There is desperation and urgency on CROW the new Earl Thomas album. The record sees the singer's return to his musical roots of blues, rock, and soul and, like the architects that came before him, each song is sung with an honesty that makes you aware of what he's been through. He is singing like a man who has seen it all and wants you to knows what comes next.
The album cover art by noted Spanish painter Ricard Bofill features a stunning portrait of a crow with eyes staring into darkness but in the songs we hear the voice of someone who has come through that darkness into the light. This album is a roadmap drawn by an artist who survived the journey…battered, scarred, but determined to show his strength and resilience.
His music is black roots music--the blues, updated for the 21st century or, as he calls it, “talking to the ancestors” and, indeed, the album shows the singer's strong connection to his cultural roots. He comes from a long line of musicians and singers who were slaves and sharecroppers. His father was a bluesman and his mother was a gospel singer. "I was listening to Old Negro Spirituals in the womb," says Thomas. "I have the blues vocabulary in my genetics."
And he is no stranger to the spotlight, he made his European debut in Switzerland at the 1992 Montreux Jazz Festival and been amazing audiences around the globe and earning plaudits from the industry ever since.
Recognized as one of the top blues artists in the world, the twice Grammy nominated Thomas has seen his songs covered by icons Etta James, Solomon Burke, and Sir Tom Jones. The Best Of Blues calls him “the most important blues voice of his generation” and the Lithuania Times says, “the blues has finally found its Freddie Mercury!”
Earl Thomas is talking loud to his ancestors.