"Listen to Thomas Gabriel - thoughts of Steve Earle, Townes van Zandt and Johnny Cash spring to mind."
Some people wear their heart on their sleeve - but not Thomas Gabriel. Thomas wears his heart in his vocal chords. Listening to Thomas Gabriel, 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. As the eldest grandson of the Man in Black, the voice comes naturally. Thomas seemlessly blends Americana, Rock and Country to create his own personal sound, while also embracing all that is good with tradition - he is intense, passionate and real.
With Johnny Cash as the main influence in his life, 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.
His story is amazing.
His songwriting is always personal.
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.
“When things are tough, I can pump out songs like no tomorrow. Maybe I am not as self-aware when I am happy, but I am always working on my songwriting.”
“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.”