Episode 39: The History of ALO with Steve Adams and his mom Cyndy Thomas

Taraleigh and Dr. Leah had the pleasure of chatting with ALO bassist Steve Adams and his mom Cyndy Thomas about all things ALO. The quintet dive into ALO’s Tour D’Amour XV, the first inception of the band and their first gig playing intermission of a Middle School play they joined just for the intermission gig. We talk about how they have evolved as a band since Middle School and early influences like James Brown. ALO fans get treated to inside stories from Steve and Cyndy and will leave with an even deeper appreciation for the band and their manager Jenna Lebowitz. For the “Did you Know,” Dr. Leah shares what is happening when we experience love and how it relates to live music. Taraleigh gives listeners tips on how to deepen the love right now in the “Daily Jam.”

As a young kid growing up in Saratoga, CA, Steve was often found plucking keys at the house piano. His early love of music led him to elementary school ensembles, violin and alto sax in hand. He bought his first bass guitar at 13 with lawn-mowing money and formed a band called Django (later to become ALO) with middle schoolmates Zach Gill and Dan Lebowitz.

Steve went on to college in Santa Barbara, CA with his bandmates and played upright and electric bass in the Middle East Ensemble and Jazz Band. He graduated from UCSB with an Ethnomusicology degree and moved back to the Bay Area, settling in San Francisco, CA. After a good number of years in the city, Steve moved to Oakland, CA, which he now calls home. Steve continues to play with ALO in addition to Bay Area bands Big Light, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers and Newfangled Wasteland.

Over the years, he has also had the pleasure of playing with Jack Johnson, Matt Costa, Brett Dennen, Sara Bareilles, Jackie Greene, Tim Bluhm, Laurie Lewis, Forest Sun, The Court & Spark and Tea Leaf Green. His broad range of experiences, along with his steady groove and warm tone, continue to make him an in-demand bass player both in the studio and on stage.


Cyndy Thomas is a Clinical Social Worker in the Bay Area in addition to being Steve’s mom and greatest champion. She brings a depth to the conversation knowing the founding ALO band members since they started playing together in Middle School.

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