A Phil Brodie Band
January 5th 1965 ~ Rockwood, Tennessee.
Randy Thurman is
a man utterly and totally consumed by the arts; visual, musical and
written. Randy's musical works range from the rough acoustic blues,
to contemporary classical, to improvisational jazz, and sublime avant-garde
soundscapes. His paintings encompass a variety of styles, from the sensual
figurative to geometric abstraction. His written works are pronounced
and profound. Randy Thurman explores the gamut of sight and sound and
thought, and brings back something interesting. Originally intent on
living out his life in total obscurity, Randy has quite suddenly been
catupuled into a man of global acclaim. His acoustic blues and jazz
have traveled across the globe from El Paso to Australia, from Illinois
to Portugal. His artwork has shown in numerous international group exhibitions
in Manhattan; both his art and writing in publications reaching Tokyo,
Paris, London and the world.
Earlier this year, I spoke to Randy about his first love of music, electric
guitar shredding, happily this love and amazing talent has now been
rekindled. Sadly though only a few remnants of Randy's earlier life
have survived on the occasional worn and decaying cassette tape which
have been hidden away for years in storage. Randy has salvaged all that
could be saved of these fragments, including his awesome warm-up practice
session "Show Down" which
can be heard here
(art & musical)
Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Arnold Schoenberg,
Charles Ives, Philip Glass, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Van Gogh,
Kandinsky, and Thoreau
Gear (which has ebbed and flowed over the years includes the following
My 1971 Telecaster, Sunn Betta lead amp, Fender Precision Bass, Alvarez
Classical, Washburn Acoustic, violin and various custom made equipment
Tennessee Renaissance Man's abstract art - and music -
selected for New York exhibit:
Randy Thurman missed his New York gallery debut, but the artist/ composer/
musician/ poet/ hybridizer/ etc. has plenty of pursuits to keep him
busy at home in Spring City, Tenn. The "etc." is a place-keeper
in Thurman's resume. After all, there are nine muses. Who knows which
one will light on his shoulder next? ... Illness prevented Thurman from
visiting the exhibit. But he was represented at the opening not only
by a painting, but also by a recording of free-form jazz that he composed
and performed on guitar. "Randy Thurman is an interesting artist,"
says Bob Hogge, the artist owner of Monkdogz. "He's on to something."
Thurman's geometric paintings incorporate mixed pigment (oil and acrylic)
and mixed media. Hogge says the abstract work is "nearly cubist."
"He uses really fundamental colors, then put s them in a geometric
format," Hogge says. "What he has done is manage to accomplish
a great deal using minimal form and great application of color."
Hogge says he would have expected the work Thurman produces to have
emerged from one of the art capitols - London, Paris, Mexico City, Chicago,
Los Angeles. "I was surprised to see this level of work coming
out of Tennessee," he says.
- Doug Mason, Knoxville News Sentinel 1-28-07
brings unique vision to nude art calendar contest: "Erica (Barrish,
AVP of Christie's international auction house) seemed especially excited
by Randy Thurman's digital painting, Exhilaration, and selected that
piece for the honor of launching the month as May 1st."
- Barebrush Art News & Events
~ ~ ~
early formative years)
Randy Thurman was born January 5, 1965 in Rockwood, Tennessee. He started
reading at the age of 4 and was writing poetry by the age of 8. Randy
was 12 years old when he first heard Jimi Hendrix, an event which inspired
him to become a vocalist and performer, rather than immediately inspiring
him to play guitar. "Hendrix will always be the king of rock-n-roll
to me" says Randy "but he is much more than that. What he
is cannot be described in words. It must be experienced." About
the same time Randy was also exposed, quite accidentally, to classical
music which had the same compelling effect on him.
In the small town Randy grew up in, there was very little musical diversity,
but Randy listened to every different form of music he could get his
hands on. At age 14 he started his first band, an AC/DC cover band called
"The Night Prowlers". Pressed to come up with a name, Randy
decided to take the last song on the last album that Bon Scott sang
on before his death, which was "Night Prowler". Randy was
quickly able to imitate almost any vocalist in the rock genre from Bon
Scott to David Lee Roth. He also played saxophone in the school band,
but was admonished for deviating from the musical score with his spontaneous
improvisations. The following years were filled front lining a succession
of rock bands as a vocalist and a high energy, high kicking stage performer.
Then at age 21, Randy heard the album "Surfing with the Alien"
by Joe Satriani and the maddness began. He learned the basics first,
chord progressions, scales, and etc. then honed his shredding abilities
by utilizing every spare moment for practice, practice, practice. Within
six months he was playing his own compositions. The first one entitled
"Show Down" was basically a warm-up practice piece turned
into a performance piece. Randy says he could play it frontwards, backwards
and upside down.
At some point during this time frame Randy also became an avid weight
lifter and fitness fanatic. The two disciplines playing off each another
with the constant practice, testing and pushing the limits of human
endurance to the extreme. Randy paid the rent by playing gigs and cutting
heads across the rural south. Then taking a hiatus from the music and
writing Randy attended the local community college, earning a degree
in computer programing, but still managing to play a few gigs here and
After college Randy was struck with Morbus Meniere's, a debilitating
inner disease that left him housebound for five years. No longer able
to perform or tour, Randy remained active with his music in a limited
capacity. During these years, Randy's interest turned to philosophy,
physics & painting. He was greatly influenced by the art of Van
Gogh (who we now know also suffered from Morbus Meniere's Disease) but
quickly progressed from impressionism to abstraction when he saw his
first Kandinsky piece. When his Morbus Meniere's went into remission,
Randy resumed weight lifting, and embarked on ten years of studying
the great painters and experimenting to develop his own unique styles,
all while working to help out at his family's small business. Randy
continued to write poetry, aphorisms, and various prose throughout.
The music, ever present, was the audible facet of a greater whole which
Randy struggled to express through any and every artistic means possible.
Shortly after finding and marrying the girl who
would become his biggest fan and supporter, Randy
was struck again with a recurrence of the Morbus Meniere's, which again
left him primarily housebound and captive within his own home. This
time of trial ultimately steered Randy's music towards the blues. When
asked "What does it mean to have the blues?" Randy states,
"For me it is glimpse of a safe harbor in a tumultuous sea of sorrow.
To me nothing communicates this more poignantly than acoustic blues.
One person, one guitar and a conversation with the almighty."
Randy's wife Christy encouraged him to record these blues 'wailings'
and 'shoutings' using the simple equipment they had, and also to pour
his heart out onto the canvas for all the world to see. Although Randy
had sold prints of his early traditional paintings and landscapes locally,
he had never submitted any of his abstract work for review, or solicited
any galleries to show the fine art he created. In October 2006, Randy's
wife began entering his artwork into various competitions, the first
an international juried exhibit called "The Day After Tomorrow:
The Next Tortured Genius" at the innovative Manhattan gallery Monkdogz
Urban Art. A previously unknown (and completely unheard of) contender,
Randy's work was chosen along with the very best from all over the globe
in an exhibit boldly proclaiming it's artists to be those "who
will be remembered as the art icons of the 21st century"
Now nine international group shows, and two exclusive art publications
later, Randy has gallery representation with Monkdogz Urban Art, and
is busy planning his 2008 show season. The music has remained a constant
in Randy's daily life, with the painting, the composing, the writing,
and the shouting and beating out rhythms, all working as foils against
To quote Randy "In the artist's mind, ALL things are interrelated;
all forms of art should be inspiration for other forms of art. Why not
paint a symphony, visually abstract the inner workings of the limbic
system, or compose a score of literary fiction?"
We follow a course from Randy's humble beginnings in traditional representational
paintings to the sublime intellectually stimulating (staggering) abstractions,
from the rural agricultural south to the the hustle and flash of Manhattan
New York and the Chelsea district's hottest, most innovative fine art
gallery, Monkdogz Urban Art. From a teenage boy screaming out Bon Scott
lyrics, to a 42 year old veteran of life, belting out a blues shout
of "John the Revelator", from an origin in guitar shredding
and classical music, with a progression to improvisational jazz and
acoustic blues, launching outward into the experimental and avant-garde,
we arrive at the present day of Randy's musical and artistic journey.
Thurman's latest art, music, exhibitions and poetry experimentations
can be found at
~ ~ ~
acoustic blues guitar
In desperation, while housebound & falling-down sick, suffering
from Morbus Menieres Disease, Randy Thurman composed and recorded these
hard hitting blues arrangements. Rough Cuts was recorded using a 30
yr old Realistic mic, a $129 Washburn acoustic guitar in standard tuning,
a beat up refurbished Hewlett Packard pc, and a free recording program
downloaded off the internet. What it may lack in professional production
is more than compensated by raw intensity and artistic passion.
Somewhere is a diverse collection of thoughts, memories, and feelings
expressed through song - each decisively different, yet forming a cohesive
unit transporting you to a place somewhere you have been or always longed
to be. Our lives are a series of stages that take many forms and travel
different directions. The experiences we have, our personal learning
processes and the cultures we encounter influence who we are and often
where we are going, but whoever you are, where ever you are, this music
will surely take you somewhere.
improvisational acoustic jazz guitar
Improvisational free-form acoustic jazz on guitar - 21 tracks of pure,
one track, one take recordings displaying Randy's virtuosity with acoustic
guitar - something he never thought he'd be known for, since his first
love was a 1971 Telecaster he named 'Jill'. This album debuted at Monkdogz
Urban Art in January 2007, where it was played as part of the exhibit
"Day After Tomorrow : The Next Tortured Genius".
albums currently available on CD Baby.
asked Randy of his current projects, in the making.
He is busy working on some very exciting CDs
Acoustic Blues Remedy
What does it mean to have the blues? For me it
is glimpse of a safe harbor in a tumultuous sea of sorrow. To me nothing
communicate this more poignant than acoustic blues. One person, one
guitar and a conversation with the almighty.
This CD contains old favorite blues tunes rearranged so as to make new
acquaintances, old spiritual songs written as early as 1890 given the
blues treatment, and a few I have written myself. I hope you enjoy this
CD because make no mistake about it at sometime in your life you will
experience the blues.
4 and 5
Symphonies 4 & 5 offer a relaxing yet stimulating
escape from everyday life with sweetly haunting melodies inspired by
the calms and storms of both love and nature.
Breaking conventional formats, Symphony 4 contains 11 movements that
reflect events in nature. Symphony 5 contains 7 movements reflecting
events in human nature.
3 is not your ordinary symphony. A sublime &
intense journey through the most powerful event of creation await you
here. Internal and external pc sounds with manipulated and non-manipulated
recordings of violin, banjo, acoustic and electric guitar form this
epic journey from the darkened void to illumination and eternity. Absolutely
no synthesizers were used in the creation of this audio voyage into
Edgar Allan Poe Symphony
Inspired by the literary works of Edgar Allan
Poe, these stimulating and inventive soundscapes orchestrate Poe's poetry
with astounding empathy. The Edgar Allan Poe Symphony includes 1) The
Raven, 2) The Conqueror Worm, 3) Alone, 4) Spirits of the Dead, 5) The
Bells, 6) The Haunted Palace, 7) The Sleepers, 8) The Valley of Unrest,
9) Tamerlane, 10) Dream-Land
to samples of these recent projects at
to Randy, a music veteran about his past, his music and his art has
been an awe-inspiring experience, so many talents. Randy seems to have
molded his music into his art, you can see and feel the music in his
wish to thank Randy and his wife Christy for sending me so much information,
great photos, some awesome music and the interesting phone conversations
but mostly I thank them for their patience!!
I am really am pleased that Randy has rekindled his first love - the
His 80's shredding talent had no place locked away, in the darkness,
I hope many young guitarists take note of Randy's words below and
listen to it his
warm-up practice session "Show
ASKED ABOUT HIS THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG SHREDDERS
My definition of a
shredder is a guitarist who has thoroughly learned the basics of their
instrument and has a strong grasp of music theory, then dedicates themselves
totally to their craft. For some reason they remind me of the great
Samurai warriors of old. In the shredder there lies the heart of a warrior
and that will never go out of style. I have heard that shredding is
out of style and that shredders play too many notes too fast. I will
remind you that the same thing was said about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
in his time.
UP TO DATE
THIS MULTI-TALENTED ARTIST
For the past 15
years, Randy has battled Morbus Meniere's, a debilitating inner ear
Please help the American Academy of Otolarnygology Head & Neck Surgery
find a cure for Morbus Meniere's Disease by donating here on Randy's
charity badge: http://www.networkforgood.org/pca/PersonalCharityBadge.aspx?pcaid=105288
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