I have a two-year-old daughter who is crazy about Thomas the Tank Engine. When I put on a Rosie Thomas song the other day, she said, “Who’s this, Daddy?” I told her, “Rosie Thomas. I just found her.” She looked confused then continued on in our conversation with, “Thomas the Tank Engine? I like that.”
There you go. Rosie Thomas gets the Thomas the Tank Engine comparison from my daughter. I think that’s a good thing.
I stumbled onto Rosie Thomas about a week ago. I don’t remember where I heard of her, but she’s one of my new favorite women artists now. Her voice is light and airy, her music is fun and whimsical, and the lyrics are really good.
Though her songs aren’t real obviously Christian, you can read about how she became born again in an interview with Christianity today here. In case you’re too busy to read it on your own, here’s the summary: Rosie was raised in a Christian home but it wasn’t until she was 20 or so that she really made her faith her own. A friend invited her to come stay with her at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California, while Rosie was going through some tough stuff in her own life. She took her up on the offer, stuck around for a year, and gave her life to God. You should read the whole story, though. It’s pretty funny.
I really don’t know much about Rosie Thomas. She’s done stand-up comedy. She’s been doing music since the late 1990s. She’s got a great voice. She thought it would be funny to play a prank on Sufjan Stevens a few years ago by telling people that she and him were gonna have a baby. She’s worked with Denison Witmer, Damien Jurado, David Bazan, and even guys whose names do not begin with a “D,” like Sufjan Stevens.
From all I’ve read, she’s a very unusual, funny, lively, giggly kind of person.
In an interview with Kim Ruehl here, when asked what she thought about people getting music for free on-line, she gave this answer:
You know, a few years back, I had this dinner with Tower Records down in L.A., and I remember someone asked me … it was back during the whole Napster thing, and someone asked me whether I thought music should be free online, and I said, “Oh I think it’s great!” Not realizing that, of course, Tower Records is going to lose money from the whole thing.
But, seriously, the whole idea [of music] is community—share what you have. The way I do what I do, I collaborate, I go on tour … now I’m getting some headlining dates, so maybe I can get to where I bring a friend with me and introduce the audience to their music. Naturally, it’s nice to know your rent is going to be paid [from your career], but what’s more important to me is that music is meant to be shared.
I’m awful with merchandise, because I’ll just give it all away if it’s up to me. I have to be careful. My heart says, “Give it away, it doesn’t belong to you.” You know, I don’t own these songs. I wrote them because I want other people to have them and maybe they can take them and give them to someone else. I can only hope [the songs] make an imprint on someone else, because then, all the struggle and sadness and everything will have been worth it if I was able to learn from it, share it with someone else, and then they can learn from it, too.
I say take what you need. There’s more than enough for everyone.
So, with that spirit in mind, enjoy these songs from Rosie Thomas, and buy some more so she can pay her rent:
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