Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

BandFolkCeltic

Soothing Celtic-Folk music that brings the listener on a journey to mythical and fairy-tale lands. A gentle blend of hammered dulcimer, guitar, piano, recorders, whistles, strings, and hand percussion.

Biography

Brian Thomas is a Celtic-folk songwriter from Surrey, British Columbia. Across cultures and
generations, music has been a vehicle for storytelling, and Brian's songs have sought to
re-capture that tradition. His peaceful, melodic music frames touchingly human stories and
lyrics packed with imagery. Brian blends together finger-style guitar, hammered dulcimer,
piano, recorders, and deep, warm vocals to create a refreshingly original sound.

Brian had no formal music training as a child, and only began making music when he first picked up a guitar at the age of 17. In the years since, he has learned to play more than ten other instruments, and has written almost a hundred original songs.

The stories of his third CD release, Prairie Rain, come with very few words spoken. Mostly instrumental, this album conveys stories through the sounds of the ten musical instruments that Brian plays. The hammered dulcimer, a recent addition to his musical pallet, takes center stage in several songs, including the title track.

Brian says, "One of the greatest challenges as a musician is to be able to convey emotions and pictures in music, and doing that with instrumental songs is even more difficult. How do you make a piano sound like a baby waking up, or a guitar sound like a hawk flying, or a dulcimer sound like a rainstorm? That's what I was trying to achieve in this project." The inspiration for much of Prairie Rain's music came from a journey Brian took with his wife to Scotland and Ireland in the summer of 2006, including a five-day stay on the profoundly
spiritual island of Iona. Other songs were written for weddings, both his own and those of friends.

Prairie Rain is the continuation of Brian's story told through music, which began with his first two CDs, Storybook and Dancing in the Desert. Storybook is a personal expression of the deep emotions he experienced when he lost a loved one. Each song is a story, and though the main character changes in each song, they are all representative of the Brian's journey through love, loss, grief, and walking on. One critic stated this regarding one of
Storybook's songs, The Forsaken Merman: "Without meaning to be fulsome I have simply never encountered a more beautiful folk song. The song is tasteful, textured and even
heart-rending. You will seldom spend time more prudently, than in giving this beautiful piece an audience. The more often I listen, the more enchanted I become."

Dancing in the Desert, Brian's second album, is a collection of nine worship songs written while searching for peace in the midst of a time of struggle. Like a majestic, triumphant shout from the top of a mountain, this CD is the uplifting, joyful
chapter of Brian's story.

Brian is happily married, and has two young daughters. He studied music and composition at Trinity Western University. Brian also teaches grade 6, and hopes to one day compose
and conduct a choral symphony.

Discography

Storybook - 2003
Dancing in the Desert - 2004
Prairie Rain - 2007 - Nominee for Canadian Folk Music Award, Best Instrumentalist, Solo

Set List

Three hours of original music plus an hour or two of covers are available, but a typical concert is an hour and a half to two hours of all-original material and storytelling. A typical medium-length set list for a folk-festival setting might look like this: (all songs are original compositions by Brian Thomas)

Under the Oak Tree (acoustic guitar)
Prairie Rain (hammered dulcimer)
But a Dream (hammered dulcimer)
Songbird (guitar & vocal)
Cabin Called Lonely (guitar & vocal)
A Little Piece of Sweet (piano)
Spring Morning (piano & vocal)
Euridyce (piano & vocal)
Sweet, Sweet Love (guitar & vocal)
Moonlight Lullaby (guitar)
Happy Am I (guitar & vocal)
Irish Fingers (guitar)
The Gentlest Lady (hammered dulcimer & vocal)

Encore: Improvised music on hammered dulcimer