Thao Nguyen "rich" and "engaging" lead of Cali-based alt folk rockers (Created February 21, 2013)
Thao Nguyen had led an impressive group of musicians as the head of California-based alternative folk rockers Thao and The Get Down Stay Down. Not bad for a girl who first picked up a guitar at age 12 and has paid her dues while working with a long list of acclaimed artists.
With a voice that has been called both "rich" and "engaging" by the New York Times, Nguyen began performing with a high school friend as part of an indie-folk duo and often practiced her songs while working at a laundromat in Falls, Church, Virginia. All the pieces of the band later came together while she studied at The College of William and Mary, with Adam Thompson (bass guitar, keyboards), Frank Stewart (lead guitar and production) and Willis Thompson (drums) along for the ride.
The debut album for Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, "Like the Linen," bowed in 2005 and was the first of five albums put out of the next eight years. The latest, "We The Common" (2013) has been the one that has critics buzzing. Many have lauded Nguyen specifically for the album's far-reaching themes, with songs influenced by her work volunteering with prisoners in the California state penitentiary system.
Tracks on the album like "City" "We Don't Call" point to a much bigger picture and a much more vibrant sound for Nguyen, who is hailed not an introspective songwriter, but as the leader of a band of merrymakers this time around.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down begin a tour in support of the album on March 1 at Blue Lamp in Sacramento, California. They currently have tour dates booked through April 8, with opening act Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside.
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