Michael Thomason Band

Michael Thomason Band

 Napa, California, USA

Soulful Americana country with clever lyrics, taking the standard topics of country music: heartache, cheatin', and drinkin', and finding new ways to tell their stories.

Currently holding the #2 position on the European CMA chart and previously nominated for Band of the Year and Album of the Year!


If you think youve heard all there is to say about heartbreak and life on the road, chances are you havent listened to singer/songwriter/bandleader Michael Thomason. His straight-from-the-hip songs about loneliness, betrayal and good love gone bad put a new spin on eternal country themes in a resounding twang that proudly displays the influences of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Elvis Presley.

On the 2006 release, Ridin the Night Train, Thomason brings the emotional essence of lifes hard knocks into sharp focus, with spare lyrics rendered in an unsentimental voice that says, This is how it really happened. Stylistically, the CD covers a lot of ground. It includes ballads, breakneck 12-bar shuffles, accordion-laced Norteo, a nod to Hank Williams, as well as fresh covers of tunes by Steve Earle and Leonard Cohen. Ridin' the Night Train was honored as a nominee for Independent Album of the Year in 2007 for the European CMA Awards and in 2008 the band was third runner-up for Band of the Year at the ECMA awards.

The overall vibe is Bakersfield. It comes from an ultra-tight band anchored by two very hot guitarists: the telecaster wizard, Sean Allen (who also plays with Carlene Carter), and pedal steeler, Rdiger Karahn. Their tasteful (but never overstated) lick swapping keeps the auditory nerve sufficiently tickled, while the rhythm section (drummer Jens Dunker and bassist Don Schmitt) maintains a firm groove. Jessie trades lead vocals and harmonizes, adding a sweet, high-lonesome sound.

One thing is certain, the latest release from the Michael Thomason Band wont let you down. This fresh take on the bands tried and true Americana country roots will either inspire a whirl around the dance floor or console your broken heart. 100% Chance of Tears, when released in Europe in 2010, was noted as one of the best Indie releases of 2010 by the European Country Music Association (ECMA) and continues to ride the ECMA charts well into 2011. Across the board, Michael and his noteworthy band once again commit to bringing us a first-rate selection of original music.

100% Chance of Tears showcases Michaels versatile songwriting talents, and lets his well-traveled voice radiate through his songs. The title song was a #1 hit single internationally and reached #4 on the European CMA Top 100 Chart. His soothing voice laments for easier days and leaves us fantasizing an escape to Mexico in Making Love, Catching Fish. With Julia a rare treasure is released. It was recorded with Buck Owens Buckaroos in Bakersfield, California in 1974, along with California, the 1976 hit single.

Jessie, Michaels daughter, continuing in the singer-songwriter family tradition, collaborated with him on the break-away single, I Do It All For You - A country radio favorite - reaching #1 across Europe. Jessie also shines channeling Lefty Frizzell with Shine, Shave and Shower and then shows us just how deep that Thomason blood runs with her own tear-jerking ballads.

Unlike many wavers of the Americana flag, Thomason earned his country credentials the old-fashioned way: by playing 35 years in roadhouses and county fairs in and around Californias fabled Central Valley and across Texas and Louisiana. A native of Modesto, an agricultural town on Hwy 99, Thomason, grew up listening to country, blues and rock.

Michael has since toured throughout Europe and the U.S. with his own bands, and opened for Tammy Wynette, Emmy Lou Harris, Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Paycheck and other country legends. En route, Thomason also shared the stage with such luminaries as Amos Garrett, Bill Kirchen, Keith Allen, Carl Brouse, Gary James, Kenny Dale Johnson, Norton Buffalo.

Thomason now resides with his family in the hills outside of Napa Valley, California with half the band also in California and the other half based in Germany.


Ridin' The Night Train

Written By: Michael Thomason

I been ridin’ on this night train
Nothin’ else I wanna do
Through the night I keep on riding
All kinds of weather, ridin’ through
And I know deep down in my bones
This train is bound to take me home

Some folks call me lazy, crazy, dreamer
And all that kind of stuff
But my babies call me daddy
My darlin’ calls me darlin’ and that’s enough
I can hear that lonesome whistle whinin’ low
This train is bound to take me home

When you got nothin’ to lose
You got your freedom, so they say
But that’s just the beginning
Freedom comes and goes everyday
Right on track but like a rollin’ stone
This train is bound to take me home

All the stories have been told
And all the songs have been sung before
But that don’t mean you’ve heard it all
Don’t mean we shouldn’t sing a little more
Just let that lonesome whistle moan
This train is bound to take me home

I got no answer to the blues
Don’t think it’s a question anyway
And as for all those dues
There ain’t no doubt you gotta pay
And you got to pay them all alone
This train is bound to take me home
Just let that lonesome whistle moan
This train is bound to take me home

I Do It All For You

Written By: Michael Thomason/Jessie Thomason

Look's like hard times coming up around the corner
Turns of fate aren't what we might choose
Through ups and downs of our lives together
There's a sure way we always get through

I just do it all for you
Through hardship and heartache and hard work I must do
Not 'cause I have to, because I want to
Not that I like to, because I love you

Through sacrifice to fruition
Gladly side by side with you
Your love is my compensation
Compromise makes dreams come true

And I do it all for you
Through hardship and heartache and hard work I must do
Not 'cause I have to, because I want to
Not that I like to, because I love you

When hard times give way to good times
Like the night time gives way to the day
We'll bask in the warmth of the sunshine
And know whatever may come there's a way

I just do it all for you
Through hardship and heartache and hard work that we do
Not 'cause I have to, because I want to
Not that I like to, because I love you

Not that I have to, because I want to
Not that I like to, because I love you

100% Chance of Tears

Written By: Michael Thomason

That look in your eyes I’ve never seen before
I’m praying I don’t know why it’s here
But if I were to forecast what it holds in store
I’d say one hundred percent chance of tears

One hundred percent chance of tears
No chance at all of happiness ‘round here
There’s no hope for me without the chance to hold you near
Just one hundred percent chance of tears

Changes in the weather, changes in the sea
The forecasts can’t always be so clear
But if you say for somebody else you’re leaving me
There’ll be one hundred percent chance of tears


So tell me now, what’s on your mind, are you leaving me?
With one hundred percent chance of tears

Ringing My Bell

Written By: Michael Thomason

My gal don't have to worry
About me staying away to long
She's got the knack that brings me back
I could not do her wrong
Might be she's go a hex on me
And I'm under her spell
Comes to love she sure enough knows her stuff
And she's ringing my bell

She's sassy, saucy, brassy and bossy
What she's liable to do is hard to tell
What I want, she's got and she's got a whole lot
Of what it takes, make no mistake, she's ringing my bell

I did not see it coming
When she tied this bell on me
I thought that I could play the field
Footloose and fancy free
But here I am and here I'll stay
And she knows so damn well
I'll do anything to please her
'Cause she's ringing my bell



California; 1974 Spring Mountain Records
Won't You Ever Learn; 1998 Desert Kid Records
Buffalo Dreams; 2001
Ridin' The Night Train; 2006 Beegum Creek Records *Nominated for Indie Album of the Year by the European Country Music Association
100% Chance of Tears; 2010 Beegum Creek Records (Top Ten on ECMA Charts across Europe)
ECMA Nomination for 2009 Band of The Year
ECMA Nomination for 2010 Band of The Year (Placed Third runner-up)

Set List

Sets vary in length and number to what the venue requests.

MTB plays a great variety of music including original music and covers by these and many other artists:

Hank Williams
Johnny Cash
Merle Haggard
Buck Owens
Lefty Frizzell
Willie Nelson
Waylon Jennings
George Strait
Allen Jackson
Guy Clark
Dwight Yoakam
Ian Tyson
Tammy Wynette
Emmylou Harris
Iris Dement
Elvis Presley
Ricky Nelson
Lucinda Williams
Steve Earle
Leonard Cohen
Bob Dylan
and many many others

Two recent sets from the Haag am Hausruck, Austria Festival:

Making Love, Catching Fish*
Won’t You Ever Learn*
Me and Bobby McGee
You Looked At Me*
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
Outlaw Blues
Honkytonkin’ Daddy*
Take Me Back*
Anywhere By You*
Something To Believe In*
Good Hearted Woman

Cherokee Fiddle
Folsom Prison Blues
Ringing My Bell*
I Do It All For You*
Honky Tonk Man
Bound For Glory
100% Chance Of Tears*