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  • Writer Allan Thomas
  • Pub Co: Black Bamboo Music
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Allan Thomas

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United States - Hawaii

Allan Thomas "How Long Till Light"
How Long Till Light
  • Performed By: Allan Thomas
  • Album: Making Up For Lost Time
  • Album UPC: 801571100362
  • Album ID: allanthomas2
  • Label: Black Bamboo Recordings
  • CD Baby Account: CDB00041054
  • CD Baby Track ID: 4426613
  • ISRC: usksl0700007
  • Released: 01/01/07

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Description

Kauai resident and long time singer songwriter Allan Thomas sings with the soul of a man who has one day left to live, and writes songs that make you tap your feet, think twice, and feel something percolating down deep in your bones.

Note

Long-time singer/songwriter and Kauai resident Allan Thomas celebrates the release of his fourth album 'Making Up For Lost Time'.

Featuring many of Kauai's A-list musicians, including Graham Nash of Crosby Stills and Nash, and Tris Imboden of Chicago, the record was produced and recorded by Allan on the North Shore of Kauai.

The line-up:

Allan Thomas - Vocals - Guitar - Percussion
Tris Imboden - { Chicago/Michael McDonald } Drums -
Jimmy Johnson - { James Taylor } Bass -
Graham Nash - { Crosby Stills & Nash } - Backing Vocals on Ray Of Hope
Bryan Kessler - { Hawaiian Style Band } - Guitar
Michael Ruff - { Bonnie Raitt/Randy Brecker} - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Ken Emerson - {Jackson Browne/Todd Rundgren } Slide Guitar & Lap Steel
Kirk Smart - { Donald Fagen } - Guitar - Mandolin - Lap Steel
Anjela Rose - Backing Vocals
JP Allen – Harmonica

The record owes its groovacious sheen and polish to Mike Shipley who also mixes for Maroon Five, Shania Twain, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Shawn Colvin, and Aerosmith, to name a few.

The songs were written on Kauai between 1997 and 2006, with the exception of 'Rapture In The Rain', which goes back to 1988, a very moist time in Haena.

If you like Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Boz Scaggs, Bruce Cockburn, and James Taylor you'll love Allan Thomas.

The style of music on this CD can best be described as Singer/Songwriter, Acoustic Rock, Blues, and Jazz.

For full-length sample downloads, bio, lyrics, stories, video, and additional information visit:

www.allanthomas.com

www.myspace.com/allanthomas2


ALLAN THOMAS


My musical adventure began in Brooklyn NY, when at the age of eight I started singing along to Sam Cooke on my dad’s car radio. The tune was his smash hit of the time 'You Send Me'. The journey continued when at age twelve I joined an A Cappella vocal group called The Paramounts, in Sheepshead Bay. Enlisted as first tenor, I quickly graduated to lead. The next five years were dedicated to doo-wop singing groups including the Del-Chimes, and the Nitelites, out on the South Shore of Long Island.

At seventeen I dropped out of the vocal group scene and began making solo forays into Manhattan in hopes of being discovered as a singer - that being my only prospect at the time, as I was not yet a songwriter or a competent guitarist. One of my first stops would be 1650 Broadway - the Brill Building. It was the one of the main music business office buildings in mid-town, and it was hallowed ground in the music world. Many of the big hits of the time were written in this building, where teams of songwriters would be cranking out pop and R&B songs for some of the top black and white artists. I'd walk in the building, start at the first floor and work my way upward, knocking on doors that had promising titles. Surprisingly, many of the young and good-natured publishers and record companies would open their doors to me, where I would present myself as a singer looking for a start. As I couldn't back myself on an instrument and blow them away right then and there, I had to convince them to hear me sing. Aside from singing A Cappella, it was difficult to get myself across so I soon learned to make appointments for an audition and came back armed with an accompanist, singing popular songs by the Drifters or Marvin Gaye. Some of the songs I tried to win over their attention with were tunes written right there in those tiny offices.

Having to work with a backup player was cool, but ultimately costly and limiting, so I knew it was time to dust off that old six-string I'd had since I was twelve, get serious, and learn to back my own vocals. Something about the hammer-on's and other cool guitar licks played by Curtis Mayfield touched a nerve and I was inexorably drawn down that road, with all its mystery and allure. To this day, some forty years later, I still traverse that road.

That same year (1965), I signed my first recording contract with famed and eccentric Texas producer Huey P. Meaux (The Crazy Cajun). Huey was known to have the magic touch with hit records and was also known as a fast-talker too. In his time, he produced a string of great artists and hit records out of the south including Lightenin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, BJ Thomas, Freddy Fender, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sir Douglas Quintet, Johnny and Edgar Winter and many more. I auditioned for Mr. Meaux in the semi-dingy Peerless Hotel on West 45th street, playing my no-name electric guitar through a cheap amp and singing…I don't remember what. He must have heard something special in my voice because within hours I was asking my parents permission to fly to Houston. Indeed in two weeks time I found myself, at seventeen years old, on a flight out of Kennedy bound for Texas. Upon landing, Huey, then in his mid-forties, and in his sixteen year old Paramour, drove me to his recording complex on the outskirts of Houston where in the course of ten days, I recorded five tracks with the all-black band “TV & The Tribesmen” and four tracks with BJ Thomas' all-white backing band “The Triumphs”.

Two singles were released out of those sessions: The ode to fun in the summer - 'Summertime Monkeyshine' and 'Didn't It Rain'. 'Summertime Monkeyshine' was released on Scepter Records, a small successful label based in NYC whose stable of artists included Chuck Jackson, Dionne Warwick and the Shirells. 'Didn't It Rain' was released on an obscure Texas label called Pablo Records. Nothing much came of the singles, radio or sales wise, but the experience further galvanized my increasing desire to make a name for myself, stake a claim for myself and maybe even find or define myself somewhere in the realm of music.

At age nineteen, inspired by a freshly broken heart and the likes of Bob Dylan and The Beatles, I began writing songs. Soon after, I became a denizen of the blossoming Greenwich Village coffee house scene, performing regularly on hoot nights at many intimate, dark and cavernous clubs including The Gaslight, The Bitter End and Cafe Feenjon.

In 1969, after spending an eye-opening sixteen months in the New York prison system for a couple of small-time crimes, which serendipitously enabled me to avoid both the draft and the war in Vietnam, I left for the palm tree-laden warmth of Los Angeles. There, I played open-mic nights at The Troubadour and The Ashgrove, played regularly at the Attica Cafe in Santa Monica and traveled the US as rhythm guitarist for singer Lynn Kellogg.

1970 found me back in New York City honing my craft at the Greenwich Village coffee houses again. It was at a weeklong gig at The Gaslight on MacDougal Street when I was discovered by A&R man David Wilkes and subsequently signed to a four-album deal with Sire Records. At this point Sire was a relatively new label and were mainly releasing folk and blues artists. My first album, “A Picture” was produced by songwriter/producer Richard Gottehrer (Blondie/The Go-Go's) and released in 1971. I signed with a booking agent and traveled the country again, but this time as a solo artist, opening for such diverse acts as The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, The Marc Almond Band, Richie Havens, Livingston Taylor, Weather Report, Bill Monroe & The Kentucky Blue Grass Boys and elderly bluesman Arthur Cruddup.

In October of 1972, I was holed up with a long-legged lady friend in a weathered and leaky old wooden shack in the backwoods of Southern Oregon. She cooked gourmet meals on a wood-burning cook stove while I practiced my craft. Opening the mail one day, I discovered a letter from my mentor Cannonball Adderley. In it was an invitation to come down to LA and sing improvisational vocals on a concept album he was doing with his brother Nat and the band. At that time the Cannonball Adderley Quintet consisted of Cannonball on alto, Nat Adderley on cornet, George Duke on piano, Aierto Moreitto on percussion, Roy McCurdy on drums and Walter Booker on bass. I bought a $65 beater Chevy and my honey and I hightailed it down to L.A., burning a quart of oil every hundred miles.

The song we recorded, which was produced by George Axelrod, was entitled 'Behold' and was released on their “Soul Of The Bible” double-album. On the album credits for that recording Cannonball gave me the nom de plume Arthur Charma, due to contractual obligations I still had to Sire Records. Following the recording date, I sang improvisational vocals with the quintet at the Troubadour and Lighthouse clubs in Southern California, did a clinic with Cannonball in Beverly Hills and opened a live recording session for Cannon and the band at the famous Capital Recording studios in Hollywood; heady stuff for a twenty-four year old.

In 1974, after playing in England and Denmark in a 16 piece band, I married my band mate, English singer/songwriter Carole Cook and settled down in Malibu California. We wrote, recorded and performed together, often singing back-up vocals for other artists. From 1977 to 1978 we were staff songwriters for ABC Music in LA. In '74, I started teaching guitar as well and charged eight dollars an hour.

Our marital relationship ended in 1979 but that same year I formed the Santa Monica Bay Band with a group of topnotch LA area studio and live players, including buddy Bryan Kessler and Pete Wasner (Vince Gill). After playing numerous gigs, recording plenty of demos and still not getting the coveted record deal, I realized it might be time to move on. In 1980 I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii for six months and was instantly seduced by its beauty and power. In 1983, discouraged over the LA rat race and needing new inspiration, I moved to Kauai.

In 1986, after the ending of my second marriage, I began windsurfing. And in 1990 at the young age of 43 the surfing bug bit me big-time. At this point to help make ends meet I was working four twelve-hour days as crew on the Napali Coast boat excursions, learning the ways of the moody North Pacific Ocean, and the coastal reefs on the NW coast of Kauai. Little did I know how those new experiences would wend their way into my pallet of songwriting. Throughout everything, I managed to keep writing and gigging locally and through the passage of time developed the new blend of music that became apparent on my next two CD's 'The Island' and 'Coconut Culture'. You could say the songs are a mixed plate of singer/songwriter, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hawaiian, and good old fashioned Rock. I call thus gumbo of grooves R&B, short for Rhythm and Beach!

In 1989, I contacted old friend and producer Stephen Barncard, (David Crosby; The Grateful Dead) and over the next year Steve, my co-writer Bryan Kessler and I created the album 'The Island '. The record, which was released on my own label Black Bamboo Recordings, is a collection of original tunes written between 1980 and 1989.

Much of the album draws its inspiration from the magic and tranquility of the Hawaiian Islands, but a number of the songs are concerned with other themes like a world spinning out of control, steamy secret affairs, windsurfing and visions of global brotherhood.

The album features a great group of players including Michael Ruff (Ricky Lee Jones; David Sandborn), Bryan Kessler (Hawaiian Style Band), Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets), Cliff Hugo (Ray Charles), Rick Schlosser (James Taylor; Nicolette Larson), Judd Miller (Michael Brecker), Zeke Zirngieble ( Doobie Brothers; Tower of Power) and backup singers Valerie Carter (James Taylor; Lowell George) and Leslie Smith (Ricky Lee Jones).

In 1997, I released 'Coconut Culture'. My friend Mike Shipley - who has worked with many artists including, Joni Mitchell, Shania Twain, Tom Petty, and Green Day, took the helm as producer, engineer, and mixer. This record departed from the jazz-rock-blues based format on 'The Island', and leaned toward a more traditional feel, reflecting my love for the indigenous music of the islands. Again, I had Michael Ruff on Keyboards, Bryan Kessler on Guitar and this time around I added the tremendously gifted slide guitar and Hawaiian lap-steel of Kauai boy Ken Emerson (Jackson Browne; Todd Rundgren; Donald Fagen). Local Hawaii bass player Dave Inamine held the bass chair and my old friend Rick (the bass player) Rosas, whose regular gigs included Neil Young and Joe Walsh, played bass on two songs, as did 'The Island' alumni Cliff Hugo. Shipley also played percussion and drums, and long-time Kauai resident and friend Graham Nash sang backup vocals on 'The Navigator'. Eight of the songs were written and recorded in alternate tunings - some of which were given to me by Crosby and Nash when I tuned guitars for them at a local concert one night back in '94. These open or slack tunings, have become a touchstone for me as far as new directions in song composition goes, opening up an entire new pallet of chordal and melodic possibilities.

In Hawaii, my songs have been covered by Hawaiian Style Band; The Beamer Brothers, and Norman 'Kaawa' Solomon, among others. In 1999 two of the songs from 'Coconut Culture' - I'll Find You Yet' and 'Ka Wai Aloha', were used in a coming of age feature film called 'Beyond Paradise', produced out of LA and filmed on the big island of Hawaii.

From 1998 to 2004 I was a DJ at KKCR, a Kauai Community Radio. My show, ‘The Show with No Name’, enabled me to discover and spin many artists and forms of music from around the globe and see what it was like at the other side of the glass, as it were. On one of my shows I had the pleasure of singing a live duet with Graham Nash on my song ‘The Navigator’ as part of a fundraiser for the station.

In early 2003 I started writing my autobiographical novel 'Talking Stories'. Starting with true tales of my Hawaiian ocean adventures, and going backward to the moment of my first breath that cold-ass February Manhattan evening. I wrote fifty-three stories in all.

In 2004 I produced and recorded Kauai artists Norman 'Kaawa' Solomon and Darryl Gonzales’ solo contemporary Hawaiian albums and also began pre-production on my what would become my next solo record.

In January of 2005 I upgraded my recording studio and signed a contract with Warner Brothers to rent my studio to Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, for recording work on his third solo album 'Morph The Cat'. This would lead to Donald winning a 2006 TEC award for outstanding creative technical achievement for best record production album, by the voters of Mix Magazine. Donald and his tracking engineer, Elliot Scheiner would also garner a Grammy for best surround sound album that year.

At the end of the seven-week dream sessions Donald asked me to play rhythm guitar in a band he was putting together for a benefit concert for a local private school. Also in the band were Kauai residents guitarist Kirk Smart, as well as bassist Trey Thompson, Chicago’s drummer Tris Imboden, guitarist Ken Emerson and keyboard player/doctor Jim Winkler. Backing singer Michelle Rundgren rounded out the ensemble. The other acts featured Kauai artists Todd Rundgren, Toni Childs and Ken Emerson. I also ended up playing for Todd and singing backup vocals for both Donald and Todd. We ended up performing at least three Steely Dan songs that night. Talk about being in the fun zone!

The work on 'Morph The Cat' prepared and inspired me to get back to work on my own next solo record 'Making Up For Lost Time'. I spent almost two years working on 'Making Up For Lost Time', with a break of eight months in the middle to recuperate from a near-fatal surf-related mishap.

Long-time AT collaborator Bryan Kessler played rhythm and lead guitar on five tracks, Michael Ruff played keyboards, organ and accordion on eight tracks, while character of characters and slide guitarist extraordinaire, Ken Emerson wove his particular magic on three tracks. New Kauai recruits included Kirk Smart on his DeTemple Telecaster guitar, mandolin and lap-steel, and fresh from Austin, harmonica virtuoso JP Allen. All-around renaissance music man and part-time goat herder Ron Pendragon recorded the ever-upbeat drummer/surfer Tris Imboden. Ron also recorded Michael Ruff and I on backing vocals on 'How Long Till Light', the beautiful Anjela Rose and I singing backups on 'Remember The Best' and 'Leap Of Faith' and Graham Nash singing on 'Ray Of Hope'. The icing on the cake was James Taylor's bass player Jimmy Johnson, who I recorded at Snuffy Walden's Studio in L.A.

The record was mixed and mastered by renowned mix-master Mike Shipley, along with assistant Brian Wohlgemuth in LA. Long-time rock photographer Jim Shea, now living on Kauai, photographed me for the album's back and inside cover, and surfer/artist Steven Valiere painted the CD front cover.

What's next? Get out my 7'1" quad, harvest the fall and winter waves of Hanalei, continue writing new songs and stories and in May of 2008 get out there and travel again and spread the Allan Thomas Experience to other parts of the world!
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