Ruel Thomas

Ruel Thomas: “I Am Today”

Any profession requires quotas…whether that’s how many tickets you write or how many kids pass your class. And when music is your source of income, the obvious metric to measure by is quantity of shows played. But as with any creative endeavor, there’s an opportunity to move the needle in many directions, which makes “success” a complicated thing to assess.

So let’s get a quick look at Ruel Thomas. The Native Austinite developed his guitar-vocals-and-harmonica style around folk-pop-rock icons like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Paul Simon while still in Australia. When he moved back to the Live Music Capital about a half decade back, everything fell into place to become a certified full-timer. And Ruel Thomas has done just that, with thousands of gigs in the bag across the Lone Star State, the Tonight and Myself full-length from 2022, and last May’s Texas Castle EP.

You might’ve noticed that time spent onstage and on the road outweighs studio offerings by a country mile. But remember what we said about moving the needle in new directions? Yeah, in 2024, Ruel Thomas has vowed to drop a new single every two months, no small feat for someone who needs to wrangle a band for every recording. And last Friday that new series continued with “I Am Today”, which sounds somewhere between a decades-old yesterday and a fast-approaching tomorrow in terms of classic influences and modern mixing – thanks to Luna drummer/NYC Producer Lee Wall. At just a hair over three minutes, the ever-rolling rhythm section behind “I Am Today” dangles tomorrow’s horizon in the distance, while Ruel’s rich vocals and Americana guitar keep you right in the moment.

Ruel Thomas: “Waited to Say”

Like many who hadn’t quite yet tapped into their full potential, Austin nativeĀ Ruel Thomas didn’t flesh out his inner musician until he spent some time away from home. While living in Australia, Thomas soaked up the folky formulas of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney while shaping his own indie-adjacent sound on guitar (both electric and acoustic), vocals, and harmonica.

Now that Thomas is back in the Live Music Capital and playing gigs when he can (including one on the 28th at Fitzhugh Brewing), he’s been masterminding his debut album, due out this winter. But you don’t even hold off til the first day of fall to check out Ruel Thomas’ haunting vocals and accessible-yet-unique rock on with his most confident composition (and music video) yet, “Waited to Say”!