Gospel artist Tre Thomas made his Blues Alley debut in DC Tuesday, July 6th and delivered a show full of energy and style. The singing sensation has been conquering a lot of musical territory lately. He’s made an appearance on the Bobby Jones Gospel Show, sang at Ben’s Next Door and, hours before his Blues Alley debut, appeared on DC’s Fox5 and sang My First Love with passion and intensity. He also handled his interview with the ease of an industry veteran.
DC’s Blues Alley is a Georgetown institution modeled after the jazz supper clubs of the 1920s and ’30s. According to the New York Times Blues Alley is, “the nation’s finest jazz and supper club.” Many of the world’s great artists have played on the Blues Alley stage: Charlie Byrd, Ella Fitzgerald, Ramsey Lewis, Wynton Marsalis and Rachelle Ferrell. And last night DC saw Tre Thomas’ name proudly displayed on the marquee, adding his name to the legendary club’s history.
Thomas’ godfather, gospel legend Richard Smallwood (Promises) was there for the big night. Other local artists in attendance included Kendall King (Faithful) and Robert E. Person (Soul Sanctuary). Gerard Bonner of Bonnerfide Radio came to the second set to support the Love Ludes host. Everyone was ready to see the young artist reach yet another plateau in his career. By all appearances, he did just that.
Great songs, great show
It was an outstanding performance. Tre Thomas took the stage and began the show with You Never Know, a very energetic song that immediately got the audience on board and he quickly followed with All Things. Thomas sings the kinds of songs that many can enjoy.
The songs, the majority written by Thomas, are crisp and clear and were complemented, not overpowered, by the stellar band that accompanied him. The lyrics are infused with a strong, yet not overly preachy message that can easily translate into any venue while remaining true to its purpose. After all, Thomas’ mission is to take church outside of the four walls.
“I think in terms of the approach that I’m using, I approach the music so that it can go outside of the church. I think people will be more open to it in restaurants and lounges, in bars and those are the kinds of places that I tend to perform. Really, it’s my intent to approach the music so that people outside of the church will listen. One is the approach to the music and then my just being involved and being outside of the church. Whether it be involved in the community or just doing things that “church folk” wouldn’t normally necessarily do or where they would normally go. That’s my strategy.” ~Tre Thomas
Thomas sang songs from his first album, “A Natural Contrast” including the touching and beautiful Everything to Me. He kept the crowd’s attention with Guess What and his signature song, My First Love.
Temptation addressed choices and the external pressures that often come into play when making them. The activist-singer introduced the song by mentioning his affiliation with the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and his quest to curb the number of cases in his adopted city. Temptation ended in a modern day call and response. Finally, a song from Thomas’ upcoming album had a 90’s R&B flavor and will certainly be a crowd pleaser.
The singer demonstrated his unselfishness as he gave his background vocalists (BGVs) their opportunity to shine. Rayshun Lamarr, Shaun H. Mykals and Troy Sol Elder displayed their full range of vocal acrobatics, paying homage to Luther Vandross with Knocks Me Off My Feet and concluding with an interpretation of OutKast’s Prototype, as Elder turned it into a worship song.
Tre Thomas is definitely one to watch. One wonders what’s next for this talented artist who seems to be making all the right moves. Apparently, he has already set his sights:
“In a perfect world, I would really like to do the Monique show or the Wendy Williams show. I really want to expand my platform and reach.” ~Tre Thomas
GME believes with his vocal abilities and quiet determination Tre Thomas will get there and beyond. If readers don’t already have his music on rotation, this is the perfect time to pick up or download “A Natural Contrast”. Taking the message outside the church? Mission accomplished.
Tre Thomas’ current album “A Natural Contrast” is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, CDBaby and Rhapsody. It can also be purchased at www.trethomas.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.