Bio

Old State Travelers

Old State Travelers is an Americana band based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. The band combines a soulful blend of folk, country, blues, bluegrass and gospel.

Songwriters, Kevin Michael Thompson and Shannon McLaughlin formed the group with the intent of being an old-time string band. However, when they began playing together as a group it was quickly apparent that the music wanted to go in another direction. 

The music ranges from Gypsy-Jazz inspired tunes to Civil War ballads to Irish pub songs to hymns and standards.

Each member of Old State Travelers has a unique background and musical outlook. 

Kevin Michael Thompson brings a blues and soul sound to the band. Kevin is a prolific songwriter and performer. In addition to writing and releasing his own music-most notably the 2015 release, Good News in These Bad Times and the 2018 release, Ghosts From Two Towns Over-his music has been featured on television shows Pawn Stars, American Pickers, What Not to Wear, and many more. 

Shannon McLaughlin grew up listening to traditional country music and singing in the church choir. His clean vocal style is reminiscent of country artists from the forties and fifties. He often plays a Nashville or (high strung tuning) guitar that adds depth and fullness to the band’s sound.

Some of Shannon’s recent songs are the anthemic, “Cowboy Ride” and the pensive ballad, “Rusty Old Helmet.”

Kevin “Pops” Thompson is a retired pastor, a guitar builder (American Icon) and the newest addition to Old State Travelers. As a teen, “Pops” learned how to play guitar by playing along with groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Grand Funk Railroad. As his musical tastes expanded to include bluegrass, folk, and Celtic music he taught himself banjo and mandolin.

“Pops” is a gifted songwriter penning dozens of songs that have been used by churches throughout the northeast. He also has a knack for writing catchy folk tunes such as, “Little Piggy” and the plaintive, “Kiss Me, My Love