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MP3 David Thom Band - The Thief

The Bay area''s best traditional bluegrass band, with smoking performances from David Grisman, Kathy Kallick and Jim Nunally.

13 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Bluegrass, COUNTRY: Modern Country

The Thief represents some of the best in California bluegrass, featuring guest performances by David Grisman, Kathy Kallick and Jim Nunally.


David Thom on lead vocals and guitar; Andy Shaw on banjo, tenor and baritone vocals; Mike Tatar on fiddle, dobro, tenor, baritone and bass vocals; Jon Mask on mandolin and baritone vocals, Joe Ash on bass.

The David Thom Band: The Thief
from the California Bluegrass Association''s Bluegrass Breakdown

"This is probably the strongest set produced by David Thom and the band to date. He and his venerable cohorts shift effortlessly between the contemporary, traditional and gospel styles of bluegrass without ever losing their identifiable sound. This is another great singer and group that seem to be flying under the national bluegrass radar.

Thom''s own instrumental Rowan''s Run receives some crystal clear noting from banjo man Andy Shaw, and Thom and guest David Grisman trade energetic rides. Grisman and Thom display even more interesting phrasing in Thom and Shaw''s ode to heartbreak, The Thief, and Kathy Kallick sharpens up I Guess I''ll Go On Dreamin'' and God Guide Our Leader''s Hand with her crystalline harmonies vocals.

While not out of character for a Grateful Dead tune, Ship of Fools comes in a little long at 5 minutes plus.

The band melds the shift between minor chord bluesy strains of the verse to the pristine major chord harmonies on the chorus. The band dips back into their forte with Tatar''s exuberant version of Fire On The Mountain and the outstanding traditional sound of I Found A Way. The tight, balanced harmonies of Andy Shaw and Jon Mask enhance Thom''s mountain-sounding vocal. Shaw''s banjo work in combination with Mike Tatar Jr.''s fiddle provides a rich sound. They leap from the traditional to the more contemporary sound of Sarah Jane; Shaw throws in some bouncy single-stringing on the banjo, and his tenor almost overmatches Thom''s affecting lead vocal.

Thom takes a few liberties with old country standard When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again with the band providing a great bluegrass treatment. Founding member Jon Mask has returned and his excellent mandolin is the foundation for the Hank Williams-Bill Monroe composition (their only joint effort) Blue And Lonesome.

Jim Nunally, in addition to combining a slam-dunk cross-picked and flat-picked guitar solo on Memories of Mother And Dad, makes his greatest contribution to this project with his stellar co-production (along with Thom). There is quality imbued within the arrangements and execution that shows listeners that the band has leapt to the next level. Again demonstrating that their forte remains within the traditional sound, Thom''s vocal matched by Tatar''s tenor on Memories navigate the dips and bends of blues inflection with ease. Thom and band have created not just a treasure of a recording here, but the promise for future excellence.

---Review by Rob Shotwell
October 2004

The David Thom Band: The Thief
Review by Brenda, Northern California Bleugrass Society
While David Thom may claim more fame as a member of David Grisman''s Bluegrass Experience, it''s on his home turf as the founder of the David Thom Band that we get to see some of his prowess as a writer and singer. With a craggy voice that rings bluegrass true, David sings of fools, thieves and the stone walls and steel bars. "Ship of Fools" is a classic Garcia-Hunter Grateful Dead song, but the rollicking banjo of Andy Shaw with Mike Tatar Jr.''s fiddle gives the song a wonderful bluegrass drive. The band blends voices in the classic "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" and the Flatt and Scruggs gospel "I Found A Way." Jon Mask on mandolin and Joe Ash on bass round out the tight ensemble sound of the band. David''s polished guitar leads are sprinkled throughout the songs, but he easily switches to mandolin on other songs. David''s "Rowan''s Run" and "Lauren''s Lullaby" are instrumentals named after his two nieces and give the band a chance to push the metal to the floorboard and show some great picking. "Rowan''s Run" has David Thom on mandolin joined by David Grisman and the two Davids punch out marvelous melodies on two of the Dawg''s classic mandolins. Awesome! Bay Area guitarist Jim Nunally joins the band for a rousing Bill Monroe song "Memories of Mother and Dad." Kathy Kallick''s voice adds a special high harmony to an old Red Allen classic, "I Guess I''ll Go on Dreaming," and David and Kathy revive the Jimmy Martin classic "God Guide Our Leader''s Hand" which has a strong message for these troubled times. High powered instrumentals, carefully crafted harmony vocals and a sound that echoes the traditional groove make this a band worth seeking out! (Major record labels - get these guys!)

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