Irwin Thomas (Jack Jones)
Born in New York City, Irwin Thomas (Jack Jones) arrived in Australia as a ten year old. Even as a youngster, Irwin began showing an incredible talent with his guitar playing. At fourteen Irwin was already playing professionally. At the same time, he was earning a reputation as a very accomplished and well respected studio musician.
After heading back to the United States to further study his craft, Irwin eventually returned to Australia and joined the successful 90’s band ‘Southern Sons’ as lead singer/guitarist. Three Albums, Multi Platinum Sales and a string of hits such as “Heart In Danger”, “Always & Ever”, “Hold Me In Your Arms”,”Waiting For That Train”, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer”, “Lead Me To Water”, “You Were There”, Don’t Tell Me What’s Right (Feat Colin Hay’Men At Work’) & “Trust In Me”.
His vocal ability was highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike… He has not only enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany, & throughout Europe. Confirming he is a major talent worthy of recognition.His touring and recording credits are equally as impressive.
Working as singer/ guitarist with Multi Platinum Artists such as: Guy Sabastian, John Farnham, Glen Shorrock (Little River Band), Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, Rick Price, Merryl Bainbridge, Graham Goble (Little River Band), RichardClapton, Garry Beers (INXS), Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, Jeff Jacobs (Foriener), Schuyler Deale (Michael Bolton, Billy Joel), Crystal Talefiero (Billy Joel), Joe Travers (Billy Idol, ZappaPlaysZappa), Deb Byrne, Stoolz Roachman & the Idiot Sevilles, Renee Geyer, Bachelor Girl, Anthony Warlow, DeanGuyer, Daniel Bedingfield, Jon Stevens, Ian Moss, Doug Parkinson, Jeff Martin (The Tea Party), Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors), Jon Toogood (Shihad), John Waters, Dean McGrath (Hungry Kids of Hungry), Tim Morrison (Trial Kennedy), ROACHFORD and countless others.
In 2000 Irwin and INXS Bassist Gary Beers released a band project called “MUDHEAD..” (Lead Vocals, Songwriting, Guitars & assorted instruments) 2002 was a big year. Irwin released his first solo offering entitled ‘The Evolution of Irwin Thomas’ which received critical acclaim across the board in Australia and had him as the opening act for Matchbox Twenty on their National Australian Tour.
That same year Irwin & his band joined the likes of Garbage, Nickleback, Billy Idol, Lifehouse, The Tea Party, Midnight Oil on ‘The M1 Tour’ around Australia. Irwin was also asked to perform at The HMV Awards, which was the beginning of a long standing relationship with dear friend Stuart Fraser(Manager HMV Superstore in the U.K. and onto the role of Managing Director of HMV Australia & South East Asia). ‘The Evolution of Irwin Thomas’ wasn’t HMV’s ‘Album of the Week.’ It was their ‘Album Of The Year.’ A bold and unprecedented move by HMV.
2005 took Irwin to the U.K. for 9 months as a ‘hired gun’, playing guitar for Daniel Bedingfield on his U.K. & European Tours plus a stint writing with artist & partner in crime ‘Rusty Brown (Mr. Brown, Electric Mary) for his MIDEM offering ‘Made In China’.
2006. Irwin was asked to join some of Australia’s finest artists in celebrating and interpreting Classic Artists such as ‘Bob Dylan’, ‘The Rolling Stones’ & ‘Led Zeppelin..’ Artists included Steve Balbi, Spencer P Jones, Simon Meli, Zkye & Danny Marx Young.In 2007, Irwin was approached by Tim Woods & Phil Bathols (Spriritworks) to join some of Australias most respected and iconic vocalists Jon Stevens (Noiseworks, INXS), John Waters & Lindsay Field, celebrating the music of The Beatles on the ‘White Album’ tour. Selling out iconic venues such as ‘The Sydney Opera House’ & ‘The State Theater.’ He was also one of the founding members and creative forces in Iconic Melbourne Classic Rock Band ‘Electric Mary.’ Their debut single “Sail On” reached #76 on the ARIA Singles chart. In 2008 Irwin joined Tania Doko, Jon Stevens & Ian Moss for the ‘Let’s Get Together’ tour. He also released his first solo acoustic album ‘dis-con-nect-ed.
At the same time Electric Mary were finalists in the MusicOz Awards and nominated for ‘Best Rock Band.’ They were also selected to support Whitesnake in Melbourne (Australia) and approached again to join the band again in Paris and Brussells. Timothy Drury (Don Henley, Bryan Adams, Don Felder, Stevie Nicks & Whitesnake) became a dear friend and and champion for the band. They then returned to Australia to support Judas Priest for their Australian National Tour.
2009 saw them tour with Alice Cooper and Glenn Hughes as well as showcasing in L.A. opening for Steel Panther, New York Showcases and being asked to perform at ‘Experience PRS’ for PRS Guitars in Stevensville, Maryland, U.S.A. alongside the likes of Carlos Santana, Dweezil Zappa and Buddy Guy. 2010. The U.S. called and Electric Mary headed to New York to collaborate with Grammy Award winning engineer/producer Jason Corsaro on a live recording (yet to be released). Corsaro’s credits include Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown’. They returned to Australia to support Deep Purple for yet another National Tour.
Followed by Irwin heading out on the road again to open for ‘Yusuf Islam’ (Cat Stevens…..), ‘Tears for Fears’ & ‘Spandau Ballet’ with what some have described as his ‘unforgettably hypnotic & mesmerizing solo acoustic set.’ Irwin then returned to New York to begin writing the next exciting chapter. Returning to Australia in 2011, he joined Stevens, Waters & Jeff Martin for the ‘Let It Be’ tour, followed by The Beatles ‘Back 2 Back’ tour in 2011 with the likes of Mark Seymour, Jon Toogood.
In 2012 Irwin reconnected with L.A. based Boutique Guitar Amplifier Technician Reinhold Bogner (Bogner Amplification), packed his bags & moved to Los Angeles, accepting the role of Product Specialist & Director of U.S. Sales. In Feb 2013 Irwin completed his work at Bogner and began working with Australian singer/songwriter Aaron Hendra. With two solo recording projects in the making Irwin managed to squeeze in time to compose the score for an independent film commissioned by The Sonnett Project NYC. Directed by dear friend & N.Y. based director Sean Gannet. (TED Talks).
In August & September of 2013 Irwin returned to Australia for the ‘Let It Be’ Tour. He returned again in Nov to perform and be inducted into The Legends Category’ at ‘The MusicOz Awards.’ He then revisited ‘Back 2 Back’ at The Opera House in early Jan 2014 for 3 sold out shows at The Sydney Opera House. Irwin also has a Signature Series Model Guitar that was released in late Jan at The NAMM Show with Master Builder Avi Shabat of Shabat Guitars in Los Angeles.