Singer/guitarist Allan Thomas specializes in relaxing acoustic-based pop music, which would serve as the perfect soundtrack on a breezy Hawaiian beach at sundown. Thomas' love of music developed early on, as he joined an a cappella vocal group at the age of 12 in his hometown of New York City. As a teenager, Thomas' guitar playing skills began to develop as well, which led to slots with local bands backing touring R&B artists coming through town. By 18, Thomas had inked his first recording contract as a solo artist (with Scepter Records), which resulted in the release of two obscure singles shortly thereafter. A fixture at Greenwich Village coffee houses, Thomas then picked up his guitar and headed out west, stopping off in Tennessee, Colorado, Oregon, and California before touring as a rhythm guitarist alongside vocalist Lynn Kellogg. Thomas' hard work paid off, as he signed on with Sire Records during the early '70s, issuing his debut full-length, A Picture, in 1971. The singer/guitarist supported the album with a nationwide tour, opening shows for the likes of Livingston Taylor, the Marc Almond Band, Weather Report, and the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Thomas struck up a friendship with the latter group, whose leader, cornetist Nat Adderley, invited the singer/guitarist to improvise vocals for the song "Behold" for his 1972 solo album, Soul of the Bible. Additionally, Thomas also joined the Cannonball Adderley Quintet on-stage around this time, for performances at the Troubadour and Lighthouse clubs in Southern California.
But eventually, Thomas decided it was time to move on once more, as he packed up and relocated to England, where he teamed with singer Carole Cook and performed throughout England and Denmark. The duo moved to Malibu, California in 1974, where they married and served as backup singers for other recording artists. By the late '70s, both Thomas and Cook were hired by Los Angeles' ABC Music as staff songwriters. But a chain of events led to Thomas' re-assessment of both his personal and professional life (the dissolution of his marriage, and a band he formed with high hopes, the Santa Monica Bay Band, failed to secure a recording contract), resulting in his relocation to Hawaii in 1983.
Thomas' new surroundings soon inspired him to turn to music with a fresh outlook, as he began penning new compositions that mixed elements of jazz, blues, R&B, and Latin together in one seamless blend. By the end of the decade, Thomas was ready to finally issue another solo recording (18 years after his debut), 1989's The Island, which was released via the singer/guitarist's own label, Black Bamboo Recordings. A follow-up release was issued in 1996, Coconut Culture, as several Thomas-penned originals began being covered by other Hawaiian artists (including the Hawaiian Style Band, the Beamer Brothers, Norman "Kaawa" Soloman, etc.). A pair of Thomas' songs ("I'll Find You Yet" and "Ka Wai Aloha") were used in the 1998 movie Beyond Paradise, as a new solo album began to take shape, which promised to focus on Thomas' newfound admiration of alternate tunings on his guitar. In addition to recording, Thomas serves as a DJ for the public radio station KKCR, where he hosts a weekly program called "Show with No Name," and also oversees his own website, www.allanthomas.com. ~ Greg Prato