In conjunction with the announcement, Bonfire has released the title track as a single. It’s one written by Jason Cope and Wesley Bayliss of The Steel Woods, on which Steve has Del McCoury singing tenor with him.
Thomas has spent nearly 40 years working in the music industry, and has been the very definition of the perfect sideman. Dutifully enhancing the stage and studio sound of top acts in both bluegrass and country music, he earned a living on the road, and developed a reputation as a top man on either mandolin or fiddle once he moved to Nashville.
Growing up in and around Roanoke, VA, he was part of the first edition of the Lonesome River Band, and ran around with the many young grassers in the region. Things changed when he got a call one day from David Parmley, who was also living nearby, with word that Del McCoury needed a fiddler. Steve got that gig, and would travel from Virginia to Pennsylvania each weekend to play with Del. This was before McCoury had reached superstar status, but what he taught the young fiddler about professionalism and playing bluegrass the right way was worth more than the young Thomas could have been paid.
Following that tutelage, Steve got the job with Jim & Jesse, but left shortly thereafter because as a newly-married man, the road work wasn’t compatible with seeing his new bride. Back in Roanoke, a job with The Lost & Found was in the offing, which he quickly accepted. But before long the realization that a better living was available in Nashville became clear, and he and his wife made the move.
Soon he was working with headliners like The Osborne Brothers, Barbara Mandrell, and Brooks & Dunn. Thomas tells the next chapter openly, but it was a dark one. Substance abuse in the form of speed took over his life, a common issue among Nashville pickers at the time looking for a little help being extra productive. Just as it always does, it made him sloppy and unprofessional, and he started losing work. So off to rehab it was, where the story has a very happy ending, with Steve coming through completely clean, and with a new attitude about his music.
Now, leading a band under his own name, Thomas says that All of These Years really ties up what his career has seen.
“This record represents my 38 years as a professional musician. All the influences and some of the styles of music that I like to play. Of course it’s rooted in bluegrass, but also has the elements of blues and country. Very excited to be working with the team at Bonfire Music Group. I hope you will enjoy the work of all the musicians, writers, and engineers that came together to make this project happen.”
And he has created this video of photos throughout his life to illustrate the single, All of These Years.