Recorded live at Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco Earl Thomas and the Grammy Award® winning Kings Of Rhythm burn down the house with an homage to Ike & Tina early recordings...
In 1971, Earl Thomas became the lead singer of the Kings Of Rhythm but the band did not find out until 2008.
At a small movie theater on the island of Guam where Earl’s father, had brought his son to see the movie "Soul To Soul" starting Ike & Tina, The Staples Singers, Roberta Flack, and many other top R&B and Soul acts of the day. A career naval officer and amateur musician, Earl Sr. wanted to impress an appreciation of soul music on his son. During the opening credits, Ike and Tina Turner appear with the (original) Kings of Rhythm) performing the movie’s theme song of the same name. Earl remembers that "It was at that moment I knew I would do this, " Earl remembers. "I turned to my father and said, 'Daddy, that’s what I’m gonna be when I grow up. I’m gonna be a singer in a band!'
And from that moment on, Earl lived the idea that he fronted the band. He pretended that he was the lead singer of the band. The family living room was turned into an imaginary stage where, everyday after school, the couch became the drummer, lamps were the horn section, a shelf the bass, an end table was the guitarist, and right in the middle was Earl, with his dinner candle microphone channeling Ike & Tina Turner. “All I knew was that I wanted to do what I saw those people doing on the screen,” remembers Thomas. “I didn’t know anything about the music business. It just looked like everyone was having such a good time.”
And Earl Thomas did become “a singer in a band” and since his world stage debut at Switzerland’s renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, he has enjoyed a successful recording career with 12 records to his credit, toured extensively throughout Europe and America, has had several songs in feature films and major television shows, and has written songs for legends, Etta James, Solomon Burke and Tom Jones and is a four time San Diego Music Award winner. But Earl was not satisfied.
One day, movie producer David Peck asked him to perform a small part in an indie movie remake. Negotiations dragged on until they came to a tentative agreement. Only then did the producer mention that the movie he was remaking was Soul To Soul for DVD release and Earl would be singing an updated version of the movie’s theme song to be played over the closing credits; the song Ike & Tina perform in the opening scene from the movie that had changed the course of his life back in 1971. And not only was he going to perform the part he had mimicked for three decades, he would also get to meet Ike Turner.
They met in 2004 at the movie premier in Hollywood. Ike was impressed with Earl’s vast knowledge of his and Tina’s work from the ‘70s and came to quickly respect Earl’s innate ability to sing their songs with such precision, so much so, that he agreed to wrote the liner notes for Intersection, Earl’s 2005 Memphis International Records release and donated “Working Together” a song he penned in 1971.
Earl remained in contact with Ike and some of the Kings of Rhythm band ever since. On December 12, 2007 looking to put together a band for an upcoming date, Earl decided to take a shot and call the Kings of Rhythm to see if they might be free. As he was making the call on his landline, a text came in on his cell phone from the Kings guitarist. Ike Turner had just died.
While a sad moment in all their lives, it was also pivotal as it allowed Earl to work with The Kings Of Rhythm throughout 2008 and record Live At Biscuits & Blues an homage to the early Ike & Tina Turner live records.
No longer the furniture in the living room, this Grammy Award winning band makes their European debut and begins a full tour schedule in 2010, kicking off in London. Earl Thomas is the singer in the band. It just took him 37 years to do it.