Her Memories”. Easy and
melodic, the “leavin’ note on the nightstand” tale of a
toppled romance is a shot glass and late night lament for
pondering males. Thomas doesn’t overplay the emotion here.
He sings with knowing conviction: It’s a talent well evident
in his finely created tunes and a made-for country voice.
Michael Thomas doesn’t have a label. He doesn’t have a
record deal …yet. But, you have to start somewhere, just
like George, Alan and Garth.
Michael Thomas has begun.