Thomas followed the rest of the British bands that invaded the U.S. in those years, including the Kinks and the Hollies. Eventually he came to appreciate that it is passion in music that makes for an effective performance.
“I was drawn to the great soul singers of the ’60s, who were very popular in Georgia where I grew up,” he said. “I developed a real affinity for the emotion of singers like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett and Percy Sledge and Jackie Wilson. I really wanted to emulate that style of singing.”
Thomas’ long career has included a range of experiments that include solo albums, a bit part in a major film, and performing a duet with Mel Torme. But he has never tired of trying to capture strong feelings in song.
In addition to touring, Starship has been recording its first album in a decade, scheduled to be released in August.
The music was produced, and much of it was written, by Jeff Pilson, who has played bass for Foreigner for many years and was a member of Dokken in the ’90s.
“I’m really happy with it,” Thomas said. “It’s very organic in nature. It’s got all the elements of Starship, but it’s got more of a ’70s and early ’80s Starship feel. More ‘Find Your Way Back’ than ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.’ It sounds very current to me.”
IF YOU GO ...
What: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
When: Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m.
Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly
Tickets & info: Tickets $29.50, $39.50 and $75. Available at 978-232-7200 or www.nsmt.org