Full disclosure: I’m crushing on the musician buffet that is Sean Thomason. And I want you to, too. Lucky us, his music dissociative identity disorder is more a feature of a restless spirit than a flaw. He’s likely appearing soon around Atlanta in a music project to match your mood and fit and fill your headspace, venue space, time space.
Over the next couple of months we’ll be publishing excerpts of our interview with Mr. Thomason, while highlighting his active music acts here on LibroMusica.com
Sean Thomason: Genre Chameleon
At his best, Sean’s in full entertainer mode fronting a band of excellent musicians,
putting on a show designed to draw you in, inspiring dancing, singing, leaving it all at the door for a few hours. He might be doing that as the Georgia boy he is, swinging country rock at you like you forgot you’d always loved it (fronting the band, Broken Whisky Glass)…
…or (fronting Klaus’ Band Kamp) as a raucous, brusquely-irreverent, flamboyant-when-it-suits-him german peter pan who might not know he’s all grown up but Totally knows his 80’s New Wave like if Richard Blade could sing.
He might be turning you out as a churning 90’s alt rock god (in Monica’s Cigar) or making the betties giddy as his gentler(?) 80’s-era turned-up-collared bohunk character (in The Biffs), playing the pop hits you (or your mom) danced to in junior high.
But then there’s solo 40-something-heartthrob Sean, gigging on his own at a pub like Limerick Junction or some such, playing his guitar, dominating his looper, singing irish music, and his own (which technically would still be [scotch/] irish!), and country rock, and alt rock, and weird audience requests too.
Ask him to take a left turn and he just might take it — because Sean Thomason absolutely wants you to be on the journey with him, and yeah, he has an aux cord.
There’s no use on trying to put a pin on Mr. Sean “I’m-Enjoying-This-As-Much-As-You-Are” Thomason. He writes songs of his own, weekly in fact ‘cause he’s disciplined like that. But he won’t stop doing the cover stuff, several varieties of it, even if he sells enough songs or gets enough original music gigs to quit both his day job and all his cover acts. And he shouldn’t (stop doing the cover stuff, that is) ever.
But do make him play his original stuff; it’s actually quite good. Particularly “World Gone Crazy”. And that one he played for me during our interview that would’ve had me dancing on the bed like a teen at a slumber party, if there had been a bed handy (there hadn’t). Play that one for us, Sean.
His originals might sneak up on you — there’s a long-earned pop rock sensibility to Sean Thomason spins that makes me think “…this is probably a cover but I’m not quite cool enough to put my finger on exactly who it’s by.”
The 3 Sean Thomason CDs Currently Available at His Shows
There’s his solo album from 2007, No One Gets to Stay the Night. With an album/song title that leaves girls all over the ATL hoping he hasn’t been weaving self-fulfilling prophecy, this retro angst-candy song set culls influence from the popular alt-rock of the 90s — like from the Duran Duran of the 90s, Nirvana, and The Goo Goo Dolls — peppered by the grit of The Breeders and the gritty sensitive side of Trent Reznor. [Also available on the streaming things, like iTunes.]
And one from Sean’s original-music band, The Halls of Jupiter. Their 2013, Launching the Sun, feels like a direct evolution from No One Gets to Stay the Night. More Nine Inch Nails, more Nirvana, maybe some Soundgarden, definitely some Pearl Jam. Prepare to be rocked, with gravitas. [Also available on the streaming things, like Spotify.]
And then one more right craic jammy jam load, Some Say The Devil Is Dead. Sean put together this sampling of the crowd-pleasing traditional and traditional-ish irish music he can perform at the drop of a bowler — and you can take it with you (in CD form only though, so get it while it lasts). I was tickled to find the lyric edits I thought I’d caught when listening live were part of his recordings too. Atlanta makes a couple of key appearances in The Dubliners’ “Black Velvet Band”, and my precious Guinness got a reprieve when traded with a barrel of PBR instead to wash some filthy-ass sooty trousers in the Brobdingnagian Bards ditty “The Old Dun Cow [caught fire]”.
Sean’s dialect may not remain constant when performing this genre, but what is consistent is his pretty –-yes, pretty!— soaring melodies, infectious energy, and classic irish twinkle-in-the-eye humor. This Georgia native illustrates with song after song that American country and folk music is deeply rooted in the folk music of the British isles. It fits him well–whether his hometown tongue shapes the lyrics at any one moment, or another, perhaps one from not particularly far up his family tree.
Sean Thomason: Crowd-Pleasing Guilty Pleasure
So yeah, I’m smitten. Particularly in light of being able to recommend to our readers a night of music they won’t regret. Have a song craving? Sean Thomason astonishes with encyclopedic responsiveness to patron song requests. I watched at his solo show as some playlist-trashing request-teamwork ignited singalongs to the diverse “Night Moves”, “Wagon Wheel”, and a previously never played before but spontaneously calculated, “Glycerine” (thanks, that one was from me).
Delivering our guilty pleasure time-machine confections with panache, powerful verve, and a seductively detectable sweetness seems to be his wheelhouse. It’s not just me. The evidence is there… in the Rapture of the Band Kamp audience in particular, and as exemplified too by the couples endlessly crisscrossing the dance floor to Broken Whisky Glass’ country anthems …that playing these songs for us, and playing them well, touches us in deep emotional places we maybe rarely allow ourselves to admit we still have. Yet with Sean & Co., and the spoon-full-of-sugar-and-tonic memories that get triggered, we’re happy to find ourselves raising another glass, staying a little longer, singing out loud with strangers.
Can the value of singing along to an old favorite led by an intuitive entertainer be quantified? A tip jar is the proper place to leave the evidence of that calculation, let’s always keep in mind. I’d say — absolutely. I know it by the way I felt after having Molly Ringwald’d my feet off all night, or having gone hoarse rage-singing along with the rock of the 90s, or getting that community high swaying to an irish tune in an irish bar with a bunch of probably-totally-not-irish insta-comrades.
I felt fantastic, every time. It doesn’t hurt that Sean’s charmingly personable offstage regardless of his most immediate stage persona. He’s genuinely kind with his fans and always group-selfie game–an approachable showman that just made you feel ways you remember feeling (perhaps many) decades ago.
Follow Sean Thomason On All the Things
Crushes feel great. Go get your girl’s crush or man-crush on, and follow Sean on Facebook at Sean Thomason Music, Sean Thomason’s Broken Whiskey Glass, and Klaus’ Band Kamp. And if you follow or befriend the man himself, you’ll find an uber-friendly, rich-with-music-history, generous-of-spirit musician with boundless energy, truly enjoying his path. That, my dears, is deliciously contagious.
Come back to Libro Musica in the coming months for Bonus Content excerpts from the Sean Thomason interview as we feature each of his cover bands.
Listen Local & Listen Live to Sean Thomason
Broken Whiskey Glass (A Mix of Classic and New Country Hits) hits 37 Main – A Rock Cafe – Buford, on May 31st, 2019.
Monica’s Cigar (90’s Alt Rock), or Broken Whiskey Glass performs next at 37 Main – Gainsville, on June 1st, 2019.
Sean performs solo at Limerick Junction on June 7th, and June 14th, 2019.
The Biffs are performing at Food That Rocks – A Celebration of Sandy Springs, on Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 6:30 to 11 p.m.
That’s gonna be a John Hughes-esque 80s soundtrack to twenty-five Sandy Springs chefs and restaurants, plus cocktails, all benefiting local charities (Community Assistance Center, Ian’s Friends Foundation and Second Helpings Atlanta). I love how they put it — “community and entertainment for a cause.”
For Cumming Fest, you also get tributes to Fleetwood Mac (Rumours ATL), Nirvana, Bon Jovi, Green Day, Guns ‘N Roses, Pearl Jam, etc. At Buckhead Theater, you get Klaus & co., plus the music of Depeche Mode, PLUS a tribute to David Bowie by Electric Duke — I do not plan on sitting down the entire night.