Bergen Beach – Southeast Brooklyn Gets a Dose of Southern Rock From Rising Star Thompson Newkirk
Crowds were wowed by the debut live performance of southern rock artist Thompson Newkirk at the grand opening of the Blue Skate free roller-skating event held in partnership with Millennium Development and Bergen Beach Youth Organization at the John Malone Community Center on April 15th.
Newkirk, 34, is an incredibly talented performer and musician whose finger-picking acoustic guitar playing, catchy lyrics and smooth voice drew the crowds in with a musical style uniquely his own. Born in Manhattan and raised in Savannah, Georgia, his songs are a crossover of sultry, smooth southern rock with a touch of blues and a New York City flair. Newkirk’s upbeat lyrics and captivating storytelling provided the hook to listeners’ ears to roll them in with his enticing musical performance.
Encouraged by friends and family, he moved back to New York City seven years ago to pursue his musical career and has produced more than that number of songs during that time period.
Newkirk told the Canarsie Courier the following: “My message to the world is music and the unity and harmony that it brings to people. We are much more similar as people than we are different. Many of us are unsure if we can be totally honest with one another on a regular basis. It takes just one person to open up and talk about their troubles and their missteps for others to say something like, ‘Yeah, that happened to me as well’ or ‘Yes, I did this thing that I am not proud of and I have learned so much from it or any other form of bringing the hidden pain to light to talk about it and move through it. It is good for everyone to do and more importantly, [for] healing. Music transcends culture, language, age and time. It brings people together and can topple stronghold regimes while leaving beautiful memories and feelings of triumph in the working people.”
His eighth song, “CAn-American Line” will be released this month. He said that it’s a song about when he was kicked out of Canada for one year for painting houses without the proper work permit. He ended up at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert that night, which was a terrific break from the stressful 12 hours beforehand, and then moved back to Atlanta to live on a friend’s couch for eight months before moving to New York.
“I write about the stories and experiences of my life,” he said. “I have had unique experiences (not all good) that have shaped my view of the world and of life.”
Other songs include experiences about heartbreak, loss, trouble with the law and making bad decisions, but also learning from them, picking himself up and moving on in his life.
He has performed at Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, The Bitter End, Queens Night Market Festival, Berlin Under A and a host of other parties and shows.
Newkirk was influenced by groups like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dire Straits and Phish, and some of his musical idols include Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler, Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson, but his songwriting style and vocals, combined with the rich sounds of his guitar, make for a potent combination to rival any of his musical heroes.
You can see Thompson Newkirk at his next live performance at Rockwood Music Hall on Saturday, June 10th, at 8 p.m. Be sure to watch for his new release and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. linktr.ee/thompsonnewkirk