This past week while visiting my Sister and her family in Baytown, Texas I was treated to a surprising find that I must share with all of you.
After more than 16 hours of straight driving, my son and I arrived in Texarkana, Texas greeted by a blazing 110 degree heat wave. We finished our journey the following day arriving in the Houston area just in time to attend one of my Sister’s music engagements at the popular Neon Moon Saloon.
Along with the excitement of hearing my sister perform, backed up by one of the best group of musicians I have heard in some time, I was introduced to two very talented 13 year old bass players who were being showcased that evening during the jam.
Lifelong friends, Michael Thompson and Tommy Freeman were helping the band set up the stage when I arrived and I knew that this was going to be not only exciting for the crowd that was starting to assemble but also an unexpected treat for me.
Michael Thompson is the youngest son of Kelli (Dinky) Thompson and the late Mick E. Thompson from La Porte, Texas. His mother Kelli shared with me that Michael comes from several generations of musicians which for me was quite evident as soon as he took the stage. Not only does he look like a performer but really demanded attention as he pounded out the bass riffs on his guitar and sang backup during his two performances.
What was especially exciting was watching his Mother (Dinky) playing lead guitar by her sons side like nobody I have ever witnessed. Mom’s performance left no doubt in my mind where her son Michael’s musical ability came from. With musical talent like this flowing through this boy’s veins he can only be destined for a career in the music industry.
Michael first started playing drums like his Dad at five years of age and picked up Bass when he turned eight. He studied bass after his father’s death with Matt Elias at Infinity Guitars, quickly progressing to six string bass in a very short time.
Michael is heavily influenced by John Myung of Dream Theater, Geddy Lee of Rush, and Les Claypool of Primus. In addition to his excellent bass playing skills I’m told that Michael is also an accomplished self taught drummer.
Michael was a member of “Maximus”, a teen classic rock band whose member’s ranged from eleven to fifteen years old. Michael’s goal is to put together a Dream Theater Tribute band made up of teenagers; he exclusively plays only Ibanez guitars hoping to receive an endorsement by Ibanez and aspires to have his own line of signature basses.
Here is Michael jamming on his Bass guitar in his home recording studio! Michael shows his skills playing unbelievable riffs to a Classic Rush song “YYZ”.
In addition to this performance, Michael has played “House of Blues, Houston Beer Fest, and more than fifty other engagements in and around Houston.
Currently Michael is working on original material with Adam and Daniel Shudra in a project called “Occams Razor”. Plans are now in the works to finish this project and produce a CD this coming November.
- If you would like to know more about Michael, write to Kelli Thompson at: email@example.com
- You can also visit This YouTube Channel
Thirteen year old Tommy Freeman, son of Troy Freeman and Tracy Henry of La Porte, Texas, was also a joy to watch and meet. This young man demonstrated not only great skill on the stage but was very polite and pleasant to speak with both before and after his performance! Tommy told me in my short interview with him that he is very inspired by his friend Michael and that they both share the same dream of being a part of a very successful band some day in the near future.
His mother explained; “Tommy has always loved music, even danced around the coffee table at just one year of age.”
In sixth grade, Tommy joined the school band and learned how to read music and play the clarinet. By seventh grade he was first chair in band and started playing the bass clarinet. One day he picked up an acoustic guitar a dear friend gave him and began to play. He taught himself the usual “Smoke On The Water” and went straight to some “Metallica”.
Soon another fiend of the family noticed his talent and interest in guitar and gave him an electric guitar. By December of that year he received a bass guitar for Christmas and played a solo in the school talent show at Lomax Junior High School.
This past July he started enjoying playing open mic night with “Chris Elliot” at the Neon Moon Saloon in La Porte. He’s very excited to be the “youngest” artist to play there.
As I watched young Tommy play, I could see the intensity of his artistry as it flowed from deep within him. His determination to not only do well and impress the crowd showed on his face as he exuberantly played each note on his bass. This determination really paid off, not just by the applause from the crowd but also through the accolades he received from the amazing band members who were helping to support and showcase his talent!
His mother exclaimed;
“As his parent I can’t wait to see Tommy’s talent grow! As he meets more experienced artists he seems to come away with so much more. I so much appreciate all the positive musical influences in his life.”
This past May through June Tommy starred in “Seussical the Musical” at San Jac College. Tommy was awarded the lead role of “JoJo” in the play and sang a solo and duet. While it’s quite evident that Tommy can hold his own with vocals as well as acting, he told me that singing is not necessarily his forte. “My dream is to become an outstanding guitar player and a part of a band that becomes very successful!
- To learn more about Tommy you can contact Tracy J Henry at: Tracy_henry7@yahoo.com
- You can also visit Tommy’s YouTube Site!
I can’t express what a great time I had that evening. Hearing my sister perform backed up by an amazing band, meeting many wonderful friendly people, and being introduced to these two exceptionally talented young men will be a memory not soon forgotten.