I had written the song, Salado, originally for the Captured Rainbow musical. Recently, due to an almost 5-year Freeway Construction project, our town, Salado, was going thru some hard times. Many stores were forced to close, and tourism had dropped of considerably. Salado is a small town of 3,000 inhabitants (I believe that includes pets), so I felt this community really needed a shot in the arm. Without the tourism dollars, it was becoming difficult for the local businesses to survive. To top it off, The Stagecoach Inn, one of Salado’s landmarks had closed, leaving main street deserted.
For the past 20+ years, the song Salado is one of the closing numbers in an outdoor melodrama held at the Goodnight Amphitheater called Salado Legends. The musical is performed every August in conjunction with the Salado Art Fair. I was honored to receive recognition from the Village of Salado which stated in an official proclamation that the song “represents our community’s spirit, character and history.”
My goal for this project was to, hopefully, bring more attention to my hometown helping to improve the economy and draw more people to learn about this special place in my heart.
The freeway is finished, and traffic is moving nicely. The Stagecoach Inn has been remodeled and is serving meals and awaiting guests. Main street has been repaved, sidewalks and bike lanes have been added, and the nights are aglow with the vintage streetlights.
Salado is alive and well and we look forward to your visiting our village one day soon! Thanks for listening, RpT
Somewhere it was written: On his latest album, SALADO, Thomas plays with a variety of fun musical ideas from Riding on a Train to Retirement Blues along with an eclectic variety of songs in between. He has widened the emotional scope of his songwriting to include concerns for the environment and the people around him. From Violeta,honoring the life of Chilean Artist Violeta Parra, to a plea to those choosing to ignore the challenges facing our planet in Denial, and ending the album with Look At My Hands, he illustrates his depth of feeling about these subjects. Produced by well know Austin multi-instrumentalist, Chris Gage and recorded at Austin's Moonhouse Studio, SALADO features an expansive variety of instrumental contributions from Gage, along with the tasteful vocal support of Kristin deWitt, the spot-on drumming and percussion from Paul Pearcy, and fluid base lines from Glenn Fukunaga. Together, this combo creates an intricate weave of sounds to help support RpT's vocals and soaring melodies.
Songs on the Salado CD
The title song of this project speaks to the joy I get from listening to all my favorite songs and artists who influenced my love of music. It all began with my father who, even though he didn’t play an instrument, had the most eclectic record collection I ever heard. From the Polkas and Waltzes of his ethnic upbringing, to the Big Band and Crooner music of the 40’s, finally moving to the Broadway Plays and popular artists of the early 50’s, he had them all. There was always music playing at our house – usually pretty loud.
And then my dad bought me my own RCA 45 record player; you know, the one with the big spindle? From that point on I was off on my own, buying the records of the mid to late 50’s. If you watch the Wings of My Heart Video, you will see some of the many influences of my younger years. I didn’t know at the time that music would consume my whole life. Years later, while thinking about a week of sessions I recorded at Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, NM a few years back, the song, Wings of My Heart, came into being. Mr. Petty was the producer of my earliest songwriter influence, Buddy Holly. I even got to sing using one of the microphones Buddy used for his records. From that point on, this CD started to take shape.
I met with Chris Gage more than a year earlier when we discussed the possibility of doing a project together. Of course, life intervened and we finally got back together many months later in January of 2012. The first sessions kicked off on February 27th and in short order we finished the drums, bass and work vocal tracks for 9 songs. Chris began the sweetening process, tapping into his multi-instrumental virtuosity. What an incredible beginning!
Bruce, Glen and Chris are consummate masters and it wasn't long (roughly 13 seconds) before I realized I was the weak link in this process. Fortunately for me, this CD is all about the songs, so I struggled on, hoping to do my best to bring life to this material. Adding Christine, Kristin and Steven completed the recipe of incredible performances. They put the icing on the cake! Chris worked hard and long to mix this project with exceptional results. Then both of us enjoyed watching Jerry Tubb (Terra Nova Mastering) work his magic as he infused the tracks with his own special brand of energy. This has been a fun filled journey and I am humbled by the results. RpT
Songs on the Wings of My Heart CD:
· Love’s Haunting Me
· Wings of My Heart
· Every Day’s A Present
· I Have Faith
· No Excuse
· The Place Where No Love Lies
· Love Is All There Is
· My Favorite Thing of All
· Pot of Gold
· Raging Storm
· Damaged Man
· Pray to Save Our World
About the Play and Soundtrack
The musical play Captured Rainbow features the playwright and composer Richard Paul Thomas in the leading and only, role. The play centers around the observation of a traveling business consultant who spends most of his life on the road living in hotel rooms. The two-act play features songs written about people he meets, his life experiences, loves and losses, and the exploration of his own being. During the play Richard enters the audience dances, hugs & encourages the audience to get involved.
Born & raised in Milwaukee, WI, Richard moved to Salado, Texas in 1984. He is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist and has been performing since the late 1950’s.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS - Character: RpT
An outwardly successful businessman in his early sixties. He is the head of his own International Consulting Firm specializing in Business Management Software Solutions. A frustrated composer, and sometimes performer who, after all these years, still dreams of being able to make his living with his music. The play takes place in a hotel room, somewhere in the U.S. The songs on this CD are all from a one person musical entitled Captured Rainbow. They are written about the people I met, my life experiences, loves won and lost, and my own sense of being. I hope they speak to you as they have to me
Act One - THE SEARCH
I'M LEARNING TO FLOW - Act One, Scene One (Captured Rainbow)
RpT's enters the theater, he sings to the audience, setting the tone for the play.
THE COAL & THE FLAME - Act One, Scene Two (Man is the Coal and Woman is the Flame)
The day after Christmas, RpT's wife leaves him for another man. That night, this song appears to RpT in a dream.
I HAD FRIENDS - Act One, Scene Three
Friends played a key role in RpT's past life. Where are they now?
THE DREAMER - Act One, Scene Four
Pictures torn into puzzle pieces are presented to RpT. He strives to put them together and make sense out of their meaning in his life.
TIME NEVER GIVES ME NO TIME - Act One - Scene Five (Dedicated to the memory of John Vickers, a victim of AIDS)
RpT's friend, John, had his whole life planned out. He died of AIDS halfway through the third year of his Five-Year Plan. This song examines the frustrations of working with & against Time. The first verse belongs to John the rest belongs to you & me.
DEARLY BELOVED - Act One, Scene Six
A Lover turns into an Enemy instead of a Friend, she never heard this song.
SOLITAIRE - Act One, Scene Seven
A birthday party leads way to an annual ritual that makes RpT a tough guy to live with.
GORGEOUS MOON - Act One, Scene Eight
The face in the Full Moon somehow strikes a chord and opens RpT's heart again.
Act Two -THE DISCOVERY
I'M YOUR MAN - Act Two, Scene One
Willing to take another chance at romance, RpT proposes to Linda.
IF YOU WANT ME JUST LET ME KNOW - Act Two, Scene Two
Communication about Sex and Singing. How complicated can life be?
TIMOTHY - Act Two, Scene Three
The birth of the RpT's son has a profound effect on his life. Having been told for years that Linda could not have any children, the birth of Timothy is the miracle RpT has been waiting for.
SALADO - Act Two, Scene Four
After losing everything in Houston, RpT and his new family move to Salado. Travel takes over his life. Like the stagecoach driver in the song, RpT longs to make his final trip home.
MOTHER'S LOVE - Act Two , Scene Five (Dedicated to the memory of Grace Olson Tutaj)
RpT's mother, Grace, died when he was very young. Twenty-five years later he finally discovered the details of her passing. This song explores the lifelong expression of his longing for her love.
I BELIEVE IN YOU - Act Two, Scene Six
The new friends RpT met tonight are part of the continuing party called life. There will be dancing in the aisles before it's over.
EVERYTHING'S A SONG FOR ME Act Two, Scene Seven
The night has ended, and it is time for bed. This lullaby expresses RpT's unconditional love for his family & all those around him.
I picked a song assignment idea out of jar at one of the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) Conferences held in Austin every year. The prompt said, “My Favorite Things”.