Thomas Kovacs
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Thomas Kovacs


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"Fresh new direction for folk-rock"

Built on a foundation of passionate folk rock, newcomer Thomas Kovacs has tossed the standard singer/songwriter textbook out the window with an enduring full-length debut, entitled "Wisdom from the Spirit," that successfully mixes in traces of modern rock, Americana roots music and even a bit of psychedelia.

It seems almost unfathomable that these songs of passion and spirit are performed by someone only 20-years old. Not only does the North Carolina native's deep, resonant voice on the gripping number "The Anchor" and the uplifting majesty that surrounds 'Stand" sound reminiscent of Peter Gabriel in his prime, but the knowing sense of spirituality that graces the lilting "Angel with a Broken Wing" and the title track also further suggests with a world-weariness that there is a much more mature soul brooding in the body of this young man. Kovacs' lively guitar playing - often performed in unique, yet interesting tunings - also perfectly compliments his compelling voice.

While the body of songs and compositions stand strongly on their own, it's the unique production values that truly keep many of these numbers from blending in with similar singer/ songwriter ilk. Recorded earlier this year in Lake Geneva and co-produced by Kovacs, Mike Hoffmann (EIEIO / Willy Porter) and Machine Records owner Chris Buttleman, the trio took many of Kovacs' original compositions and reshaped them into an intriguingly varied package. From the driving rhythm and modern rock approach of "Foundation" to the jaunty country twang that gallops through "Burning Out" to the brief opium-laced instrumental "Pass the Hookah," featuring Kovacs on sitar, this guitarist/singer/songwriter offers a much broader palette than the John Mayers and Dave Matthews do for this genre of music. Having a bit of fun, Kovacs also tosses in a lighthearted cover of The Left Banke's '60s gem "Walk Away Renee," which would do Roger McGuinn and The Byrds proud.

Spiritual without preaching and thought-provoking without pretensions, Wisdom from the Spirit points a bright new direction for folk rock. -


Thomas Kovacs - Wisdom From The Spirit (Machine Records MAC721012) Full-length debut CD


Feeling a bit camera shy


Thomas Kovacs is a musician that sings from the heart. Armed with an acoustic guitar, a deep, resonant voice and a knapsack full of passionate and often haunting acoustic compositions, this 21-year-old adds a refreshing new twist to the age old singer / songwriter genre.

Of the many songs that have been road tested throughout his live performances, Kovacs has accumulated what he feels are the strongest for his debut album "Wisdom from the Spirit" (to be released May 31, 2005 on Machine Records). Co-produced by Mike Hoffmann (EIEIO / Willy Porter), along with Kovacs and Chris Buttleman, the result of this effort is a fascinating melting pot of folk-rock, Americana roots music and even a bit of psychedelia, all held tightly together by modern rock sensibilities. Songs such as “Faded,” “The Anchor,” “Burning Out” and “A Long Distance Song” showcase Kovacs as not only an accomplished vocalist and guitarist but engaging songwriter as well. His uplifting cover of The Left Banke’s ‘60s nugget “Walk Away Renee” also demonstrates his talent at reshaping other artist’s material into his own.

The North Carolina-based artist’s musical history began when he started picking out songs by ear on the piano at the age of five. He then went onto receive more formal training on the clarinet in his middle school band. Influenced by his uncle’s guitar playing, the young Kovacs soon became infatuated with the six-stringed instrument. From there he joined his first band in the seventh grade, which specialized in the heavy punk sounds of the day.

After leaving that band, he laid down his electric guitar in favor of the acoustic and never looked back. “Everything I do now is acoustically driven,” Kovacs admits. “I really touch on a bit of everything - from a lot of soft songs to heavy numbers. I like to mix some of the stuff on the harder side with songs that are a bit more sentimental. I really like to change it up and have a nice balance.”

With over three dozen of his own compositions in his songbook, Kovacs has been broadening his fan-base through captivating performances at coffee houses and intimate clubs over the last three years. He now resides in Evanston, IL, where he is currently majoring in film studies at Northwestern University.

Although there may be subtle similarities in Kovacs’ music to other artists (his seasoned voice at times hints at Peter Gabriel in his prime, while his free-flowing style of guitar is slightly reminiscent to that of Dave Matthews), he’s quick to point out that his approach to his music is nothing more than being honest with himself. “I really don’t try and sound like anyone else,” Kovacs states. “I don’t try and have a specific sound. The way I sing and play is just how it naturally comes out.”

"Wisdom from the Spirit" is an engaging album that touches the heart, mind and soul of its listeners, while opening a window into the talent that lies deep within this gifted young artist.

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