10 p.m. Oct. 17 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $7. (859) 309-9499. Cosmic-charlies.com.
DeBraun Thomas has made radio his livelihood for much of the seven years that he has spent in Lexington. But that didn't exactly brace him for the experience of hearing his own music on the station that employs him.
"I've been getting some airplay on WUKY, which in itself has been an interesting thing because I do work there," Thomas says. "So I understand how some folks might look at that as favoritism, but it really isn't.
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"I was sitting in my car when the station played the first song on the album. As the music started, it really hit me what was happening. Over the years I've been in radio, I have played thousands upon thousands of songs. But I didn't know that was going to be what it felt like to have your song played on the radio."
The album in question is All My Colors Are Blind, and the tune Thomas heard on WUKY was Bedroom Stranger, a propulsive blast of funk-driven rock 'n' roll with Thomas' meaty vocals leading the charge and waves of churchy organ and horns at his back. The tune — the entire album, for that matter — also sports a guitar voice as commanding as his singing.
"I think Solomon Burke actually coined this phrase, but I call the music I do rock and soul. It's rock, it's roll, but it's full of everything in between. As an artist of color, I think it's easy for me, because I play guitar, to get lumped into a blues category. While blues is very much a basis of American music and is the very basis of the music I grew up listening to, that's not really all it is. Each song on the album characteristically sounds different from one another."
His mother is from Adair County and several other relative hail from Kentucky, but Thomas is a native of the San Francisco Bay area. He moved to Lexington to study journalism at the University of Kentucky (he graduated in 2012) and has worked regularly at WUKY since then in various capacities. He hosts Local Music Mondays, a weekly series that profiles Lexington artists a platform to have their work heard.
"The Bay area is filled with a lot of really great music," Thomas says. "But the one thing I find really special about Lexington, perhaps because it is so centralized, is this really large and concentrated talent pool of musicians. When I moved here, I found there were a lot of people in this particular city that are super, ridiculously talented. That's just been another thing I love about Lexington. I get to jam with really great people and learn from them."
Having performed with the local hip-hop ensemble A Tribe Called Lex, the soul-R&B cover band Soul Funkin Dangerous and a semi-regular Funkadelic tribute troupe called Freak of the Weekend ("That's just another really fun thing I love about Lexington. There are a lot of people here who love Funkadelic."), Thomas most frequently appears with a trio that includes bassist Smith Donaldson and drummer Daniel Mohler. All My Colors are Blind, however, also sports help from a who's who of local music faves, many of whom are planning on joining Thomas for his album-release show this weekend at Cosmic Charlie's.
"The CD is a culmination of the last five years of my life, where I was trying to figure out musically what I wanted to do. I'm still dealing with the fact that I can hold one of these things in my hand. The great thing, though, is each one of these songs still means a lot to me. The fact I can finally share them with everybody is tremendous."
The Beach Boys
7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the EKU Center for the Arts, 1 Hall Drive, Richmond. $37-$97. (859) 622-7469. EKUcenter.com.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Norton Center for the Arts, 600 West Walnut St., Danville. $59-$79. 1-877-448-7469. Nortoncenter.com.
Introductions are in order: 1960s, meet the 1970s.
The '60s, in this instance, refer to the formation of The Beach Boys, still with founding vocalist Mike Love and five-decade member Bruce Johnston on board. The iconic surf-pop band continued to make groundbreaking albums through 1973, but its legacy centers on its many mid-'60s hits, which continue to define the sound of summer.
The group performs Friday night at the EKU Center in Richmond.
Foreigner came into fashion in 1977 and remained a rock radio mainstay for more than a decade. Only guitarist, founder and leader Mick Jones remains from the original lineup (vocalist Lou Graham exited for the second and final time in 2003), but the band remains a popular concert draw internationally.
Foreigner visits the Norton Center for the Arts on Wednesday.