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Judge for thomasroyal

Watertown, MA
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Portrait of thomasroyal
He says he grew up in the clubs,bars, and roadhouses of North Carolina, because Thomas Royal began his professional career at age sixteen. From day one he embraced a DIY creative process and no nonesense approach to music. This attitude continues today even after having being on a major label, composing music for national television and radio broadcasts, and touring around the US for seven years playing to as many as 70,000 people. His music has been lauded by such luminaries as Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers, Dean Wareham of Luna/Dean & Britta, and producer Dave Fridman. His songs have been compared to those of Paul Westerberg, Big Star, Mark Bolan, and Joe Pernice

Thomas' first real foray into the rigors and paying of dues as a professional musician was as bass player for the critically acclaimed North Carolina band Jennyanykind, who, from 1991-2003, carved their own niche in the American roots music landscape by releasing memorable albums on No. 6 records, Elektra/Time Warner, Yep Roc, and Morisen records. All the while, Thomas did much session work and many side projects/collaborations as well as his work on his own material

After leaving Jennyanykind as a touring member in 1998 (he continued to record on all of the band's releases), Thomas wanted to create more post-modern experimental music that was an audiolvisual experience for audiences. The resulting collective, Analogorithm, combined elements of jazz, improvisation, psychedelia, and electronic music. After four years of television soundtrack composition, two records and live shows featuring everything from film loops, performance art, and in one case fifty televisions each tuned to a different UHF station, the group disbanded. For a brief spell, Thomas played Bass and wrote for Mad Dog Trio, a jazz-jam band who gained notoriety along the 1-95 corridor for their improvisational workouts. Playing with the likes of John Scofield, Bernie Worrell, and The Slip only helped Mad Dog Trio gain momentum that was only to be stymied by personal differences. After recording one album, 2002's Ex Nihilo, Thomas needed a change

A move to Boston in 2002 to work as a public radio producer and composer was that change. Soon, Thomas was at home in the bars with a Rock and Roll band called Adventures in Tourism. This local outfit, which Northeast Performer Magazine called "Melodic Rock with Twang & Brains" focused on the basic elements of songwriting in a standard two guitar, bass, drums format, but used elements of Jazz, Surf, Country in the music. Often compared to Calexico, Wilco, early Tom Petty, late Replacements, Mojave 3, and The Del Fuegos, Adventures in Tourism called it quits on August 4, 2007 with a marathon show to a packed rowdy and sweaty bar

Amidst all of this, Thomas wrote and recorded music under his own name that was performed by his respective group of the time. Often introspective and acoustic oriented, his nine solo releases on his own ShamRock label drew much interest among critics and current and longtime fans who purchased his homemade CD-R's, official CDs, and, eventually, downloads

In 2004,Thomas lost two dear people in his life within the six weeks leading up to Christmas. He spent the next Ten months writing and recording the tracks for what would become "Superman & the butterfly," an album of thoughts and things he wished he had said while he had the chance. "I just needed to get some things off my chest" He said. "Some expressions of emotion that really matter never surface in life. It's a shame that we often wait untill death to realize it. "Recorded at home in his studio dubbed "the closet," Thomas played all of the instruments,engineered, mixedand mastered superman & the butterfly" a1one. Because of this it is highly personal,overly insightfu1,and beautifully flawed,just like Thomas himself

After five provocative years in Boston, Thomas recently packed up his wordly possessions and moved back to his old stomping grounds of North Carolina to begin anew. Along the way he severely dented a rented U-Haul, practiced his Southern accent, and pondered the meaning of life because of a malfuntioning radio. Maybe being in the business so long has mellowed him out, made him bitter, or satiated the hunger that he once felt as a younger man. "Nah," Thomas says "I just love music, writing tunes, and playing shows. I don't do it for money, I do it for me. I'd be happy to give it all away." Well for this album at least, he means it
Superman & the butterfly - free download at