As the descendant of a Hungarian refugee who made his way to America in the 1950s, Thomas Csorba derives from a long line of revolutionaries who have empowered the young artist to showcase pride in his lineage.
Generations later, his grandfather’s plight as a young man revolting against Soviet oppression in Eastern Europe influenced the Houston native and his journey of becoming one of country music’s rising stars.
"My grandfather was probably 14 or 15 and he was throwing Molotov cocktails at Soviet tanks and fighting for the freedom of Hungry," Csorba tells Houstonia, as he reminisces on the now-deceased patriarch.
While Americana music has been around for generations, leaders of the genre are ushering in new artists like Csorba, whose pride in his lineage shines through singing and songwriting. "I grew up in a great part of Houston and had the things I needed as a little American kid. So much of that was due to his bravery in his willingness to step out on the ledge. What’s more American than being a product of an immigrant?"
Having already received plaudits from Rolling Stone and Americana Highways, today Csorba released From The Jordan, an EP that seamlessly weaves together the sounds of Americana一country, rock, gospel and folk一while taking listeners on a journey of companionship in two parts, both familial and romantic.
The pandemic proved to be a trying time for artists everywhere, and Csorba was no exception. For the Houston native, human connection was the impetus for his project. While COVID-19 restricted in-person contact, the development of the EP happened mostly over Zoom. During this time, Csorba saw the advantage of collaboration and co-wrote songs with renowned acts like Beau Bedford of The Texas Gentlemen, along with Brian Douglas Phillips, and David Ramirez.
"It was an interesting time for me to be thinking about companionship and deep friendship, knowing someone intimately and the importance of that in our lives," Csorba explains, reflecting on making the EP. "A lot of the songs revolve around the romance and love and story of me and my wife, as well as reflecting on the story of my grandfather."
Listeners can hear the affection and admiration intertwined throughout the project, as the country crooner pays homage to his grandfather on "For You" and honors his wife, Alex, on "Crystal Eyes. Through his own unique lens, Csorba is storytelling about love, vulnerability, and the meaning of sacrifice, showcasing to his listeners that love isn’t a noun, but a verb. From The Jordan holds a metaphysical concept of togetherness, reminding us that camaraderie, in all of its forms, is a need for all of us to live fulfilling lives.
"I feel like my grandfather escaping that life was for me. I’m so grateful for him and it's a pleasure to pay homage to him and I want to continue doing it in different ways, because his story is so complex, cool, and moving."