Tony Lee Thomas

Tony Lee Thomas

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Imagine the energetic strumming of Richie Havens and the intricate finger work of Bert Jansch. Add a vocal style that summons Stevie Wonder and Martin Sexton. Then take a songwriting vocabulary as poignant as Ani DiFranco, playful as John Prine, and add commanding stage presence. Booyah!

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Biography

A student of voice from age 4, his vocal endeavors have included classical technique, various choral ensembles, even barbershop and doo-wop quartets. He has sung in, directed and arranged for many such projects and has gained a deep understanding of vocal harmony. Tony began guitar at seven years old, double bass at age 10, furthering his understanding of instrumentation and song composition. TLT's wealth of performance experience lends him the ability to connect with audiences spanning a multi-faceted scope: from intimate and poignant solo performances to momentous full-blown commanding vamps with his rock band, the Tony Lee Thomas Band.

A p p e a r e d w i t h
Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Jefferson Starship, Big Brother & The Holding Co., Quicksilver, The Mammals, Albert Cummings Band, Ellis Paul, Guy Davis, Max Creek, Dar Williams, Strangefolk, Electric Blue and the Kozmic Truth, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, RAQ, Spookie Daly Pride, Bill Miller, Oak Street Jam Band, The Recipe, Psychedelic Breakfast, Gordon Stone, Fungus Amungus, Flipper Dave, Bobby Sweet, Jimmy LaFave, Horace Godwink (Eric Fowler), Xavier, and many more . . .

R e c e n t V e n u e s
Rock and Roll Resort, Kerhonkson, New York; Theodores' Blues Booze & BBQ Springfield, MA; The Wobbly Barn, Killington, VT; The Outback in Ludlow and Killington, VT; The Muse Nantucket, MA; Flavors Pittsfield, MA; Cisco Brewers Nantucket, MA; SXSW 2009 Austin, TX; Woody Guthrie Folk Festival 2007 - 2009, Crystal Theatre, Okemah OK; Folk Alliance National Conference 2007 Performance Alley, Memphis TN; Bitter End, NYC, NY; Summer Of Love, Tri County Fairgrounds, Northampton, MA; Strange Creek Wormtown Festival, Greenfield MA; The Rhineborn, Keene NH; The Stone Pony, Asbury Park NJ; The Guthrie Center, Housatonic MA; Up or On the Rocks, Hartford CT; Free Speech Festival @ the Dream Away Lodge, Washington MA; Solarfest, Tinmouth VT; ACME Underground, New York NY, The Hi Hat, Providence RI; The Colony, Woodstock, NY; Live At The Lake, Pittsfield, MA

Lyrics

For Vanessa

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

I took your smile and I wrote it down.
Translated all your eyes could whisper,
A sweet and soft and sultry sound.
I was hoping you might stick around,
To show me I need not let go
Of every good thing that I ever found.
There are secrets in the trees.
The stonework of a hundred years tucked away beneath the moss and leaves.
Nothing stays the same my friend,
Kingdoms of a yesteryear fall never to be seen again.

I know that I can keep you warm babe,
And I got nothing to hide
So stay while you can
I won’t blame you when it all begins to unravel.

CHORUS
I want to believe
That the best days aren’t over.
When I see your hair caught in the breeze,
We’ll be dancing as we get older.
Show me love
Show me love is not a lie this time.

We are woven in this tapestry.
Twist yourself abreast with me or just remain a mystery.
A single thread might wisp away,
But a thousand woven tightly will keep you warm on a cold November day

I know that I can keep you warm babe,
And I got nothing to hide
So stay while you can
I won’t blame you when it all begins to unravel.

CHORUS

© 2006 Tony Lee Thomas (BMI)

Around the Bend

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

You were taking in the situation,
You were sizing it up and down.
I was too drunk for conversation
In the middle of the corner bar crowd.
Those tacky Christmas lights up in the corner
Where the ceiling meets the wall
Were swimming in the corner of your eye looking suspiciously like stars.

I know we were never angels
but you were still a godsend.

Chorus
I was happiest in the place where we were taking out a loan on love
Trading in all our drama
You said I was electric
And if electricity binds
Then I’m just trying
To hypnotize you, magnetize you mama.

It’s been a while now
But there still aint a single day gone by,
I don’t lock up every door I can find
You still come walking right in
Through the back of my mind.
Last call, everyone’s your best friend
But you still close the bar alone.
In my dreams you show up right on time
And take me home.

Sometimes every light is green
You see what’s up ahead and not what was.
Sometimes every light that could possibly turn red
Does.

Chorus

© 2006 Tony Lee Thomas (BMI)

Chess Game

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

CHESS GAME

Verse
A
I hear the beat of a different drummer

I sing the pitch of a different tune

I like to whistle when the wind blows bitter
D
Cause change is coming soon
A
I been picking up ground on you

I have a talent for getting in trouble

Cause I never know when to say no

Every time I ask the question
D
I’m back outside looking in through the window
A
It’s hard to whistle through the sting of the wind blow

Pre-chorus
F# F E D#
And it’s a long way home
B G
But I, I can make it
C A
Alone

CHORUS
D G
You don’t owe me anything
F# G D
I’m free to be who I will be
Bm E
And when the sun burns the back of your neck
G F#
The summer doesn’t apologize for heat
F E F E
So if I sit alone up here burning in the sky
F E
Maybe one day you’ll poke your head out of your tree

F
Just in time you might find
E A
You can finally see

Verse

So I sacrifice a little when I have to

But you gotta be ready to choose

A move or two away from check mate

That’s round about the second you lose

But you can always bend the rules

Well I know it aint the car I’m driving

Making money aint what’s at steak

When this game is finally over

Aint none of that that I can take

Except for the choices I make

CHORUS

Solo
A D A G# PreChorus

CHORUS

Baker's Dozen

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

BAKER’S DOZEN
E
You jumped into the water first, hey
F# C# C B
Just in the nick of time
A# Am
It was getting hot, yeah
C B7 C B7
Just sitting there on the side lines
C#
They were so mad at you
D C# B A B C B
Oh and your blasphemous ways
E
You did your best I know you did, yeah
F# C# C B
But they’d never understand
A# Am
How they could hate you
C# B B A C B
And still have a real good friend
C# D
Cause you are a dragonfly out on the water
D# E C# D
Yeah Yeah, just livin it up!
E
You excepted every rule yeah
F# C# C B
That said we were all just living for ourselves
A# Am
You were a lesson in lovin
C B E
Your baker’s dozen stopping at nothing and doing it well
E
If I could just shut up and listen
F# C# C B
Then I just might find my part
A# Am
But yours is the harmony
C B E
You’ve gotta hear it, you gotta feel it with your heart

Cause you are a dragonfly out on the water

Yeah yeah, just livin it up

There are places dressed in shadow

And if something wicked this way comes

And I can show my gratitude

For all the things you do

Consider it done

Sister Song

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

Sister Song

The Appalachian mountains are like my childhood
And I still search for your distant birch wood
I follow the Hudson river
Follow my trail map
If I can find you I just might find my way back home
Ah home

You are that barn owl
Round about twilight I hear you calling me
Each and every night
So I stoke up my fire
I hope you see me burn
You in your skyways
Me in my trails and turns

There may be times when we don’t know what to do
But you’re my sister and I’ll always love you

So remember life can get tough
Like chewing leather
Still it seems easier
When we’re together
So I stoke up my fire
I hope you see me burn
You in your skyways
Me in my trails and turns

There may be times when we don’t know what to do
But you’re my sister and I’ll always love you

The Appalachian mountains
They’re like my childhood
They have their ups and downs
But it was all good

In Love and War

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

Step
step outside your mind
long enough to find
i'm not waiting by your door
anymore

i left
the past to rest behind
letters sealed and signed
in the blood that i have given
before

cause nothing's fair in love
or war

there is no way
you can trust in
a clear sky
but i would try
to see the clouds through
when they know
'i love you'
means good bye

just look
where the map says 'you are here'
lonesome, lost, but still so near
your indicision
muddy's up your vision

real
is not easily defined
you can wake up one day blind
and your perspective
subjective and selective

as if a will to kill can somehow let live

there is no way
we can get there
like eagles fly
but i would try
just like the crows do
when they know
'i love you'
means good bye

it's so much easier to be alone
is it easier to be alone?
with no one else to blame
for the things that never change

if i could trust you
to see it all through
i could die
we say 'i love you'
we say 'good bye'

Wishing Well

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

I know a place across the river
Over the hills and under the sun
When you get there it don’t matter
Where you’re from or what you’ve done.
You’ve been fighting for a long time,
Some battles lost, some won.

Well, I came to see you through
And I’m gonna carry you now
To the place where you belong.

Hold on tight to your love now,
and lay down all the rest.
Fireworks and playgrounds,
Mama’s cooking was always the best.
It’s your light in the darkness
Lord knows, I’ve seen my fill.
But if you need someone to walk with you,
I will.

Well, I came to see you through,
And I’m gonna carry you now
To the place where you belong.

Pitch your pennies down that well, boy,
Close your eyes and make a wish.
Dream about your true love
And that first kiss
Upon your lips.
Maybe we’re all just pennies
In waters so dark
you can’t see.
But one thing that’s for sure
Is every wish gets heard . . .
Eventually.

Well, I came to see you through,
And I’m gonna carry you now.
Just look what you’re love can do,
It’s the only thing that’s true now
In the place where you belong.

Owed To Silver Lake

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

Owed to Silver Lake

In my hometown there’s a lake made of silver
The bramble and the bush stays golden brown
And people from near and far
Can see the water shine cold bright stars
As the traffic drafts the guard rail wrapped around

Daddy’s daddy’s went down for the fishing
But now they wouldn’t even try
The plant had to dump some waste
So they sunk it to the bottom of the lake
‘til all the fish turned into headlights in the sky

But they had to make a living
And you can’t just stop
So they all just kept on counting
All the money couldn’t buy the truth
Because they spent it all with their youth
On a poisoned fountain
Climbing to the top of the old gold mountain

Mama don’t let your babies go outside
Don’t matter if the sun is shining
Hot rocks coming out of the earth
Sparks fly as they hit the dirt
Now the baby’s home sick and they won’t stop crying

You can live here just don’t drink the water
We live here ‘cause it don’t cost much
Mist coming up across the air
Put your mask on and you better beware
Cause you can look but you can’t touch

But they had to make a living
And you can’t just stop
So they all just kept on counting
All the money couldn’t buy the truth
Because they spent it all with their youth
In a poisoned fountain
Climbing to the top of the old gold mountain

All the plans that we put together
All our big business endeavors
Crumble and tumble in time
In these impatient days
With all our fast food ways
It will always be our children who pay
For the messes that we leave behind

In my hometown there’s a lake made of silver
The bramble and the bush stays golden brown
I been to the top of the old gold mountain
I hope that I can get back down
I hope that I can get back down from the poisoned fountain
Sitting on top of the old gold mountain.

Storm Of The Century

Written By: Tony Lee Thomas

Storm of the Century

The sun went down,
The air was heavy, my bags were light.
We set out from California on a Tuesday night.
There are no borders in the desert;
No Arizona, no New Mexico.
There’s just a heat
That plays the eye
As it hits the road.
They say twisters need certain circumstances to spin faster,
And I met you,
You were my catalyst for disaster,
Now I’m spinning faster.

Chorus
You were the storm of the century
And your eye drew me slyly in the wind.
But when you stare down the face of a storm like yours
You don’t make it out the same way you made it in.
You gotta give it up because you never thought that
you’d be giving in, yeah.

Your skin
Seemed to glow like amber,
Bourbon whiskey
But you go down
Smooth
Like a burning coal.
It was a bitter sweet poison that I never could afford
But I won’t tell nobody
About the bottle that I stole.
If I’d have known then
What was up ahead
Well I surely would have taken my time,
But I was younger then
And hell bent
And in my prime.

Chorus

I’ve never had a problem
With good-bye, the parting of ways.
I never look for greener grass
When I can just sit down in the middle of a purple haze.
Just when I thought it was over she caught me
Further on up the road.
She said ‘I don’t know what you’re looking for, but I can surely help you carry that load.’
And I said, ‘Baby, there’s a reason I don’t make promises. When I walk I do my walking alone. And the memory of you might weigh down upon my shoulders, but those memories are the only things I can truly call my own.’

Chorus

Discography

Across The Twighlight Sky, 2011
(Tony Lee Thomas)

In Love And War, 2008
(Tony Lee Thomas)

Supernova, 2006
(Tony Lee Thomas)

Live @ Helsinki, 2004
(Reed Street)

Dragonfly, 2002
(Reed Street)

Set List

Every room, event, and audience is different - therefore - TLT's sets span those differences to better connect with his listeners.

A solo acoustic set may consist of more lyrically oriented original content and an occasional folky cover, while band sets expand what are usually 4 - 5 min. songs with improvisation and rock covers (Derek and the Dominoes, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix).

From 20 minute showcases to 8 hour all-night vamps with his band, TLT has the vocal stamina and performance experience to do anything.