Thea Kearney (Thea K)
Gig Seeker Pro

Thea Kearney (Thea K)

Maplewood, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | SELF

Maplewood, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1996
Solo Alternative Rock




"Simmering sonic stew."

Thea K skillfully stirs hard rock raunch, infectious, hook-heavy pop, and soulful vocal drama into its simmering sonic stew. And the potent power trio's sizzling shows always leave audiences wanting seconds. - Cheryl Spielman - contributor

"Holy Bono Batman, a rocker with a social conscience."

Holy Bono Batman, a rocker with a social conscience. As Thea Kearney sings on the title track, "Human expansion and greed, breeding like rabbits, can't just have two or three, Bear gall bladder, tiger aphrodisiac, as if we really needed help to breed," this ain't no boy-loves-girl rock and roll here. And as each song passes, you might wish for a simple love song, but Kearney doesn't deliver that. Instead, you're peppered with lyrics that took a bit more than five minutes to hammer out, inundated with social commentary and observations. Granted, it's not the cheeriest stuff you'll ever hear, and it might even depress you. But I'd prefer to think of Kearney as a modern-day Patti Smith, a woman unafraid to punch out at problems she sees. Isn't rock and roll about rebellion anyway? The sound of the trio, consisting of Kearney on guitar and vocals, Peter Sampson on bass, and Pam Arnold on drums, has a stripped-down and bare-garage-band sound. Kind of like a beefed-up White Stripes with a bassist and female vocalist out front. "Thirty Dollars An Ounce," a song about the haves and have-nots, is my favorite. Check her out at

- Bill Ribas,, December 1, 2004 - Bill Ribas -

"She touched me and left me mesmerized."

She touched me and left me mesmerized. Thea K leaves you with a feeling like you're in another world and all your troubles have disappeared. It's been a long time since I've heard some great lyrics and some great guitar playing with a little bit of drum kick. The lyrics of her songs on "Damaged Goods and "Fun House" surpasses the average artist, giving you an insight of her innermost thoughts. In "Melted Wax" (On Your Way To Infinity) She plays a stunning acoustic guitar, and sings some great hooks. Thea K is a highly recommended artist. - Amanda Morris -

"Energy & grit to take control of the thoughts."

Quite a nice chilled out, pop/rock style release - not too intrusive into the ears, not offensive, but with enough energy and grit to take control of the thoughts. Thea K certainly do have a good solid sound, and know what they are aiming for. - Paul Tangaroa - Raw Nerve

"Heavier than most singer songwriters."

Thea K's music is heavier than most singer songwriters. The political content of some of the songs will be understood by punks, but the melodies aren't as reckless as punk rock. The most original song on this four track demo is "Species Closeout". It describes a point of view that some people have that while other forms of life are becoming extinct we should use them while we still have them. The trouble as Thea K and others see it, is that we're the ones who are breeding too fast. We're to the point where we are the ones squeezing chimpanzees and others out. This one has the hardest sound to it. The intensity fits the subject. "Fun House" is about a woman's view of herself. She's been deceived and hurt. She doesn't think someone other than herself will be able to understand what she's gone through. She concludes that she's not here for men to enjoy; she's not their fun house. The vocals are intense. Thea K expresses the emotion well. The remaining two are softer. They have more to do with emotional pain. It's true that it's not a new subject, but Thea K revisits them and gives us the benefit of her view of them. - Jack Little - Metal Maidens Magazine

"Full of Plutonic, worldly, huge issues..."

I could listen to Thea K every day. Her songs are full of Plutonic, worldly, huge issues...from life-affirming to destructive. She had performed on my monthly showcase in NYC dressed to kill in a leopard print dress and lace wrap. Totally appropo, considering that the CD cover "Species Closeout" features a drawing of many animals, most with price tags. All through the CD there is the undercurrent of mourning and anger (Pluto again) channeled into excellent prose and alternative rock tunings "want to look into the sun/in the center of the sky/stare 'til I see the blood that's stained your mind/Why can't you tell me?" The words seem plaintive, but the melody and chords sure aren't. I think there's even a bit of a UK accent, which gives an extra bit of mystery. This multi-talented artist is a great listen for those days when you have some anger to blow off, or an issue to settle (and don't we all have those days?).
- Dan Herman -


Dollar Store Riot - "Rent Party 5th Anniversary Collection" 2014  (Barcode: 70026141079)

Thea K - "Species Closeout" 2004 (Barcode: 783707954325)

Thea - Self-Titled EP, 2002



Thea Kearney is a multi-talented artist singer, songwriter, guitarist, and visual artist. She performs her songs in an alternative rock power trio and as a solo acoustic artist under the name Thea K. A native New Yorker and Brooklyn girl, her songs have been described as urban stories of sociopolitical angst and unrequited love told through an intense mix of contemporary rock with a unique sensibility.

Playing various musical instruments since the age of 9 (guitar, piano, and violin), Thea has always been interested in both the visual arts and music. She received her B.F.A. degree in Computer Art & Design from The University of Massachusetts and M.F.A. in Computer Graphics from The School of Visual Arts in New York City. While studying at college, she also found the time to play guitar in local rock bands.

After graduating from The School of Visual Arts, and earning a living as a freelance web site designer, Thea realized that music was becoming a much more important element in her life and she began to devote most of her time to music and learning the craft of songwriting. Although she has taken the occasional lesson and class, she is a mostly self-taught musician.

Growing up in an urban environment with a diverse mixing of cultures and experiences has greatly influenced her songwriting. Like her talent, her music has many facets. Although the music is essentially rock based, it is influenced by a wide range of genres including classic rock, punk, metal and funk, folk, pop and even classical music.

Although she has been compared to artists like Chrissie Hynde, Alanis Morissette, Patti Smith and PJ Harvey, Thea Kearney has managed to create her own unique style. Her guitar playing developed by studying great players, such as BB King, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix, among others. This in combination with her vocal range has enabled her to become a dynamic and interesting performer as a lead guitarist and emerging singer-songwriter.

In 1998, Thea released a self-titled E.P., produced and engineered by Kennan Keating, who has worked with many acts signed to both major and independent labels. The E.P. garnered positive response, and as a solo artist, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, Thea quickly acquired gigs at music venues in the United States as well as abroad. While performing in England, she was invited to do a live performance on BBC London Radio to promote her solo shows at The 12Bar Club and legendary Hope and Anchor in London.

Thea Kearney was joined by bassist Peter Sampson and drummer Ed Ruokonen in September 2001, to form her first rock trio, initially called Thea and later changed to Thea K. In March 2003, Ed was replaced by Pam Arnold on drums, and the trio emerged to form a tight unit of high-energy rock. They regularly performed in New York City clubs such as Downtime, Continental, Acme Underground, The Orange Bear, and the C-Note. They also recorded an 11-song CD titled Species Closeout, which was released in Summer 2004 on Thea's independent label, Sea Dragon Records.

Currently, Thea is taking a hiatus from the band setting to play solo acoustic shows and concentrate on writing songs for her sophomore album. She is also singing lead vocals and playing guitar in Dollar Store Riot, an alternative rock band from NJ (see for more info).

Band Members