North Carolina-native Thad Cockrell, known for his themes of heartbreak (his self-professed goal is to put "the hurt back in country"), released his debut album, Stack of Dreams, in 2001 with backing group the Starlite Country Band.
The son of a Baptist minister, Thad grew up primarily in Tampa, FL. His family was not musical; in fact, he wasn't allowed to listen to rock & roll and didn't even own a stereo until well into adulthood. Despite a burgeoning music career, religion remained an important part of his life. After studying in the school of journalism at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, he would move on to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
Stack of Dreams was recorded at former dBChris Stamey's Chapel Hill studio in just one day. It was originally intended as a demo, but Cockrell was so pleased with the results that he started selling the sessions as an EP at his shows. The album, featuring Caitlin Cary and Skillet Gilmore of Whiskeytown and Tift Merritt (best known for her vocal work with North Carolina honky-tonkers the Two-Dollar Pistols), was polished up and given another track before its release. Stamey returned to the producer's chair for Cockrell's second album, 2004's Warmth and Beauty, and in 2005 Cockrell teamed up with his old friend Caitlin Cary for a collaborative album, Begonias, in which they shared songwriting duties as well as duet vocals. ~ Erik Hage, Rovi