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High school senior drops country debut

Like his classmates at Carroll High School, Thomas McVicar is looking toward graduation in May. However, the 18-year-old senior, who performs as Thomas Mac, is also focused on jump-starting his country music career.

Mac hosts a release party for his debut CD, “I’ll Be Your Man,” at Caddy’s Tap House in Beavercreek on Saturday, April 1.

The young songwriter, who started performing live at age 14, worked with seasoned Nashville players to record the original material on his new CD.

“It was amazing to hear to the band playing them with all the bass, fiddle, electric guitar and drums,” Mac said. “It really brought my songs to life. I can’t think of another feeling that’s equivalent to hearing all my songs actually come to life like that. The fact it was recorded in Nashville, Tenn. makes it even better.”

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The sessions were conducted by Michael Esser in his Essertainment Recording Studio in East Nashville.

“People think the studio is easier than going out and performing live but it’s a lot of work,” Mac said. “I might go out and play 100 songs but when you’re in the studio you’re really focused on the pitch and hitting the right notes exactly. It’s picture-perfect in the studio and that’s always been harder for me but Mike has made it so easy. He really helped me with this album.

“He walked me through it because I’m just starting out,” Mac continued. “I’ve recorded things at home on my phone but this was my first time recording in a studio. I had never harmonized, you know, singing along with something else in different styles, and Mike taught me how to do that.”

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Mac admits balancing school and music has been tough, but he’s up to the challenge.

“It’s a lot of work juggling all of this stuff but it’s making me a better man,” he said. “It’s a lot but I’ve been blessed with the ability to focus on what I’m doing. I try not to necessarily think about tomorrow as much as what I have going on that day.

“Of course, I’m always trying to improve on everything I have going on but if I’m in the studio this day, this is what I’m doing,” Mac added. “I’m not thinking about anything else. All of my energy goes into what I’m doing that day.”

Mac, who graduates on May 19, intends to begin classes in business and music at Wright State University in the fall while pursuing his music.

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