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Dave Thomas was born in 1951 in Newport, a major port and industrial town in South Wales. By the age of twelve he was singing and playing guitar in his own blues band all around that region. Growing up in the era of the British Blues Boom of the late fifties and early sixties formed a strong foundation for a lifetime playing the blues. He was first talent spotted by United Artistes at the tender age of seventeen singing with a band called The Deep in Bristol. The Deep were one of the best early British blues bands. They appeared at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1968.
An early claim to fame was being supported by Fleetwood Mac shortly before they left the UK for a new start in the USA. Many years later Dave headed in the same direction. He appeared in blues bars in New York, Chicago and San Francisco during the eighties. On his return to London he formed a band called Double Trouble who played on the same bill as one of Dave’s early blues mentors Mose Allison at The Canteen in London’s Covent Garden. Later in the eighties he formed a new Chicago style band called The Diplomatics who played regularly at the legendary Station Tavern for seven years. At the time The Station Tavern claimed to be the only seven day a week blues venue in Europe and featured many blues artistes who have now earned international recognition.
Dave Thomas has, over the years, gained the reputation of being a real blues musician: a blues musicians’ musician.
Dave plays traditional blues with style, flair and feeling. His guitar playing has been compared with BB King! It has been recognised that he is now carrying on a tradition almost lost to a couple of generations of American musicians: so much so that he is often asked to put bands together to back visiting blues legends when they visit the UK. Indeed, he has been adopted by the blues community in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, USA!
Cleveland was where Dave recorded his most recent album with harmonica supremo Wallace Coleman. “Repossession Blues” is a 22 track double CD combining traditional Chicago and folk blues styles across a collection of original and classic songs. Here are some selected quotes from the record reviews:
“This two-disc set is a well-crafted mix of originals and covers of some well-loved classics.
“Thomas and Coleman really shine…two CDs worth of top notch musicianship. Thomas and Coleman exude class, as befits a couple of veterans…”
Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm, UK
“Guitarist Dave Thomas has worked, on and off, for about two years with veteran harpist Wallace Coleman, who, was closely associated with Robert Lockwood Jr until Lockwood’s death in 2006. Thomas, like Lockwood, is capable of simultaneously evoking Delta roots and hip, swing-era sophistication.”
Dave Whiteis, Living Blues,USA
“I didn’t know what to expect but when I put CD1 from Repossession Blues on in my office. I felt like I had died and gone to Blues heaven. Both CDs are absolutely stunning and best of all they are REAL BLUES.”
Roots of Rhythm, Melbourne PBS, Australia
Dave Thomas’s own band album “Black Dog Boogie” also elicited comments of critical acclaim:
“Dave Thomas is a real breath of fresh air…one of the best outfits on the British scene.”
Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm, UK
“Playing BB King note-for-note guarantees you’re going to sound good…particularly when your head is enthusiastically rocking back and forth.”
Jonathan Blackstaffe, Blues In Britain
The Dave Thomas Blues Band has made many appearances at the major British Blues Festivals e.g. The Great British Blues Festival in Colne and the Burnley Blues Festival.
Now a world tour is planned.