After witnessing an inspiring high school graduation performance by Jay Drummonds and purchasing an $80 guitar from good friend Zac Brown, Kurt Thomas knew exactly what his goals in life were. He decided to make music a way of life.
In 2008, he competed in Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star contest. Through the contest, Kurt won the chance to open for Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Sammy Hagar, LeAnn Rimes, Gary Alan and Sugarland at Turner Field. Kurt has also opened for Zac Brown Band, Joe Diffie, Little Big Town and Blue County.
Following the Next Big Star contest, Kurt went on to win CMT’s Music City Madness – a nationwide contest that lead to Kurt’s doing an Unplugged Studio 330 session on CMT as well as a mentorship with Grammy-award winning singer, Randy Travis.
Growing up in a small country town in north Georgia had a big impact on his life and Kurt says it is a frequent theme of many of the songs he writes. He has recorded four albums with Lee Davis at MLD Productions – “Kurt Thomas and the Small Town Band” was first, followed by his solo releases, “Enjoy The Ride”, “Turn Up The Radio” and his latest release, “Six Strings and a Prayer”. Kurt has a unique ability to captivate an audience – whether playing old favorites or his original songs. “I have always tried to stay in touch with the fact that a good song tells a story and most of my songs always do”, says Kurt.
We caught up with Kurt Thomas himself for an interview. The band is playing this Saturday night (March 2) at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur.
What is the first show you ever attended?
When I was 14 years old my brother took me to see Bryan Adams. I still remember when he busted into “Summer of ’69” and the crowd went nuts.
What is the best gig you have ever played?
That would have to be the night in 2008 when Kenny Chesney had a contest in Atlanta to see who would open for him at Turner Field. I showed up to compete, just me and my guitar, and everyone else had full bands. I said to myself, “I’m gonna get creamed,” but the good Lord was smiling down on me, and I won and opened for Chesney the next day. So many family and friends were there when they called my name. I’ll never forget it.
What is the best show you have ever seen?
That would have to be when I was a senior in high school, me and Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band went and saw James Taylor. Never have I seen a more professional and flawless show. A true master at work.
Gig you would most like to play?
I’d have to say headlining my own show at Philips Arena. Yeah, that would be a dream come true.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Of course in my dream I’d be the headliner… but there are several musicians and bands that I would love to have play the show with me. People who I know, who have been playing and chasing this dream like myself… it would be nice to share that dream with them.
Jay Drummonds, the man that inspired Kurt’s start in the music business, will be opening for the band. Long-time friend of the band, Tom Long, will also be there to hang out and promote his book, “This Guitar Can Talk”. Tom has been working in country music for over 35 years and has an old guitar that has been signed by over 200 legendary artists and songwriters. The book is a compilation of his stories of signings and interactions with these artists ranging from Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, and Curly Putnam to Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, and Brad Paisley!
See them at Eddie’s Attic on Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m.! Get advance tickets for $10. Tickets will be $14 at the door.