Skinny Lister's arrival may seem timely amidst the current acoustic rock revival of Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers and others, but the group's Lorna Thomas promises that the band members come to the music honestly.
Growing up in Leicestershire, Thomas says she and her brother and bandmate Maxwell were saturated with old-time music by their father, a singer-songwriter himself. "We would go to lots of folk clubs and festivals and listen to all the old men getting drunk and sing together and have a good time," says Thomas, 32. "We tried to move away from it for a long time, but eventually it came back. It's in our blood, really."
Max Thomas went to London and began playing in rock bands, while Lorna considered herself "just a show-off" with no real musical ambitions of her own. But after Max met the rest of Skinny Lister in London and formed the band, the four men decided that his outgoing sister would make a fine fifth and a welcome female foil for the group, which released its debut album, "Forge & Flagon," last year overseas and earlier this year in the U.S.
"I looked at (Max) and said, 'You're having fun. I want to have fun, too!' and joined it," Lorna notes with a laugh. "All the fellas have obviously been playing music for a long time. I didn't consider myself to be a musician. I am more of a show-off. I had fun with my friends going out, having a party and dancing.
"I got to know the words to the (Skinny Lister) songs and would sing along, and someone said one day, 'Why don't you try recording something with us?' So I started putting down some vocals in the studio, and then it was like, 'Well, why don't I just join you on stage?' and they all said, 'OK.' At first I was obviously a bit scared, but over the time it's turned out good, and here I am."
Skinny Lister and the Tosspints perform Saturday, April 27, at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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