Soul-busting, from the heart acoustic folk-rock. This is Thomas' debut live recording, done "coffeehouse style"... just him, his guitar and 13 original songs that speak with sincerity and passion.
PRESS RELEASE - LATE 2001
Ben Thomas' creative rock music has been a flower, building energy, anxiously awaiting full bloom. Currently based in the Chicago area, he writes and performs his own energetic, acoustic rock music. His present day influences include the likes of U2, Wilco, Jeff Buckley and Radiohead.
Since the mid-1990's, Ben has been writing music and playing it to captivated audiences both as a solo artist and a band frontman. In 1997, Ben and a few musicians he had been playing with decided to form the Ben Thomas band and for over two years, the band packed out local venues like the Heart and Soul Café, Java and Juice and the Chicago Church of Christ. Focusing mostly on coffeehouses, clubs, parties and churches, they received acclaim for their intense, unique sound and songwriting.
In 1999, after releasing an eight-song demo (that they couldn't keep pressed fast enough to meet demand) and starting beginning studio work on a full length album, the Ben Thomas band's future appeared very bright. Despite the audience interest and the energy level they had achieved, the band parted ways in 1999 to pursue other life ventures. Over the next few years, Ben got married, finished a bachelors' degree, went into outreach youth ministry and managed to assist his wife in her social work with foster children. With all of these responsibilities on his plate, Ben let the idea of performing his music take the backburner for a few years.
In the fall of 2001, Ben decided it was time to continuing his blooming process in the eye of the public again. To mark his return he released a live, solo CD to benefit the Andrea Racibozynski Memorial Scholarship Fund, in memory of his friend who was murdered in Central Illinois in 1998. The CD, titled "Grace Will Lead..." is a raw, earthy collection of 13 original songs, all performed by Ben on acoustic and electric guitars. The release party for the CD packed out a local Starbucks Coffee and sold over 100 copies.
In an August 2001 article, the Daily Herald stated that Ben Thomas makes "music that strikes a chord in people," and his goal is simply that. Sit back and get ready to have a chord struck, the future for Ben Thomas is now blooming before our very eyes.
Over the course of the past three years, Ben has walked with struggling children and teens from all walks of life that are experiencing both the best and the worst this world has to offer them. Ben has also had his fair share of challenges in both his new marriage and his ministries, all which have made him stronger and have become fuel for his passionate songwriting. Although he has kept the public eye at arms length for a few years, Ben has quietly been strumming, writing and honing his guitar, piano and vocal skills from his living room.
released August 14, 2001
All songs written and performed by Ben Thomas.
Recorded in October, 2000 by Mike Gregg and Ben Thomas