Kelly Thomas has been playing original music in the Greater Cincinnati area since her first project, Second Sister, in 1998. Thomas performed with Second Sister from 1998-2001, releasing an independent album, “A Thousand Lives” in 1998. Second Sister eventually grew from an acoustic based trio to a full band, adding the talents of Chris Perrault on bass and Red MacCormack on drums. The band played many local events and was in the process of recording an album when MacCormack died of a drug overdose. The band felt unable to continue after the loss of MacCormack. In 2005, Thomas created The Red MacCormack Recording Grant Fund. Grants in the amount of $500 are awarded annually to local artists to help offset expenses associated with recording original albums. To date, 11 grants have been awarded.
After Second Sister, Thomas continued performing periodically with Second Sister guitarist Scott Miller. In July of 2003 Thomas started The Rivertown Music Club. The concept was to have a musician’s night once a month where several local acts would share the evening. Thomas’s intention was to build a stronger sense of community amongst local players and to provide opportunities for those new to the scene to play a well promoted and run show with established local artists. After the first few shows Thomas added the charitable aspect that RTMC is well known for in Greater Cincinnati. It seemed silly to try to divide proceeds from a show, typically $300-$400 amongst 25 musicians. Thomas approached those booked for upcoming shows with the idea of selecting a worthwhile organization each month and making a donation of the door. Fast forward to 2010 and RTMC hosts a few multi-stage festivals per year and has donated around $10,000 to a number of local charities from shows. The most successful shows tend to be the One More Girl on a Stage series that celebrates the music and strength of women.
Thomas currently performs with her band, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups. They are working on writing a new album and have an old school country blues vibe. The Fabulous Pickups are John Bedinghaus and Jeff Boling. They have a very organic, no nonsense, fun loving approach to music and have been playing together since 2003.
Thomas released a solo album, “Another Mile” in 2006. It consisted of many songs she had written, but never recorded, with former band mate, Scott Miller. It was well received locally and made City Beat’s top releases of 2006. Thomas’s sense of community is also obvious in her music. She has collaborated on several music projects. She wrote an EP with her friend, Ryan Malott of 500 Miles to Memphis. They recorded at Candyland Studios winter of 2009. The album received local and national acclaim. Thomas and Malott were nominated for two CEA’s in 2009, Best Country Act and Best New Artist and were signed to Deep Elm Records. Thomas performs occasionally with Malott as their schedules allow. In recent months Thomas got together local musicians; Ma Crow, Brad Meinerding, Sylvia Mitchell, Forrest Horn, Jeremy Pittman and John Bedinghaus, to record a gospel album. Thomas’s goal was for the record to sound as if you had stumbled into a hillbilly church, perhaps after a long night of sinning. The musicians decided to dub themselves, The Hayseed Tabernacle Choir. The group got together for 3 practices and cut the album live at Audiogrotto in Newport. They got 14 songs in 7 hours and the album indeed sounds like an old church service. The record, “Gone Home” was released on June 6, 2010 in Rabbit Hash Kentucky.
Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups
The Hayseed Tbernacle Choir
Tammy and the WhyNots