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Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive | Beyond the Trestles

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Country: Americana Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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Beyond the Trestles

by Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive

Soulful eclectic storytelling songwriting from songwriter Derek Thomas. From old timey finger style folk tunes to electric high energy rockers. ala Ryan Adams, Ray La Montagne, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Dylan, Neil Young Allman Brothers
Genre: Country: Americana
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Honey Whiskey
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:58 $0.99
2. Don't Come Easy (feat. Leslie Stevens)
Derek Thomas & Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:41 $0.99
3. Roll On
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:05 $0.99
4. Midnight Lady
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:50 $0.99
5. Face Me Now
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:10 $0.99
6. Postcards
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:43 $0.99
7. God Isn't Watching
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:27 $0.99
8. Beyond My Mind
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
3:50 $0.99
9. Rubber Bullets
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:50 $0.99
10. Broken Angel
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:55 $0.99
11. Ring Them Bells
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
5:59 $0.99
12. No Passing Phase
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:19 $0.99
13. River Song
Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive
4:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Showcasing His Unique Guitar Work From A Slow Plucked Finger Style To High-Energy Electric Solos, The Record Is A Nod To Old-School Songwriting

Costa Mesa, CA August 2014—Skyline Drive’s debut album, Topanga Ranch Motel, was noted as “Best of Los Angeles-based Americana music” by the online magazine, Turnstyled Junkpiled.

With the 13-song album, Beyond The Trestles, Thomas builds on the accomplishments of his debut and ups the ante with the songwriting, guitar performance and overall production of the record. Co-producing with heavyweight Malcolm Burns (Emmylou Harris) and well-known engineer, Chris Wonzer (Joe Cocker), Thomas expands with Beyond The Trestles to display a wide range of music influences mixing a little red dirt, Southern rock, and American balladeer with a heavy dose of a singer-songwriter’s narrative.

Formerly a member of the cultish, CA punk-psych band, 60 Watt Kid, Skyline Drive is the moniker Thomas uses for his folk-Americana music. Dividing his time between Topanga Canyon of Los Angeles and Bluebird Canyon of Laguna Beach, Thomas is an avid surfer whose goals have always been to write songs, play music, travel and surf. He’s called many places “home” including Hawaii, Ireland, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Teaching both performance and surfing has been Thomas’ main source of income throughout his travels. “My intention has always been to combine my two passions and foster and promote the musician surfer lifestyle as well as an environmentally conscious mindset,” he acknowledged. This month Thomas takes that philosophy to Nicaragua to play music at a surf resort called, Magnific Rock.

As a surfer musician, Thomas’ catalogue of music is far from what you would expect. Noting Townes Van Zandt, Bobby Charles and Jerry Jeff Walker as songwriting influences, his unique and inventive songwriting illustrates his passion for wordplay. “I usually paddle out everyday, even when the surf is looking lackluster,” said Thomas, “I try to feel the inspiration of being on the water and in nature and channel that both into my life and songs.” Channeling made easier by the fact that his Topanga rental is on the same property as Woody Guthrie’s old home. “The canyon’s slow pace, proximity to the ocean and the city are a perfect compliment to my cowboy surfer lifestyle,” he professes.

Beyond The Trestles kicks it off with the song, “Honey Whiskey”, a country-rock number in the vein of Gram Parsons. LA-based singer-songwriter, Leslie Stevens’ wonderfully sweet voice, which graced Topanga Ranch Motel, is again a presence and featured in the crooning duet, “Don’t Come Easy.”

“Face Me Now” was written about Thomas’ biological father that he never met. It was recorded during a major snowstorm at Malcom Burns’ house in New York and adds Manuel Quintana on drums. “Rubber Bullets” was a song that was recorded for Topanga Ranch Motel and re-recorded for Beyond The Trestles as a rock-and-roll cut. “Roll On” is an laid-back, liquid groove where almost everything is understated—guitar, piano and vocals. Thomas describes the feeling of the song as, “almost like sitting in a rocking chair.”

“Ring Them Bells” was written for a friend who unexpectedly passed away. Thomas was in New York recording with Burns when he heard the news which devastated him. “This is a really magical song for me,” explains Thomas, “I wrote it on the plane ride home, looking out of the window and just full of emotion and confusion. It was cathartic when I wrote it and every time I hear it.” The album ends with “River Song” a song from the viewpoint of an older narrator reflecting on how a river runs throughout this life.

Thomas’ thoughtful lyrics and smoky vocals are evocative of modern artists, Ryan Adams, Ray La Montagne and Michael Kiwanuka. “I have so many influences and songwriting is the main thing I am interested in,” he muses, “I think the true soul and intention of the song has a way of getting captured when its just the song and its writer. At the same time I wrote a few with the intention of pushing lots of energy and groove from the band into them. To feel the power and sonic-ness that comes from that is something I was missing with my last release. Southern rock has so much soul and beauty—I wanted to tap into that while keeping the more subtle moments distinguishable too.”

The band making up Skyline Drive when played live include many of Shooter Jennings LA band; Ted Russel Kamp on bass, guitar and harmonies, Jon Schreffler on pedal steel and harmony vocals, and Jaimie Douglas on drums. Also rotating in are Skyline Drive alumn Erik Kristiansen (Ryan Adams) on pedal steel; Carl Byron (Jim Lauderdale, Duane Jarvis) on piano, accordion and harmonies; Greg Cahill on guitar and harmonies; Ketlii Scott (Failure) on drums; Randy Mitchell on guitar; Paul III on bass guitar; Gregory Boaz (Dave Alvin) on bass; Steve Mugalian (Dave Alvin) on drums and Jaimie Drake on harmonies. The end result is music that is brimmiing with soul supporting the storytelling of Derek Thomas.



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