Angels on the Backroads
In 1998, after several years of research, two brothers, Eddie and Frank Thomas, armed with guitar and hand held recorder, set out from Memphis to New Orleans along Highway 61 to sing the praises of Blues and Jazz. They recorded their versions of 65 classics at locations significant to each song's origin. Frank recorded. Eddie performed.
Their on-location recording of the 65 songs spanned three years, 1998 to 2001. Liane Hansen from NPR joined Eddie and Frank for their last recording in the choir loft of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The brothers released the Angels on the Backroads 4CD box set in 2003. Their multimedia stage show by the same name toured the Mississippi Delta and United Kingdom from 2004 until 2007.
In 2018, Eddie and Frank reached out to a new generation of Blues and Jazz enthusiasts by producing 61 Down the Highway, a step by step photographic journal documenting their Angels on the Backroads recording adventure.
In the fall of 2020, 61 Down the Highway will be joined by 19 Angels, a CD containing nineteen tracks from the original Angels on the Backroads box set, and Going to Chicago, an hour and fifteen minute performance video edited from the Thomas brothers' fifty, multimedia concerts to Mississippi high schools and three tours to the United Kingdom. Check back for release date and purchasing instructions. In the meantime, enjoy the 8.5 minute Movie Trailer for Going to Chicago.
Years in the making, this Angels on the Backroads trilogy of book, CD and video is a one of a kind, then and now musical excursion from "the land where the blues began" into the modern day world that has embraced it.