Local Artist Getting International Air-Time
By Mary Ann O'Toole Holley
Mid Rivers Newsmagazine
Thom Meinert may be a hometown boy,
but when it comes to his music, he is as
country as sawmill gravy and moonshine
pie - all the way down to his Johnny
Cash-style baritone voice and a musical
endorsement by Country Western crooner
His biggest moments on a stage just
might have been when he opened for Lou
Rawls at a three-night gig at the Cervantes
Convention Center years ago, or when he
won a local talent show playing "A Taste of
Honey" with the Johnny Polzin Orchestra
on the old SS Admiral.
But now, he finds himself on the
international airplay circuit mingling
his musical byline with the likes of Tim
McGraw, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers.
That posture came from a cushy chair at
his home computer by the gusto of a man
who knows the art of self promotion.
"When you're running with headliners,
it's only a matter of time," said Meinert
of St. Charles, who recently released two
heartfelt country tunes, "Darling'" and
"Peaceful Someday"- tunes produced
under his own label that have now found
themselves streaming on radio waves as
far as Denmark, the United Kingdom,
Australia and more.
"How does a recording artist from
St. Charles County get his music heard
around the world?" Meinert rhetorically
asks. "Good feedback motivates you and
keeps you moving forward."
"Darling," his first song, released in 2005,
is written for the everyday person who
doesn't know how to tell their significant
other how much they love them, Meinert
said. "Peaceful Someday," his second
song, released just a few months ago, was
inspired by what Meinert sees on the news
"It wasn't written just for American
troops, but for all the troops," Meinert
said. "It was written for the worldwide
events I see, the scariness of not knowing
where we are going."
Meinert says "Peaceful Someday" has
three or four different messages. Though he
wrote it with the troops in mind, it holds
a message that the "peaceful someday" so
many of us are seeking in the world these
days will somehow come, he said.
"It's about a soldier reflecting back,
saying and praying - that only the Lord
knows. It gives tribute to the Lord. When
the chips are down, before it's all said
and done, we ask the Lord for a peaceful
A reviewer for Indie-Music.com called
"Peaceful Someday" a song that relates
to the fabric of our time. "The musical
arrangement is stellar, but it is truly the
vocal sound that makes the track shine. Few
men can hit those low notes in a way that
sounds full and strong, but Meinert's voice
was made for that range - all cowboy,"
reviewer Catherine Tully said.
Meinert laughs at the term "all cowboy,"
but appreciates the praise nonetheless.
What's more important to him is the
notice he has received from folks he never
dreamed heard of him.
Meinert regularly receives reports
from ASCAP (the American Society of
Composers, Authors and Publishers),
a watchdog for the music industry that
tracks royalties. Reports show him in the
same lineup as Keith Urban and other
noted musicians, and he gets royalties for
airplay. But what makes him the happiest is
just that his music is out there and people
are noticing him.
One day he went out to the mailbox
and there was a letter marked "Airmail"
from No. 10 Downing Street - a letter
from British Prime Minister Tony Blair
complimenting him on his song.
Another day there was a letter with a
return address marked "51 Music Square,
Nashville." Inside was a note card simply
engraved, "Crystal." It was a handwritten
note from Crystal Gayle saying she liked his
first CD, "Darling."
Later, another card arrived from
the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis'
Most Reverend Raymond Leo Burke,
Archbishop of St. Louis, praising his
"Peaceful Someday" tune.
"It's really exciting every day to see
where my music ends up," Meinert said.
"But whether it's being listened to by
families of men in the troops, families who
lost a man in the troops - whatever. As
long as the song brings some good feeling
to their hearts, and it's a matter that they
find feelings in my music and my words.
I'm looking past politicians at the soldier
over there standing in the streets. That's
why I felt so good hearing from Tony
Blair - that he liked the song. I'm not a
politician, but I can express my feelings in
A professional musician and entertainer
with two hot tunes under his belt, Meinert
says he began his road to international
airtime at age 5, chipping pieces of marble
off his parents' coffee table, keeping time
with Herb Alpert.
Now, in addition to selling and
sampling his music on his Internet site,
www.thommeinert.com, he works with a
company that distributes press releases of
his work to 100,000 people worldwide.
"Usually a radio station will email and
request a copy for review," Meinert said.
"But if this was the 70s, without the
Internet, how would I have gotten my
music overseas. The Internet is a tool.
I'm amazed all the time where my music
is being played. What's neat is that it
continues to grow."
Meinert played drums all of his life.
As a teenager, he played weddings and
corporate events, and later went on to learn
the acoustic guitar and harmonica. He
studied all facets of drumming for 19 years
and performed at drum clinics throughout
St. Louis, teaching drums to children and
Overall, music has always been his day
job, he said.
"Everybody has their own signature
song," Meinert said. "But I am absolutely
not inspired by anyone. There is no one
I emulate or simulate. You think of life
in general, you work out the chord, the
arrangements and go into the studio. I
was called from a label in Nashville, but
sometimes, labels aren't the way to go.
I've been in this business long enough and know I don't want anyone telling me where, when and how to sing."