THE THOMAS BROTHERS
Angels on the Backroads
Theres's something unique at The Bullfrog on Thursday 10th March 2005, when two
American brothers, Eddie and Frank Thomas, will be presenting the story of
their epic "Angels on the Backroads" recording project, when they conducting a
musical history lesson on the blues and jazz born along U.S. Highway 61 from
Memphis, Tennessee, to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Frank & Eddie toured Highway 61, connecting all the historical landmarks
along the route. They spent hours listening to and sampling song after song
inside the depths of the Mississippi Blues Archive at the University of
Mississippi in preparation for their musical journey. They then mapped out the cities,
towns and landmarks they would visit and set out armed with cameras and
The result is a fascinating evening's journey through the blues. At The
Bullfrog, Eddie and his guitar will perform some of the more than 60 songs
recorded, and also play rare live digital recordings Edie and Frank engineered
at locations where blues and jazz history was made will be played.
From the Memphis rooftop where W.C. Handy - considered the father of the
blues - performed his "Saint Louis Blues" for the first time to the site of the
1927 flood and levee break at Mounds Landing in the Mississippi Delta that
inspired Charlie Patton's "High Water Everywhere," The Thomas Brothers have made
their recordings unique by documenting where they are and why the area is
relevant to the song in either audio or written form. "We have some commentary
along with the music, and we include our reasons for recording each song in the
liner notes," explained Eddie.
The journey down U.S. Highway 61 clearly defines how the sound changes from
region to region, as Memphis urban blues is rooted in ragtime influences, the
Delta is the geographical womb from which the rawest of blues music was
conceived and New Orleans is all about the jazz.
Whether on stage at the Orpheum Theatre, knee deep in a cotton field down in
the heart of Delta country or at a club along Bourbon Street, it is safe to
say this comprehensive show and subsequent recording is one of a kind.
Eddie' Thomas' first brush with future musical greatness after he and his
six-piece band won a competition at the Mid-South Fair. Part of their prize was
the opportunity to record a song at the American Studio in Memphis, where a
young, unknown Isaac Hayes was granted permission to accompany Eddie's group on
Howlin' Wolf's "Spoonful."
More than just musical enthusiasts, The Thomas Brothers now operate their own
production company in the U.S.A, Thomasfilms Inc., and won a a Gold Award
from the Houston Film Festival.