When Derek Thomas opens his mouth and starts singing, it’s nearly impossible not to immediately be reminded of Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that Thomas studied the idolized crooners, and consistently covered their songs while he, Sam Plecker and Nolan Le Vine made up the popular Roseville-based teen band Thomas & Plecker. Explained Thomas, “In the beginning of Thomas & Plecker, I intentionally stylized my sound to emulate Frank Sinatra, while the band had a John Legend feel—but as John Mayer says ‘you fall short in aspiring to be someone else, and in that journey, you find your own sound.’” Plecker has since left the area to attend college, turning the venerated band in a new direction, and a tonality distinctly their own. “The band first assembled during Thomas & Plecker, while we were in the studio rehearsing our new set of original music to record—that was the first time we were all in the same room at the same time playing music. Recording Come And Go (Thomas & Plecker) introduced us directly to an extended family of musicians,” says Thomas. That musical collective introduced David Albertson and Jayson Angove to Thomas and Le Vine, who would become the subsequent members of the new ensemble, the Derek Thomas Band. Continues Thomas, “Nolan (Le Vine) and I knew we had only a limited amount of time to spend with Sam (Plecker) as part of Thomas & Plecker, so we began to conduct rehearsals with David and Jayson during that time; thus, the band was born.” In the past year, the group has dedicated a substantial amount of time and energy to constantly improving their presence and dynamics on stage, a decision that has paid off—their audience size and support has grown with each show. The Derek Thomas Band claims three immediate goals: making music/performing, touring/traveling, and enjoying the journey along the way. “I also believe that as we grow, so will our goals. This February, we are planning our first Northwestern tour through Portland and Seattle. The band also plans to record an EP early this year,” shares Thomas. Despite the fact that Thomas had the honor of singing the national anthem at a Kings game in front of a full house, his most memorable performance as a band was definitely at Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill on October 6, 2013; the whole building was packed, and Thomas felt the band connected so well with both the audience and each other. Concludes Thomas, “I can only really describe our sound by describing our fans. Though our fans are predominately people in their early-to-late 20s, our music does not rigidly appeal to just one age demographic; people of all ages come to see us and enjoy our shows. We play feel-good music with a lot of soul, and sometimes that doesn’t fit just one genre. We just hope to keep playing while people are listening.” For more information, visit facebook.com/musicbyderek.