Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas

 Covington, Kentucky, USA

Traditional country with a strong dose of rock and blues. Kelly Thomas has been compared to Roseanne Cash with her transparent and personal writing and impressive vocal range. The Fabulous Pickups are the perfect compliment providing a full, but not overly busy, backdrop to Thomas's vocal.


A staple on the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati music scene since 2005, Kelly Thomas and her band,The Fabulous Pickups, have carved out a respectable place as a premier band in their home town. In 2011, the band released it's debut album "Fly" which was well received on both a local and national level.

In addition to her work with the Fabulous Pickups, Thomas is known for many collaborations including her current video/recording project, The Sacred Harp Sessions, which features Thomas performing a song with 13 area bands. Some of the songs are covers and Thomas has penned original songs with The Sleepin' Dogs, Mad Anthony and The Kentucky Struts for the project. The series reaches fans by way of videos that give some interesting background each episode on the Cincinnati/NKY music scene and end with Thomas performing the selected song. The project will be released on CD and Vinyl in late 2012.

2012, Thomas was named Singer/Songwriter of the Year by The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
2012 CEA Nomination, Best Country Act
2011 CEA Nomination, Best Country Act
2010, Katie Reider Spirit of Music Award
2009 CEA Nomination, Kelly Thomas & Ryan Malott, Best Country Act, Best New Artist



Written By: Thomas/Boling

you can lock up your heart or you can give it away
you can sink into doubt or you can step out on faith
you can worry about tomorrow or you can kiss me today

you can see love as freedom or you might see a cage
you can stare at your feet or you can answer my gaze
you can wrap your arms around me or you can run away

I want to fly high above my fears
I want to rise up into your atmosphere
Baby, I got hope. I got wings
I’m letting go of things that tether me.

You can tell me to leave or you can beg me to stay
You can sit there in silence like you’ve got nothing to say
you can open up your heart and let love sweep us away.


Written By: Thomas/Boling

I was reaching for the prize before me.
My heart got tangled in the thorny vines.
You came creeping into my head like a melody.
I was humming your tune all the time.

You can look, You can touch, you can love me baby, just not too much
You can come, you can go, we can do this til we get enough

I know you got a rotten reputation
And I’ve been around a time or two
Ain’t gonna do too much thinking
Won’t question everything we always knew

Now my love, I know all about you
I know you need my light to shine
In the darkness where you hide that sadness
Your eyes give away what your smile hides.

And oh, yeah, I know that I need you
You pull me in when I’m acting cruel
This ain’t no complicated situation
I just need to get into you…

Hello Goodbye

Written By: Thomas/Lipscomb

Hello, Goodbye. It’s been a long while
I’ve been out running All of this time
You left me here weeping and out of my mind
Hello, goodbye It’s been a long while.

Hello, Goodtime. See your eyes they're still blue
I’ve been wondering whatever happened to you
My world’s been peaceful. Baby, but I’m still blue
Hello, Goodtime. It’s good to see you

Hello, goodbye, I’m a far cry from feeling fine

Hello, Train wreck, here I stand like a fool
I know where this came from and what’s left to lose
And I know myself and I know what I’ll do
Hello, trainwreck here I stand like a fool

Hello, goodbye, hello, heartache, hello, trainwreck, hello, goodtime….


Written By: Thomas/Boling

So here we are again, and your words begin, to burn
deep inside my chest
I know we see things differently, but we can’t seem to kill this need
To always want to be around

But you want a powderkeg, And I need a slow rolling wave
of love washing over me

And I can’t love you anymore because I can’t love you any less

We always seem to work it out, but darling now I have my doubts
But I know where I want to be
But you just don’t see me, your heart is still a mystery to me
And you’ll never let me in

And you want a powderkeg And I need a slow rolling wave
of love washing over me

And I can’t love you anymore Because I can’t love you any less

In my eyes you shine
So brightly I go blind
And you know
I’ve given you my best
I can’t love you anymore.


Written By: Thomas/Boling

I’ve seen it all and I lost it all
Never could have known how far I’d fall
nothing but faith to see me thru.

I gave my heart. I gave my youth
But we never could get past the truth
No happy ending for me and you

Your love has left me fearless
I’ve got nothing left to lose
Your love has left me fearless
Nothing could hurt like losing you.

Now baby I ain’t bitter. I ain’t mad
The whole damn thing just seems so sad
But you've been a friend of mine.
But don’t write a note. Don’t ring my phone
I really want to leave well enough alone
I love you but babe I’ve gotta go.


Well it’s been 10 years and a river of tears
And I might be insane, but I still got hope
That you were’nt the one and that love will come
and my sweet man is waiting on down the road


"Fly" Released 9/2011.
"Meet The Tammy WhyNots" Released 5/2011. Country Album with projcet The Tammy WhyNots
"Gone Home" Released 6/2010-Gospel Album with The Hayseed Tabernacle Choir
Self Titled EP, Released 6/2009-Ryan Malott and Kelly Thomas (released internationally on Deep Elm Records)
"Another Mile" Released 7/2006

Receiving airplay on WNKU 89.7 fm, Highland Heights, KY Louisville, KY
Class X Radio, Cincinnati, Ohio
WAIF 88.3 f.m., Cincinnati, Ohio

What people are saying about "Fly"...

Family Reunion Country

...Along this musical journey Kelly uses her vocal and emotional range to really bring the story to life. "Fly" is reminiscent of Roseanne Cash's "The Seven Year Ache." She conjures the sultriness of Elannah Myles for the tempting, "Enough." She also brings the intimacy of Margo Timmins (of Cowoby Junkies) to several songs including "Hello Goodbye." The Fabulous Pickups add to the depth of this album by changing tempos in perfect time with the narrative of the story. With mournful slide guitars and defiant electric guitar work, the Fabulous Pickups help capture all the highs and lows of this emotional roller coaster ride. But for those of us lucky enough to eavesdrop on this musical confessional, there are only highs.

Cincinnati Enquirer
Rick Bird
We know writing can be cathartic. Doing it in song can also take emotional courage. That’s the take from vocalist Kelly Thomas’ CD of original songs – all honest, heart-wrenching and therapeutic – as she writes of personal pains, triumphs, break-ups and addictions.

Thomas is perhaps best known locally for her side projects rather than her main group, the Fabulous Pickups. She was in folk-rock band Second Sister over a decade ago; formed musician support group Rivertown Music Club; showcased female artists with a series of shows, One More Girl On a Stage; recorded a classic country duet album with Ryan Malott (“500 Miles to Memphis”), and formed such country/gospel tribute groups as the Tammy WhyNots and The Hayseed Tabernacle Choir.

But she has never released a full CD based on her own writing until now. Thomas lets loose with a searing emotional journey right from the first track on “Hard Winter,” a foreboding slow-burn epic. It’s followed by the title cut, perhaps expressing the album’s theme, “I want to fly high above my fears.” There are broken relationships of bands and boyfriends, loved ones lost to drugs, and the wrongs that friends inexplicably do to do friends. Thomas admits to “picking some scabs” to find the emotional honesty.

Thomas is rooted in old-time country, but this is not strictly a country album, with plenty of roots rock, honky tonk and even a touch of metal. However, Thomas is perhaps best on her from-the-gut country ballads like “Worse for the Wear” and “High Time.” The CD is a great showcase for local artists, starting with producer Mike Montgomery, who knows where to put the hooks, along with David Rhodes Brown, Brad Meinerding and Fabulous Pickup members John Bedinghaus, Jeff Boling and Sylvia Mitchell.
While some of the songs can be emotionally tough, the theme is hopeful and liberating, especially on “Fearless,” the closing track – as good a breakup rocker as you’ll hear – when Thomas sassily sings, “I love you, but I gotta go.”

Nate Rosing
Fly is one of those albums that continues to build throughout and gets noticeably better to the ear after each listen. Upon first listen, I felt that the opening number “Hard Winter” got it off to a rather slow start. After just a few listens however, I would quickly take back that ridiculous notion.

The song sets the tone and only raises the bar for what is to come. At about the minute-and-a-half mark Kelly’s voice begins to rise gracefully, leading the band into great heights of toe-tapping drums and twangy, blues-infused guitar licks, followed by Mitchell’s moving fiddle and the sweet harmonies from the trio of backing singers. It leaves you feeling anxious.

As a band primarily rooted in country music, Fly actually takes on sounds that would appeal to a wide range of music fans of all styles and ages. Much of the album is filled with upbeat country rockers, but you’ll find that Thomas and the Pickups manage to squeeze in all types of styles in each song ranging from Americana to blues to folk to pop and to Soul.

Set List

Hard Winter
Beast Of Burden
Worse For The Wear
Hello Goodbye
High Time
Portland Oregon
Rose or Thorn
Honey bee