Trussell and Partridge Helena’s latest musical duo

Published 9:25 am Monday, August 6, 2012

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Thomas Trussell started his musical career late, but said he always listened to a lot of different music and learned from good friend and guitarist Tyler Robertson during their days at Pelham High School.

Thomas Trussell and Ashley Partridge are Helena’s latest acoustic duo. You can catch Miles Apart performing at Papa Saia’s on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. (contributed)

His first big break came in 2005 when he went to listen to the band Rowe at Gabriel’s in Hoover and played an acoustic set during their break. That led to gigs at, among others, Gabriel’s, Grey Bar, Norm’s and Pub 261.

“I’ve been privileged to become friends with members of a lot of local bands — Four on the Floor, Citizen Jane. Band friends are like family. Once I sang on stage with Taylor Hicks,” Trussell said. “Several months ago I got to play at Gips — that is my biggest honor. Mr. Gip has taught me a lot.”

He doesn’t read music. He just listens and translates and also has a good memory for lyrics. The genres that appeal most to him are blues, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell and “old country” musicians like Johnny Cash.

“For a long time my favorite was The Dave Matthews Band. I think he is phenomenal at playing chords that no one else even tries to play,” he said.

Trussell likes collaboration. He has worked with young people, even done some background accompaniment for rap lyrics. He also enjoys playing at assisted living and senior care facilities, believing that there is always wisdom to be learned from the older generation.

He often invites others to come sing or play with him at a performance and said, “A lot of people don’t really know how good they really are and I like to share that.”

Trussell has recently joined forces with Ashley Partridge, who won La Reunion Idol, forming a duo called Miles Apart. They are doing songs from Trussell’s repertoire but Partridge’s natural talent as lead vocalist and her bubbly, little-bit-sassy persona has added a new dimension.

They are also writing new songs and are putting together an EP of five of their best songs that they hope to release before the holidays.

More photos and info can be found at


Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at