“She’s bound to love me, I can feel it,/ Love is an open, empty eye-revealin’/ You are the truth, the solid rock,/ Steel your mind and free your soul.”
Occasionally, we find bands that seem out of place in today’s ever-expanding music scene. Bands that sound like they belong in a different era, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, for example, sound more like a modern day Janis Joplin and company than like any other female led rock band today. Tyler Ramsey sounds nearly identical to Neil Young. The list goes on and on. In that vein, we were introduced, by our good friend Mary Broome at Sideways Media, to Thomas Wynn and The Believers, a ROCK band from Orlando.
Thomas, the frontman and guitarist, is a singularly talented musician, the kind of musician that captured your attention on first listen with an incredibly powerful voice and the ability to hammer on a guitar like we haven’t seen in a long, long time. I’m not saying that he’s Stevie Ray Vaughn, but don’t be surprised if you think of SRV when you listen to Thomas Wynn and The Believers. Add some instruments to supplement the voice and guitar, an equally powerful female vocalist, and some old school songwriting and you’ve got an incredible band. “Brothers and Sisters” is a record that jumps out of the stereo and forces you to pay attention.
The title track kicks off the album with an upbeat Southern rock song that croons about us all being brothers and sisters. It’s a great introduction to the kind of harmonica, clean guitar, emotionally sung sound that you’ll be hearing for the rest of the album. “Counting My Days” is a lyrically driven song about wasting your life and sounds like a personal wake-up call. The most impressive and shockingly refreshing song is “I Don’t Regret”, a song about regrets and retrospection regarding relationships. It’s song that sounds a lot like the Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray songs that began with one guitar playing a bluesy riff that would be sufficient on it’s own combined with lyrics that are heart-wrenching in the way that they’re sung. “I don’t regret your lovin’/ I don’t regret, no, your lovin’/ And I don’t regret, I don’t regret, no,/ And I don’t regret your lovin’/ But I regret the lies and I regret the hate/ Said I regret the things we used to say when we were drunk that drove us away.” It’s an emotional song made more emotion by the vocals and feelings contained therein.
The band also shows on songs like “Heaven Tonight” that they can do traditional folk type songs with finger picking and traditional lyrics. It’s about a girl, with flowers in her hair. It’s beautifully done and, more importantly, it shows a depth and versatility that many bands lack. This album has Black Crowes’ style southern rock (“Love Again”), acoustic, female-led ballads (“Battleground”), and multi-guitar, Hendrix style jams (the 9 minute gem “Black November”).
Thomas Wynn and The Believers, the 3 time consecutive winner of the Central Florida Band of the Year, have earned the accolades that they’ve been earning over the years. They are an incredibly unique and talented band, the kind of band you want to find in your dad’s old record collection and just sit in the basement and blare on the stereo.