Will Thomas
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Will Thomas

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"Review: Will Thomas - ?e?cThis Is Your Life?f"

Overview: Will Thomas hails from Charlottesville, Virginia, the birthplace of Dave Matthews Band. He joined forces with Daughtry guitarist Brian Craddock and began hammering out some new songs. Chris Daughtry himself also lent a hand in the creative process. After wooing Charlottesville legend Wally Worsley to handle guitar duties in his band, Will Thomas hit the studio with producer and ex-My Dog Lucy frontman Shep Stacy. Five songs were tracked and shipped off to Skidd Mills (Saving Abel, 12 Stones) for mixing. The end result is Will Thomas?f shiny new EP, ?e?cThis Is Your Life?e. The disc is only available on CD Baby so pick one up before they sellout?cagain.

The Good: To call ?e?cThis Is Your Life?e only ?ggood?h would be a gross, gross understatement. This five song treasure opens with ?gDon?ft Wait?h, which should have Vertical Horizon fans completely sold after about 30 seconds. The tone and majesty of Will Thomas?f buttery voice becomes memorable quickly, his pipes some of the best to hit modern rock in eons. Musically, ?gDon?ft Wait?h thrives on warm, vibrant verses and soaring, robust choruses, as well as a few little neato nuances here and there. ?gLive This Life?h was the song to which Chris Daughtry contributed his writing; luckily for Will, he is the one who gets to boast this dazzling upbeat number. ?gLive This Life?h is sinfully catchy, a glutton for peachy overtones and an uplifting vibe that would make even El Diablo smile, tap his toes (or pitchfork) and sing along like a giddy pre-teen. The tune is imbued by pristine vocal harmonizing, including bursts of three-part harmony sprinkled throughout each chorus. Charming and tender, ?gReconsider?h is a dynamic wiz-kid, specifically in regards to the way each successive chorus is fuller and more enveloping than its predecessor(s). The sentimental ?gReconsider?h flows so smoothly that it exudes a soothing, peaceful feeling toward listeners. If anyone wants to help me fund the record label I want to start, I will split the sickening amount of profits ?gGo?h will rake in with you. Hell, you can smell the aroma of smash hit coming from ?gGo?h a mile away. Skidd Mills proves how sharp and crafty his mixing work is by looping the ?ggo ooo-whoa-oh, I need to know you?fll let me go?h hook through the second verse. An all-over carefree rollick with a sun-kissed, Top 40 goldmine of a chorus, ?gGo?h has an earning potential that matches its creative merit; in that case, I?fll take 10,000 shares of ?gGo?h industries please. ?e?cThis Is Your Life?e hits the dusty trail with ?gLeaving?h. Although following a song like ?gGo?h is tough, ?gLeaving?h mans up. Thomas?f delivery is prudent throughout the verses, which couples well with his more animated chorus approach. ?gLeaving?h is the rhetorical powerhouse of the EP. And despite lyrics that are a wee bit blue, the cut retains this bubbly demeanor that fits better than talent does on Miley Cyrus. ?e?cThis Is Your Life?e is damn stellar.

The Bad: Honestly, the only smudge on this masterful canvas isn?ft even that noticeable. At the 3:15 mark of ?gLive Your Life?h, the drummer makes a minor mistake on a rack tom fill. But I swear you wouldn?ft have ever known that unless someone pointed it out to you. Other than that, ?e?cThis Is Your Life?e is cleaner than Clearasil.

Bottomline: So I wasn?ft kidding about that whole, ?ghey someone pitch in some coin and help me start a record label so we can launch ?eGo?f and then retire by 40?? thing I mentioned earlier. Will Thomas has such a bright future ahead of him it?fs scary. Kudos are also in order for everyone directly involved in making this piece of music so wonderful: Will Thomas?f band, Brian Craddock, Shep Stacy, Skidd Mills, Chris Daughtry, whoever designed the cover, Will?fs parents for birthing the guy who brought this thing to life, and the list goes on. Better hop on board the Will Thomas bandwagon now and claim your seat, because it?fs gonna get awfully cramped in that thing in the not so distant future.

- Contributed By: Nick (TuneLabMusic)

"The Man Who Would Be Daughtry"


Within the first five minutes of meeting Will Thomas, I’m convinced that the Daughtry fans at Monday night’s sold-out gig at The Paramount Theater will be all over him. Whether they mob him for his skill as a musician or for his uncanny similarities to Chris Daughtry is another matter entirely.

Thomas, born and raised in Charlottesville, has the same polished tough guy exterior as Daughtry, the former Fluvanna County resident prematurely punted from “American Idol” in 2006. Both have torsos like trains and chins that call to mind Vin Diesel, and both dress like bouncers at Sunset Strip nightclubs—tight, dark jeans and gripping shirts. Both have bands named after themselves.

Get your rock hands out! Local Will Thomas (center) mugs with former “American Idol” standout Chris Daughtry (left) and his guitarist, Brian Craddock (right) during a songwriting session in Nashville. Will Thomas Band opens for Daughtry at The Paramount Theater on Monday.

Pop in the groups’ records and the number of similarities grows faster. On the self-titled, quadruple platinum 2006 album, Chris Daughtry performs songs like “Over You,” in which he sings to an ex-love that he “should’ve started running a long, long time ago.” On the recently released This Is Your Life EP, Thomas sings songs titled “Go” and “Leaving,” in which he croons to a flame that he’s “running away” in a throttling vocal that sounds similar to the “Idol” contestant’s—forceful, but without that Eddie Vedder grit.

In fact, the highlight of Will Thomas Band’s latest EP sounds like it could’ve been written by Daughtry himself—a studio-slick crusher of a tune that’s man enough for a mosh pit, but pop enough for Top 40 love. And there’s a reason for that.

“On This Is Your Life, there’s a song called ‘Live This Life,’ which Chris and I wrote together, with the help of BrianCraddock [, lead guitarist in Daughtry],” said Thomas. “We all sat down in a hotel room together and kinda figured things out, and then started recording.”

Tempting as it may be to pass off Thomas as a Daughtry doppelganger, he’s a different man. He’s younger, for starters, the type of person that cites what grade he was in when something happened to him—started writing songs in fifth grade, formed The Guilty Party with current bassist Derek Cason in seventh grade, toured with Brian Craddock and My Dog Lucy with his high school band Johnny on the Spot. He’s also tried on more musical hats than Prince; Thomas spent a few years of college in Tennessee on a bluegrass scholarship, played in a metal band called Father of 12, and spent time in local alt-rock act Under the Flood.

“Then, after playing in so many bands and always having someone else’s influence determine where I was gonna be, I decided to take everything upon myself,” said Thomas. “And with Will Thomas Band, this has definitely been the most focused group of musicians I’ve found that can make a sound.”

Thomas wrote many of the songs that make up This Is Your Life with Craddock, now a full-time member of Daughtry. “When I was a little kid...Brian used to work in Charlottesville Music,” explained Thomas. “Wally [Worsley, WTB’s second guitarist] did, too. And I always used to come in there and bug them to death, pluckin’ on all the instruments.” Along with Lucy bandmate Shep Stacy, Craddock produced the band’s first EP, complete with Thomas’ Daughtry-assisted tune.

Currently, Will Thomas Band is back in the studio, recording songs for a second, yet untitled EP at Full Moon Studios with Ron Ruane, a prize the group nabbed for winning a battle of the bands in Scottsville. “We’re really focusing on three new songs,” said Thomas, who mentions that local rock anthem auteur Andy Waldeck chips in on a song called “Shot,” a tune that Thomas calls one of his most important songs yet.

And, though Will Thomas Band will keep things reasonably acoustic for the show with Daughtry at the Paramount, the band cranks the amps back up for an August 7 Outback Lodge gig. In the meantime, listen to “Live This Life.” And if the similarities between the two get to be too overwhelming, remember: Think Daughtry, rock Thomas.

- C-ville Weekly


This Is Your Life- EP



Born and raised in the town of Charlottesville, Va. Will Thomas has been a friendly face in the local music scene for years. He began to write songs with Brian Craddock, guitar player for Chris Daughtry, and Daughtry himself. It was apparent at this point that the music they were creating was not to be denied. Once the music was in motion, the next step was finding the right team to share in Will's dream. After contemplating long and hard about a move to Nashville, Will decided to look no further than his hometown. The search was continued for a lead guitar player with passion and drive to provide an uplifting sound to the music. After hearing that local musician Wally Worsley was heading out to Los Angeles to pursue music, Will pitched his plan to him before he departed. Wally was sold, and knew this could take his playing to the next level. The lineup is complete, and the vision is simple. Provide listeners with songs that they can relate to, and feel a part of. The first steps have been taken, and the band is on the move. Will has just finished up his debut EP titled "This is your life" produced by Brian Craddock and Shep Stacy, mixed by Skidd Mills (Third Day, Saliva, BB King).

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