Kamara Thomas

kamara 1Rock trio Earl Greyhound has made it. Rolling Stone praises their “mammoth, full-on rock” and The New Yorker raves, “Whether or not Earl Greyhound are the Next Big Thing is irrelevant—watching them will convince you that they are.”

But watching front woman Kamara Thomas in her Bed-Stuy home is a decidedly different experience. “When it’s time to rock, you rock,” she explains. But between gigs? “My alter ego is hausfrau.”

Like our next president, Kamara hails from Chicago where she was raised by her white single mother. That’s the least of her surprises.

Honky Tonk
Writing songs is at the bottom of my list. Puttering at home is top priority. In the kitchen I listen to mostly country. Pedal steel radio, honky tonk, old country, Dolly Parton, who I just saw live and have never screamed so much, I was like a little kid.

Canvas Tote
That’s by my friend Leigh Batnick, she does all the merchandising for Bulgaria, the rock opera I wrote.

I’m kind of a popcorn aficionado. I always have popcorn and brewer’s yeast on hand, left over from my mom’s vegan days. When I was like 7, she got God and went vegan. At the time it was very not cool. She sold this one snack to me as like cheese popcorn and I kinda liked it. I still put brewer’s yeast on my popcorn, plus butter, salt and pepper, and paprika.

I’m a total sucker for Trader Joe’s cuz I can go in there with like my last 10 dollars and get like three to five super yummy things. Hands down they have the best white cheddar popcorn.

Grains of Truth
My friend Leesaw went to the Center for Integrative Nutrition, she was my first friend to teach me about being healthy. One of the things she taught me was to dry toast grains in a pan, they get this nutty flavor—especially quinoa. I toast nuts, too. My favorite salad is spinach with dried cranberries, toasted almond, toasted pumpkin seeds, feta, and pan-roasted corn, with Annie’s Woodstock dressing. Mmmmmm.

Gardeners’ Community Cookbook
This is the best cookbook in the whole world! It really deepens your appreciation of vegetables and the harvest. It always makes me wanna cry when I read the opening: “Good cooking comes from good growing. Good growing comes from loving the earth. Good dishes come from tending your pot as you do your plot.” For me it’s really about home-cooked food. It’s not superfancy, but it’s deeply satisfying.

Seed Trays
This is the first year that I grew my own flowers from seeds, instead of buying plants. I’m really trying to learn patience in my life.

Putting By
Every year if I’ve got time I make sure I get extra herbs at harvest time, especially oregano. I hang ’em upside down on my wall. I dry shitloads of sage for all my winter soups.

Hot Sauce Collection, Protein Connection
My boyfriend, Gordon, loves Tabasco. He’s like a connoisseur. We have all the different ones. He loves it on steak and on hamburgers. I mostly eat fish, but I’m starting to get excited about burgers. I’m not a vegetarian, but I was raised on fake meat, and I love it. Fake bacon, fake corn dogs, so yummy. If I’m not getting meat at the Greenmarket, I’ll get fake meat. I just can’t justify it otherwise.

I used to work at the Greenmarket. My longest tenure was at the Blue Moon Fish stand. Definitely the best fish in New York City. Obsessively fresh. I’m still great friends with the owners. They come to my shows, and Steph and I go to yoga.

Tour Schwag
When we go on tour we get magnets from all the states. I feel like that’s a good memento. Last Thanksgiving we were stranded out in tourland. My drummer invited us to this girl’s house in Utah. She raises greyhounds. We didn’t know her at all but she invited us and gave us all this great greyhound schwag.

Spice Rack
Cardamom, cumin, and curry are the yummiest. And I love these little ‘70s salt and pepper shakers. I’m addicted to pretty jars. There’s a Salvation Army right around the corner. I’m a big fan of ‘70s cookware, you know, like, orange and brown and ugly-ass, I love it. Cheese out!

On vocals: I’m one of those people who’s a very vocal eater. I do a lotta mmmmming and ooooing.