Bob Thomas Reviews



"One of Bob Thomas’ anthems really should be “My Way!” Across the course of nine releases now Thomas has forged ahead doing it ‘his way!” There is a certain Western precedent in in. The creators of early Cowboy songs were, in fact, early cowboys! For the most part they were anything but schooled songwriters let alone skilled singers. Arrangements and in some cases subject aside, Bob Thomas’ basic performance and construction effect is rustic.

Thomas’s people know he will hit his subject head on, say whatever however he wants to, and then stop without ceremony. There is some sophistication in the musical mountings. Even Gary Allegretto returns to provide harmonica for some tracks here.

If we were to name some picks, they would be “Day Dreaming” (done with his daughter Erinn Rachelle) and “The Drift” of “The End”. And BTW his usual hidden “Row Row Row Your Boat” signature is again present, placed at a distance behind “The End.” Should I have brought this up?? Ten tracks total.

By Rick Huff - Fall 2022 Edition, The Western Way




"One observer of the scene has called Bob Thomas "The Bob Dylan of Western Music." Depending on what you think of B.D., B.T. could come close.

Thomas has served as the IWMA's California Chapter President, and this release is his eighth. Vocally Thomas and Sourdough Slim share some tonal similarities in their higher registers, although their performance styles are very different. In the lower range, well, it's every man for himself! On this release the comparison comes closest on one pick track - the Ry Cooder arranged classic "Cowboy Blues."

Thomas employs a rustic style of songwriting with certain lyrics that could have stepped out of some Lomax song grouping...words that match his workaday campfire delivery.

With all that in mind, we'll name as picks the aforementioned "Cowboy Blues" plus originals "Gone," a duet done with daughter Erinn Rachelle called "Reality" and a poem entitled "The Ute." As Thomas has done at least once before (his 2018 CD "Shadows"), at the end of that closing track he allows several seconds of silence to elapse before giving out with a spontaneous verse of "Row Row Row Your Boat I" A hidden Thomas trademark, perhaps??"

By RICK HUFF (2021)



BOB THOMAS: "Sings The Love Songs of Hoyt Axton"

"There are, in nature, voices that may not seem to have been intended to produce songs, but from which they pour forth unabated. Norman Blake, Tom Waits, the late Townes van Zandt and others I would place in the category. Bob Thomas too.

In his lifetime Hoyt Axton created Western songs such as "Della & The Dealer" and 'Wild Bull Rider." For this release the WMA's Bob Thomas departs from Western, but undoubtedly some of these words could come from Cowboy mouths ("Lion In The Winter," "Gypsy Moth" and, in a stretch, "In A Young Girl's Mind"). Thomas is elevated by the production values, including his daughter Erinn Rachelle and others on harmony vocals and arrangements and performances by the CD's producer Chad Watson. Many of Axton's allusions to escape, time passage and change are hooked to imagery of rivers and the sea...but we did have sailor-cowboys, didn't we?

Three Axton sidemen (Hank Barrio, Mark Dawson and Rhys Clark) appear on the best known of the songs 'When The Morning Comes.""

By RICK HUFF (2018)



BOB THOMAS: "Shadows"

"You won't find many vocalists who cany more gravel in the voice than Bob Thomas. Much more and you'd be in a rock quany. If that translates to you as "authenticity," then here's another very authentic Bob Thomas release for you! In truth, it's a vocal effect that has doubtlessly been present at many a campfire throughout cowpuncher history... just not on that many COs. For his seventh album, Thomas has connected with some solid folks to back him. They include Gary Allegretto (!!) on harmonica, Gawain Mathews (fiddle), mix master Ben Bernstein (2nd lead guitar) and the enigmatic "HYIM" returns on organ and background vocals and to co-write the track entitled "The Meaning." Hey, I'd just go for the meaning of "HYIM!" Thomas'daughter, Erinn Rachelle, joins her dad on two tracks. Rather than delve into specifics, I'll just say Bob Thomas' people know who he is and what he does, and they go with it. As picks within the confines of his particular style, I'll name "End Of A Long Hard Day" and maybe "Oregon," because I can picture that voice being that guy! For reasons known only to him (and maybe "HYIM), there is a hidden thirteenth track of Bob doing roughly ten seconds of "Row Row Row Your Boat." Oh well... swiftly down the stream..."

By RICK HUFF (2018)



by Lee Swing

Bob Thomas Music Reviews



"Stylistically I would place Bob Thomas among the practitioners of Western in one of its more primal forms.

But for the presence of some Country steel and dobro guitar, you could add synthetic needle scratch with a tinny tone and you might be hearing a gravel-voiced waddie sidled up to John A. Lomax’s famous Edison Cylinder Machine! That’s certainly the effect of both performer and much of his material (“Red,” “Wyoming,” “Nights On The Prairie,” “I Let My Pony Run” or “Maria Theresa”).

Also included in this latest collection is yet another song bearing the name “Stampede.” Now by my count this makes at least eight, which may soon technically booger up the Harry Fox Agency’s computers!! A tribute to singer/songwriter Joyce Woodson is an interesting addition this time around."

By RICK HUFF (2016)



"BOB THOMAS/a Cowboy’s Revel: ... this cowboy is here to open your ears to what’s going in the western world. Heartfelt stuff that shows there’s still a down-home alive and well somewhere, Thomas never dips into corny genre clichés and keeps it all above board and on track. Smart cowboy action here--the serious kind."




"A Cowboys Story by Bob Thomas Singer/songwriter Bob Thomas imagines a cowboy’s life – from the Civil War to greenhorn cowboy on his first cattle drive and on through to “Cowboy Retirement” – in A Cowboys Story, his fourth full-length release. Thomas’ relaxed guitar style and melodious tenor complements the story’s epic scope."

By Tom Wilmers - American Cowboy (December/January 2015)



"Bob Thomas CDs would not logically be found in an Easy Listening music bin. His delivery is that of the old sand-voiced cowpoke. His writing is theirs as well. You say it ‘til you’re done and you stop. Curley Fletcher did it that way, didn’t he?

“A Cowboys (sic) Story” is a concept album with eleven loosely connected songs drifting from the Civil War to Cowboying adventures to hanging up the spurs. Thomas is aided along the way with good harmony and musical support, well produced by the enigmatic “HYIM.” Pick tracks are “Civil War,” “My First Cattle Drive,” “Leaving Texas,” the simple strummed “Wyoming Blizz” and “Cowboy Retirement.” Eleven tracks."

By Rick Huff - The Western Way (Spring 2016)



"The Cowboy Way by Bob Thomas Evoking a time when things were simpler, modern folk musician Bob Thomas’ western music is melodic, mellow and easy to listen to. His traditional fingerpicking style is the perfect accompaniment. The Cowboy Way is ideal for summer relaxing on the front porch."

By Lauren Feldman - American Cowboy (June/July 2013)