To hone someone’s talent, they often resort to attending dance classes or hire a voice coach for singing lessons. But there are also cases where someone is just gifted with natural talent, it comes right from the day they’re born.
Remember when they say, “it runs in the blood”? It sure does!
“The Man in Black”
Johnny Cash was born in the middle of the Great Depression to Arkansas sharecroppers. Being exposed to the hardships of life at such an early age, Cash had in him a deep respect for family, reverence for God and nature, as well as having a great view of life.
He was in the United States Air Force and went on to do other jobs, up until his big music break in 1955.
And the rest was printed in the music’s history.
Thomas Gabriel is a chip off the old block. The grandson of the “Man in Black” has his grandfather’s deep, baritone voice and he sings his own songs together with Cash’s classic hits.
Gabriel had to battle some addictions much like his grandfather, who tried everything to keep him away from the same life he used to live.
Johnny Cash held out hope for his grandson and never tossed in the towel.
Gabriel worked as a cop but old habits die hard. He got divorced and arrested, after which, grandpa Johnny took Thomas under his wing.
Thomas insisted on his own road to self-destruction to the point of attempting to take his own life but it was a phone call from his mom and a stranger that him around.
Brian Oxley, a kindhearted man, bought Cash’s farm.
The man took an interest in Thomas, making him go to rehab again with the promise of a music career. Fast forward a few years and Thomas is making his late grandfather proud. Listen to this man sing.
One of the greatest country songs of all time – “Ring of Fire”.
This song is one of Johnny Cash’s greatest hits. It was recorded in 1963 and though it sounds ominous, it’s actually about falling in love.
“Love is a burnin’ thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.”
“The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet.
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild.”
Thomas and his band, or more specifically, The Thomas Gabriel Band, play the song with the same chug-chug beat as the original, using the guitar in place of horns as compared to the original recording.
But listen to Thomas!
Looks like grandpa Johnny and Thomas’ vocal cords were identically designed. Close your eyes and listen.
There’s hardly any difference in the tone. Maybe Johnny’s is a tad bit deeper, but really, how far off is Thomas?
It’s practically the same voice.
And to think grandpa Cash discouraged him from entering the music industry.
During his final moments, Cash still believed in his grandson’s talents.
Johnny knew his grandson had the voice. His voice.
Ten years in prison and a heartbreaking end to his relationship with his grandfather helped kickstart his turnaround. Thomas wasn’t there when Johnny passed, even though Cash called for him.
Thomas slept in, and by the time he woke up, his grandfather was gone.
Cash’s voice and legacy as a music artist still live in Thomas’s performances. It’s evident by the way he sings Johnny’s songs, like this one.
It almost seems like the spirit of Cash takes over once the band starts playing.
Thomas has had quite a journey.
His grandfather and mom never gave up on him which worked wonders as he was able to take on a new path.
His voice is what carries Cash’s legacy today.
But when you close your eyes and listen to Thomas, that same voice takes you back decades to the time of a man who has influenced thousands with his work.
Music is ageless and timeless, it doesn’t only live at a certain time and vanish like a popped bubble. For legends like Johnny Cash, we couldn’t thank Thomas enough for bringing his wonderful spirit to each of his performances. Carry on, Thomas!
Listen to Thomas Gabriel in the video below.
Just don’t close your eyes because you might mistake him for his grandfather, the Man in Black.
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