Not the least bit Irish, but St. Patrick's Day is always very special to me... 

I'm not the least bit Irish, but St. Patrick's Day for me is always a special memory of my first-ever paying gig.  My dad was the guitarist in the backing band of an Irish singer who would come over from Belfast several times a year and play the US. They always did big business in NYC and upstate NY, and there was an enormous Irish festival there every year for St. Patrick's Day.

One day, my dad gets off the phone and says they're doing that festival again, and the guy needs a bass player for this gig on short notice.  I was eleven.  I had taken up bass two years earlier, and had just recently gotten my first-ever instrument, an old Hofner-copy Beatle-esque bass, with action so high you could win an archery contest with it (it still adorns my wall at home)... I was suddenly pressed into duty.  One of my friends called as were were leaving, wanting me to meet the gang and play football.  "Tell him I gotta play a job" I said matter-of-factly, savoring the words.

There was no rehearsal.  My dad explained to me during the long drive to the festival that "It's pretty much all three-chord stuff, kinda simple and a lot of fun, but it moves pretty fast.  Just follow me and listen to the singer; you'll be fine."  I got there and met the other guys in the band, who had flown in from Ireland. I could barely understand any of them.  I remember my dad being really proud and thrilled that I was joining him.  We played about an hour, then took a break and I sat with the guys, having my first corned-beef and cabbage, and my first beer ("Don't tell your mother" my Dad whispered, conspiringly).  Then we played another two sets, I got paid a couple hundred bucks and just smiled the whole way home.

It marked the beginning of the end of whatever football career I may have been destined for. 

Happy Birthday, Dad! 

This is the last recording of my dad, captured by my brother in a high-end boutique guitar store somewhere in New Mexico. 

The only thing he enjoyed as much as a good night playing was prowling music stores by day, trying out instruments and sharing old songs and stories with the staff and local players.  He was a curator of great old, lost songs; the more obscure, the more he enjoyed bringing them to life again. 

My earliest memories are of tagging along on these excursions, prowling music stores for great old instruments.  I eventually inherited his penchant for breezing right past all the sexy new stuff and heading straight for the “island of misfit toys” - the area in the back with every used and abused, sorry-looking old clunker in town. 

I also never got tired of seeing all the headbangers, shredding away on their raging death-metal, stop what they were doing and come over to see the old man laying down some great old stuff. 

He would leave us not very long after this, and he had clearly lost a step on guitar at this point, but his voice had aged and deepened, like a fine wine.  We’re fortunate that my brother suddenly decided to bust out his phone and capture this. The video didn’t come out, but I’m glad; for me, this is like an old-time radio show. 

It ends with him saying "I'll jump right in with your band anytime," and the guy in the store says "Anytime!  It's too bad you're leaving so soon."  Touche...




Valentines Day special... 

A song I wrote a few years ago in the middle of the night, 35,000 feet above the Atlantic on the way back from Europe, about falling in love.

She now lives in America and is my wife.

Perspective from childhood... 

Of all the people who have helped me in my chosen profession, the two who still keep me grounded are a couple of kids I used to play football with when I was twelve or thirteen.  When they heard I'd taken up guitar, they came over to hear.  One of them said, enthusiastically, "Whoa, isn't it cool that he can do that?"  The other, completely unimpressed, just shrugged and said, “So what?  If HE can do it, how hard can it be?”

I guess somewhere between cockiness and humility lies teh truth.  Thanks, fellas!


It's the JT WINTER 2023 NEWS! 


Some particularly attentive observers have noted that the two most recent live videos were both from last summer’s JT residency at John Scotts, and asked if we got a whole John Scott’s show on video.  Well no - we got FOUR of ‘em! 

After so many great summers of great moments out east in Hamptons-land, we finally decided to bite the bullet and lugged the mobile recording rig and a few cameras out there and recorded two afternoon shows and two evening shows. 

There’s no way to capture the magic and vibe of those weekly oceanside hangs on video, but we tried!  And, no, there won’t be a “live at John Scott’s” album officially released to the public, but it will be made available exclusively on my site to YOU, the denizens of the JT mailing list.  All my talk about you guys getting free member-exclusive stuff…it’s time for me to deliver!   Look for it sometime later this year. 


Speaking of free stuff - a lot of you have been enjoying the members-only preview of the new album.  It looks like we can leave that up until about mid-March, when we anticipate the album to be officially released.  So get all your free listening in now!  Just click on the album cover above and join the mailing list and we'll send you your password! 


Well, the Jefferson Thomas Unboxed Set (downloadable collection of all five JT albums available exclusively at was such a success that we received more than a few suggestions about creating a CD and even a vinyl version of it.  The download package-deal of five albums for $25 was the sweet spot.  It proved to be quite palatable for a lot of people.  However, the onerous production expenses involved in a CD or Vinyl version would make the retail price of such a package far too high for someone as un-famous as me to justify. 

But the main reason we’re retiring The Unboxed Set is that the SIXTH Jefferson Thomas album was finished in late 2022 and is headed your way in 2023, essentially rendering the Unboxed Set outdated. 

So we put together a “best of” package; smaller than The Unboxed Set, just twelve songs culled from the first five albums.  Almost like a sampler.  I could call it “greatest hits”, but I don’t even have any “worst” hits. 

As an added bonus, this features the new “cinema” (film/TV) versions of Jacksonville and Almost A Sunny Day that don’t appear anywhere else, as well as It Makes No Difference by The Band and Six O’Clock News by Kathleen Edwards - two unreleased cover tunes that, for some reason, never made it onto any JT album. 

The best part about all this?  Well, the folks at shows will have to buy it.  But you - the ever-loyal denizens of the JT mailing list - can get it for FREE right here, right now!  Just click on the album cover above. 

Stay warm out there, gang!

Damn, Jeff Beck... 

I am always playing so damn much that I rarely get to see anyone ELSE play; friends and colleagues as well as living legends. The last concerts I actually got to see were The Black Crowes in 2005 and The Pretenders in 2006. The number of famous musicians I've been able to personally MEET actually exceeds the number that I've been able to see perform, which is really rather bizarre. 

That said, Jeff Beck was yet another on that list of, "Man, I gotta get around to seeing them while they're still here." DAMMIT.  What a giant.

The HESS TRUCK is back! 

It brings a huge smile to my face each year when I see that Hess has come out with its new “Hess Truck” for the holidays.  I hope they never stop doing this. 

I was probably nine or ten years old, accompanying my mom as she began her Christmas shopping.  The very first place we went was a Hess gas station, where she bought the new Hess toy truck.  I got all excited, seeing this really cool truck with its working lights and everything, but wondered aloud why she had allowed me to see her buy it, as it surely wouldn’t be a surprise. 

She said that it was not for me, or my brother (or my dad for that matter!).  She explained, “Some kids aren’t as lucky as you are.  They don’t have a Christmas.  They don’t have a tree, or anybody to put anything under it for them.  We must always remember that.”  She headed straight for the Marines’ Toys For Tots bin and dropped the truck in there. 

After that, we began every season that way until I was old enough to go shopping on my own; we’d hit a Hess station and she’d buy the truck and then let me drop it in the Toys For Tots bin.  Some years were leaner than others, and sometimes there wasn’t much under our tree, but some kid I’d never meet, somewhere, would have a nice new Hess truck every year.  I found out, many years later, that she continued to do this long after my brother and I were grown and gone. 

THAT was my Mom.

Lookout! Americans in Denmark! 

The last thing you expect to hear just after soundcheck somewhere in Denmark is "Hey, JT!" Startled, I turned around and saw familiar faces. It turns out that, this year, some American fans happened to be in Copenhagen when I was there and decided to catch the show. 

You know folks, you don't have to do that. We'll be back in the USA and we'll come to you.

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