"Real. Raw. Passionate. Songs that tell stories. Genre-straddling music heavily influenced by his country roots."
Thomas Gabriel seemlessly blends Americana, rock and country to create his own personal sound, while also embracing all that is good with tradition.
Listening to Thomas, one can draw parallels to Steve Earle, Townes van Zandt and in particular, Johnny Cash. But Thomas isn't imitating - he's carrying on a family tradition.
Born in Ventura, California, to Kathy Cash (one of four daughters Johnny Cash had with first wife Vivian Liberto Cash), Thomas spent a lot of time touring with grandparents Johnny and June as a boy. Undoubtedly influenced by his iconic grandfather, it wasn’t long before Thomas found his own love and passion for music, and in the second grade, he wrote his very first song.
"Growing up, Grandpa would show me chords, listen to music I’d written and ask me about the songs I wrote….he was always really supportive. I started to pay a lot of attention to how people were making music.”
Though Johnny praised his grandson’s musical ambitions, he knew how difficult the music business could be, and offered another option.
“He suggested I become a police officer, which I found laughable since I was doing a lot of things cops arrest you for.”
Taking his advice, Thomas became a law enforcement officer, and though he liked the idea of being on the force, he was unable to overcome the bouts of anxiety and depression, which eventually lead to drug addiction and a lengthy prison stay. The solitude of prison provoked him to explore songwriting again, a journey that he had begun in his youth. After release, Thomas began paving a new path.
In 2018 Thomas began working on his debut album, "Long Way Home". The songs share the challenges and joys of his life. Some feature the story out front with the band laying back, and others are deep grooves supported by poetry reminiscent of Lou Reed. No punches pulled or shying away from sometimes painful truths, Thomas charms audiences with his sincerity and wins fans with his deep baritone voice leading the listener through his tales.
Dedicated now to telling his story in an effort to help spread awareness for those battling addiction, Thomas Gabriel continues to aim his focus on writing and releasing new music and to touring the world.
It's been a rough road... a road less traveled, but when you meet Thomas you'll soon learn that each and every twist and turn has taken him from the lowest of valleys to the highest of mountain tops.
His story is amazing.
His songwriting is always personal.
“I love performing live. When I sing one of my songs, I put everything that went into creating it into the performance. If I am singing one of Johnny’s songs, then I channel how I felt when I heard him do it. For me, the best compliment I can get is when someone tells me that my music has helped them through a hard time or touched their heart in some way. When I look in the audience and someone is singing my lyrics back to me, that’s it. It’s the biggest thing by far.”
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UK/Ireland: Midnight Mango UK