Love has been on Thomas Csorba’s mind of late.
There are the personal milestones, of course — pre-pandemic marriage; the birth of his first child — but also the country love song-infused work he’s been doing with singer-songwriter and producer Robert Ellis in Fort Worth’s Niles City Sound studio for an as-yet-untitled album tentatively due out later this year.
“A lot of the stuff that we were referencing for this record was a lot of stuff I grew up listening to — a lot of Randy Travis, a lot of Don Williams, you know, George Strait,” Csorba said during a recent conversation. “Songs my mom loved when I was a kid, but stuff that, for some reason, I don’t always feel the permission to like these days — it’s not, like, the cool, hip Americana stuff.”
Rather than cherish the classics on his own time, Csorba (pronounced “chore-buh”) decided to stage “Falling in Love,” a Valentine’s Day-themed concert with a clutch of collaborators Tuesday at the Kessler Theater.
The evening will feature performances by the Houston native’s hand-picked band — among them, Ellis, bassist Aden Bubeck, steel guitarist Simon Page and vocalist Kelley Mickwee — and a setlist blending the now Oak Cliff-based Csorba’s as-yet-unreleased new tunes with love-soaked staples from his childhood.
“This is why anybody’s drawn to any kind of music, but the images and the metaphors and stuff that people are talking about [in these love songs], and the songs are stuff that I’ve experienced as a kid — like, the landscape and locations in the songs are very familiar, so I’m drawn to them in that way,” Csorba said. “There are a million ways to say, ‘I love you,’ and … it seems like my favorite country music, there are songs that say things that we are familiar with, like universal truths. But it’s always figuring out a new way to say it.”
Wisdom can also travel together with love. As Csorba embraces domestic tranquility, he’s appreciating anew the value of music that can, as he puts it, provide a soundtrack to the wonderful mundanity which can grow out of family life.
What’s not to love about such a gentle ambition?
“I want to make a record that people are going to want to wash dishes to, to cook to, or even have a conversation to, and not be bothered by the music,” Csorba said. “I’m not the most important part of this equation. … I really feel like making beautiful music, and giving people a nice thing to listen to, as part of an evening or a part of doing chores around the house, that’s enough for me.”
“Falling in Love” with Thomas Csorba and Friends at Kessler Theater, Dallas. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $20-$320.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.