MICHAEL J. THOMA – Comin’ Home

Comin’ Home

Wheels – Questions – Wide Open Country –
Lightning From The Heavens – Comin’ Home – Iowa Storm – Life In The
Country – Tomorrow Is The Best Part Of Me – Nester J and Emma Suzie –
Just Le Me Live
For reasons unknown to me I have two incredibly good CD’s
to review today, both of them astonishing Iowa artists.  Is Iowa all of a
sudden a hot-bed of fast-moving music?  Just a question, but no, it’s
not.  Iowa is a laid back rural state, maybe the only rural one left,
that keeps honesty, truthfulness, honor, respect, and kindness in our
life style and our music, as this project so valiantly displays.  That’s
exactly what Michael Thoma has done with his songwriting ability. 
Every song is his, and every song is a ‘different’ his.  He’s also one
fine vocalist.  He lives up in the Waterloo area, home of the huge
Cattle Congress.  Thoma has the ‘touch’ in his voice, a ‘touch’ I call
sincerity, and he’s got it.  Probably crazy to make this comparison, but
some years ago when Bill Fries came to Omaha from Audubon, Iowa, he
started working for the same recording studio that I did.  Owned by the
prolific Don Sears, it was the ‘only’ studio in town that had the ‘ear’
for good music.  Bill Fries went on to become known as C. W. McCall.  I
hear him in Michael Thoma’s music.  I also hear an early Bob Dylan,
struggling to ‘find’ truth.  And yes, riding a stallion down from the
mountain sounds like Michael Martin Murphey.  For Michael Thoma it’s
fairly easy, he’s all of that and much more.  He sets pen to paper and
writes the poetic belief he reveals to his own mind about his own
experiences.  Is it good?  Just another question, but yes it is. 
Recorded in Cedar Falls under the guidance of Tom Tatman, who has the
‘ear’ for good music, it is a very revealing experience of what
expertise does with incredibly good vocals and original songs.  If you
don’t hear a little John Denver in “Wide Open Country” you’re missing
the influences of Michael Thoma.  Kudos also to Tatman who engineered
and mixed this delightful CD.  I love being ‘moved’ by music, and this
CD has all the required ingredients that makes that possible for me. I’m
especially impressed with the writing.  BUT, this wouldn’t be possible
either, without the spirit and imagination of the vocalist, one and the
same.  No musicians are listed but the mandolin is incredibly good. 
Bass is also right on the mark.  All the guitar work, dobro,
banjo, keyboard and otherwise is also incredibly good.  Off it goes to
the Rural Roots Music Commission.  I know they are going to be
interested in this ‘new’ approach to country music.
Bob Everhart, Reviewer – www.ntcma.net

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