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Nights on Venus News
Hello and welcome to the official site for Nights on Venus. Here you can find the latest news on what I'm up to these days, updated on a weekly basis.
5/12/2019: Well, not quite on a weekly basis... We're into May now. Happy Mother's Day!... and hope everyone is having a great Sunday and weekend.
New song up on SoundCloud, the mastered demo for "Moon of the Bird" which features the Novachord virtual synth and "Lina", the new guitar - a Backlund Katalina. Much more electronic, as is the entire album in progress. But "Moon of the Bird"... what does that mean?
The story of how this song came to be titled goes back to a Saturday afternoon in the legendary Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen and a flyer that was stapled on one of the wooden posts in there. Erin (Shmoopy) said something about the band flyer, "what is that?... moon of the bird?" and I leaned in and looked at it closely and said, "Oh, it's Wounded Bird", but the title stuck 'cause we both thought it was kind of funny. No, we were not smoking anything beforehand. So here you go... this one's for you Wounded Bird, whoever you are.
Currently I'm working on my upcoming 6th full-length album, "Late Night Meditations In/On Suburbia", which is slated for release later this year. I'm shooting for November.
On the home page you'll find the SoundCloud player with excerpts and mastered demos of some of the completed songs that will be on the album as it starts coming together.
The playlist above is powered by CD Baby as is the Music page and you can find all of Nights on Venus' music there, available for download. Along with other online music sources, such as Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp. Streaming as well... (Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music).
This playlist features 16 songs from NoV which serve as a good introduction to my music - a sort of "greatest hits" compilation so to speak... so far.
And hey, thanks for stopping by!
Nights on Venus...
is Craig Carrington Thomas - keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, composer, producer & engineer
and Erin Foley - guitar, saxophones, flute
Nights on Venus began and grew out of a solo project I had started working on in May of 2010 and coalesced into NoV during that summer at a week-long personal retreat at the Mandala Center in northeastern New Mexico. I decided early on that NoV would be an all-instrumental project. Every once in a while I re-evaluate this, nine years in now, and there may possibly, eventually, be vocals. I am also a vocalist, a baritone, and have sung lead in a few bands.
Nights on Venus made its first appearance online in October, 2010, and eight months later, the debut album - simply entitled Nights on Venus - was released in early June, 2011. Atmospheric, hypnotic, smooth, ethereal, and "brain-wavin" are words that have been used to describe that album and the subsequent album, In 4 the Evening, that followed in 2012. The origin of the NoV sound can be traced back to around 1995, when I was working on a cross between surf music and all the ethereal keyboard compositions I had been doing since the late 1970s.
Fast forward to 2019... The 'band', as such, is composed of me and my wife, Erin Foley, who appears on several songs, including Our Alternate Lives on alto sax which was from the most recent release in June, 2018, the two-song single, The Wheels Are Coming Off. I am currently working on the 6th full-length Nights on Venus album, Late Night Meditations In/On Suburbia, scheduled for release in late 2019, or upon our moving away from said suburbia. It's been kind of a running diary of our last 9 months here. Erin and I are currently based in Littleton, Colorado with our two orange tabbies, Maxx and Cosmo, who are fed a musical/listening diet of Steely Dan, Thelonious Monk, and opera on an almost daily basis. They seem to like it, just as we do.
If you're still with me, here's the longer (chronologically) and highly condensed version of my bio - where I come from, how I got here - my roots! (so to speak):
I was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and after a few temporary stops, we moved to and settled in Dallas, Texas. I grew up in a musical family - my dad was a church organist and choir director, my mom, a vocalist, soprano - and I was classically trained on piano and pipe organ... although I do remember that the first instrument I learned to play was the drums. My grandmother had given me a very basic drum set at Christmas one year, I might have been 6 at the time, and I played that for a while... until the drum set disappeared under "mysterious circumstances". After that, I was playing the piano.
I began writing original compositions around the age of 10; pipe organ was at the age of 13 and I would go in and practice on the four-manual Möller pipe organ in the sanctuary of St. Michael's and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saturday afternoons that year, and if no one was around I'd play The Doors' "Light My Fire", Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida", Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale"... The acoustics were incredible - sounded awesome. I began playing in bands in high school.
I am also a visual artist in painting and photography and hold degrees from Texas Tech University and a Master’s of Fine Arts from University of North Texas in Denton. I taught drawing and figure drawing at the university level in grad school. In 1992, I moved to the mountains of Colorado and established Excellent Sky Gallery in Kittredge, just outside Denver, eventually moving the gallery to the smaller, higher mountain town of Empire, while continuing to play in bands and writing original music. In addition to keyboards, I began playing guitar and bass in the late 1980s and learned recording and engineering techniques in the early 90s. Over the course of my musical career, I've played in all styles from New Wave to Blues, to Classic Rock to Reggae and Jazz. Always keep listening, learning... always keep growing. Your best work is always in front of you.
Musical influences include, but are not limited to: The Doors & Ray Manzarek, Velvet Underground, Todd Rundgren, Love Tractor, Roxy Music, The Cars, The Church, Brian Eno, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Sigur Ros, Dick Dale, the Aqua Velvets and surf music in general, and the composer John Barry.