Dustin Thomas
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Dustin Thomas

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"365 Days Project"

Dustin is a musician, the most comfortable speaker I've met, a case of déjà vu.

I met him when he opened for a band called Mister in Saint Cloud in the summer of 2008. I recall getting hold of him through Facebook and asking him about the demo CDs he said he was giving out for free, because I liked his sound.

In his response, he addressed me excitedly and apologized for losing my MySpace address. Confused, I asked what he meant.

So let me correct my story:

I met Dustin in the mall in Saint Cloud in the summer of 2007, waiting for a friend to get off work. I was doing some writing and he sat down with me, saying he liked the picture of Kurt Vonnegut on my notebook, I looked interesting, and his name was Dustin. We chatted for a bit and he asked if I would send him some of my writing; I agreed, wrote my MySpace address on a slip of paper, and he and his friends left.

He never contacted me, and for the next year, I recounted the story, saying things like, "I wonder if it was a school project to see how much strangers will say about their lives."

My fatalist nature says we're destined to do great things together.

These days, he's performing frequently under the moniker Dustin Thomas. Here, two-and-some years after our first meeting ( and the first time we'd met face-to-face since Saint Cloud ), he was still giving his music away for free, handwriting track lists on the backs of the paper cases. He took the stage and gave it all he had, even to a crowd of twenty people, four of whom he knew.

He plays small coffee houses more passionately than some people play First Avenue. - Lewis Mundt

"Dustin Thomas Packs The Rox"

The ambiance is littered; I hear Ice Ball-s rolling up and down the ramp and Nickleback singing over a mingled crowd. Some are drunken bystanders who've stumbled into the Rox Bar and Grill by accident. Others are excited fans awaiting Dustin Thomas to begin their performance.

I met Dustin O' Harver (the guitarist and vocalist also known as D) for the first time in my life tonight. He was calm and approachable in his plain grey t-shirt (which he later took off to the audience's pleasure to reveal an equally plain black tank top) and jeans. He even managed to joke around with me during introductions; does he know he has to perform in a few minutes?! If he was nervous, he didn't show it at all.

It's four minutes to eleven, about half an hour after expected show time, and D has just started tuning his guitar. Minutes float by and it's hard to supress my anticipation because the rest of the bandmates (Tim on bass, Dan on drums, and Nils visiting from Canada on guitar) have joined on stage, and are taking off their shoes.

Finally, barefoot and one with each other, they begin the show. D starts a halcyon hum- that somehow maintains its masculinity while sounding angelic- and the others join in. It reminds me of an alphorn: magnificent and better suited for the Swiss Alps, not an intimate venue like the Rox.

Then D shrugs with his voice, "Just play an A... Really loud!" And so the strumming begins, the stage lights turn on and I'm reminded of the annoying radio in the background by it being turned off. As I absorb the music pouring out of his electric acoustic guitar, I watch his calves and knees- exposed by the rolled up jeans- bounce from his toes. I wonder to myself if this earthy motif was picked up during the time he spent in Hawaii.

Is it there he acquired this Ben Harper influence? By Andrew playing a lap-drum instead of a regular drum kit it gives this acoustic show a tropical Marley feel... Which they extended with a "Three Little Birds" cover. Ironically, the drum was less prominant in that cover than in most of the other songs in the set. Disappointed? Not in the least: it just proved that Dustin Thomas can play legendary songs and make it their own.

The variety of the set was vital. Sometimes, acoustic shows can start to blend together into one long song if the artists don't spice it up enough; not Dustin Thomas. I heard elements of Irish music, hip hop, verses suitable for ballads, and sad songs with repentant David Gray-type undertones. I heard Yonder Mountain String Band pop into D's fingers during "Fishermen," and Jason Mraz-like stutters in "Romeo and Juliet." I even heard an emotionally battered manner mimicking Bright Eyes: a fast paced strum trying its best to sound happy but hindered by a harmonic semblance. At points, D reminded me of what Tracy Chapman would have been like, had she been born a man.

As important as D is to the band, we mustn't forget about the foundation of the band either. Without Tim's dedication and effortless concentration on the bass we wouldn't be getting the full experience. It was a close call, too. D tells me that he and Tim had lived together for months before the idea of converging talents to form a band ever occured to them.

And then there's Dan. He is much younger than the rest of the members, being just out of high school, but age is irrelevant. Talent, not experience, is how he got the gig. I watch his palms tap steadily over the djembe, almost mechanically, like it's second nature. He tosses his long hair and looks around at the audience without missing a beat.

Speaking of missing beats, at the end of "Romeo and Juliet" the band wasn't all on the same page. Dan, Tim and D stopped abrubtly while a few notes escaped from Nils before he realized they were done. This was the first time I noticed the improvisation; it's humorous accident gave it away. But with a quick joke, D did damage control. "Ah, that's alright, he didn't get the memo... It's okay, he's from Canada." And with that they transitioned into the next song. Blooper aside, the different tangents braided together perfectly.

While I listened, I envied D for his ability to belt out notes using his lungs' full capacity. Somehow the louder he sang the purer the notes sounded. None wandered out of his control. Same with the background A Capella from the rest of the band members. It reminded me of something Grizzly Bear would sing. Especially when Tim would whistle and "ahhh," while Nils played a speedy electric riff during the chorus.

The secret ingredient of the sucess of the band is their unpredictability. The fact that they have "guest stars" and open mics add an element that can't be replicated, not even by themselves. Due to the improvisation and no-plan-plan, no two shows will be exactly alike.

The way Nils balanced his hypnotic riffs with purposely chaotic breaks; the way his hands moved so quickly across the wood without error added unmatchable greatness. These ecl - St.Cloud State: University Chronicle

"Jam-MN Top 10"

http://www.sctimes.com/article/20091029/ENT02/110290082/The-Jam.mn-%E2%80%98A-list- - Adam Hammer


Across The Ocean EP
Live at the Fox Theatre

Streamed on: KKCR, Hamline College Radio, KVSC, Augsburg College Radio, University of Texas Pan American, University of St.Thomas, KUST, KAUG, Think Cloud Radio, Jam's Space Radio, North Shore Sessions, No Static Radio...



Combine a golden voice, unforgettable hair, and a barefoot, gypsy persona and you may have found yourself at one of the many Dustin Thomas shows that have been happening all over the Midwest in the past two years. This budding singer-songwriter came into his own on the the island of Maui in 2009 after a short stint in private school resulted in a one-way ticket to adventure that hasn't slowed since. Currently residing on the Big Island of Hawaii, this young singer has made a name for himself through elegant storytelling and poignant social/emotional commentary. Dynamic in both content and presentation, Dustin Thomas is as versatile as they come. Singing in the passionate way of Tracy Chapman and Jeff Buckley and blending the charm of his heroes Otis Redding and Sam Cooke on stage, DT adds a modern twist; weaving in and out of beat boxing, rapping, haunting falsettos, elegant timbres and soaring vocals.

Dustin has performed alongside:

Matisyahu, Keller Williams, The Dirty Heads, Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, and March Fourth Marching Band.