MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Thom Kaz, a veteran, and local Mobilian, has been busy in Las Vegas performing his high-energy hypnosis comedy show. However, Thom has changed directions and entered the world of music. He joined us here on Studio10 to tell us about what got him here, talk about some important people who influenced his journey, and also how he is working to support veterans.
BIO: Growing up in a military family that served in Japan, Mississippi, and Florida, Thom was exposed to several different genres of music that influenced his songwriting and musical style. As a kid, Thom’s father had an old reel-to-reel player and a collection of albums from legendary artists such as BB King, Elvis Presley, The Four Tops, Frankie Valli, and the Four Seasons. It was those old reel-to-reel tapes that sparked Thom’s interest in music at a very young age and, as a result, they became the foundation for his own musical journey.
WhiskeyTown is an album based on Thom’s own life experiences and the stories behind the songs are just as entertaining as the songs themselves. For example, the song Outlaw in the USA is a song that talks about standing up for your rights and helping those who sacrificed to give us the freedom we enjoy today. Having a father and a brother that served over 50 years combined motivated Thom to remind our citizens that we the people have a debt to pay for the sacrifices these brave men and women gave for all of us. When you listen to that song, think about those heroes and what they did for our country.
The song Bad Man is a story about Thom meeting a homeless veteran who had lost his wife and two sons in a tragic accident, only to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. As a result, he lost everything, and when Thom met him on a side street in Las Vegas, he didn’t see a bum asking for a handout. He saw a man that needed someone to simply show him some love and appreciation for what he had been through. After meeting the man and buying him lunch, some clothes, and a hotel room for the night, Thom remembered how grateful the man was for the opportunity to sleep in a nice, warm bed, take a shower and simply feel like someone cared about him.
In Thom’s own words, “I remember the moment I gave him the key to his room at the Palace Station Hotel where I was performing on a weekly basis. As we walked through the property, he saw my show posters and asked me why someone like me would even to stop to talk to someone like him. It was a moment that I will never forget, and as we walked upstairs together, he was crying and thanking me over and over. I told him that it was me that should be thanking him for sharing his story with me. That night, he showed up at my show wearing the new clothes I had bought him, clean-shaven and excited to be sitting in the front row as a VIP. I never saw him again after that day, but the feeling I got from helping him made me want to do it again. The truth is, it was he who inspired me, not the other way around. It was a life-changing moment for both of us and I hope that man knows what he did for me that day was open my eyes to the struggle our veterans are facing.” It was this man’s story that became the inspiration for creating the WhiskeyTown Warriors program to help our veterans by providing financial aid and support to help them overcome the challenges our veterans are facing every day.
Currently, Thom is working with his management team to tour the USA to bring his music, his message, and his mission to the masses. Thom has made a commitment to donate a portion of the proceeds from his live shows, WhiskeyTown Merchandise, and WhiskeyTown BBQ sauce to the WhiskeyTown Warriors program to help veterans with mental wellness, PTSD, and suicide prevention.
You are invited to become a part of the initiative by joining the WhiskeyTown Warriors and sharing Thom’s music and merchandise with your friends and family. Together, everyone can make a difference in the lives of those who need help the most.
You can find more information, or purchase Thom’s music or BBQ sauce, on their website here.
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