I’m a Realtor and a guitar picker, and I grew up in the Highlands of Louisville, KY. My name is Justin Thomas and I I’m a big fan of the Highlands. I work together with my brother, Chris Thomas as The Thomas Group at Keller Williams Realty Louisville East. I formerly worked in just about every different restaurant capacity known to man. My restaurant experience started in the kitchen and evolved to door guy, server, bartender, manager, and general manager over a 13 year period. I love restaurants and I love food, and Louisville has some of the best to offer. I like to think of myself as a local expert that knows what makes Louisville such a special place.
It’s not all buying and selling houses for me, though. I love music. I grew up around music. My dad taught me some guitar chords after I had already started playing the drums at age 8, and from there I just continued to learn. I’m very thankful that over the last 14 years or so I have been able to play music for different audiences in a number of different cities. I have also been fortunate enough to share the stage with some very talented musicians: North Mississippi Allstars, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Angie Aparo, just to name drop a few on you. I didn’t get these gigs by being an incredible guitarist. I knew the right people to connect me with these opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, I can pick out some sweet rhythms on my 12-string acoustic, but I also really enjoy performing and I would have to think that it was evident in my playing.
As far as listening to music, I enjoy a wide range of tunes. One of my favorite bands is Widespread Panic. I have seen dozens of their shows yet they still surprise me every time I see them. Of course I dig the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks, and one of my favorite guitarists since childhood – Phil Keaggy as well as plenty of others.
Phil Keaggy above, just shredding the guitar.
Throughout my life I have also learned of some fantastic musicians in the Bluegrass world that amaze me with the way they play and how they are constantly pushing Bluegrass music in different directions. One such person is Chris Thile of Punch Brothers. You may remember Chris from the band Nickel Creek (which also rocked). His latest endeavor with Punch is fascinating and has really changed the way I think about my own music. Chris has a number of solo albums as well, but one of my all time favorite jams he does is with Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Stuart Duncan.
This is enough to inspire anyone to learn how to play a mandolin. Which is exactly what it has done to me. I am hoping to learn some mando soon.
My wife and I love being involved at our church, Southeast Christian, and we plan to travel on some of the many mission trips that our church partners with. We have a strong desire to put the needs of others above our own, which is a very difficult and humbling task. There are so many citizens of the world that cannot provide even basic needs like water, clothing, food, and shelter for themselves or their families. Instead of just throwing money at this issue and handing people what they need, these trips exist for us to come along side these hurting people and help them so that they will be able to provide for themselves.
I also have a great love for photography. I took photography in high school mainly because my brother took it and told me it was cool. At the very least it would give me a break from the standard monotony of high school classes and allow for a little creativity. It ended up being awesome. Just learning how to use a manual shutter-release camera is incredible in itself. I learned how to use light to create dramatic effects. Dark rooms and rolling film in the pitch black were all part of the class and every bit of it captured me. I now have a photography business on the side with my sister, who is a photographer in Nashville, TN. We work together mostly for weddings in Louisville and Nashville. You can see examples of our work at my photography website, www.justinthomasphotography.com
I’m sure there’s more about me, but I’m finished for now.