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Calgary duo Leaving Thomas arrives in the big time

Calgary musicians chart on country music top 50

Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy, who first met as kids, play together as Leaving Thomas.

Courtesy Leaving Thomas

Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy, who first met as kids, play together as Leaving Thomas.

It’s already a guitar-twangingly great year for Calgary country music duo Leaving Thomas.

Comprised of Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy, the musicians broke the Billboard top 50 country music charts this year with their single Waiting Kind of Girl. They’ve been signed by MDM Recordings, wrapped up a song-writing tour in Nashville and are now gearing up for a performance back home in Calgary.

Odegard and Udy attribute their success to their long history together. They actually first met when Odegard was 11 and Udy was 9, as part of the children’s choir in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

They re-connected 10 years later at the Calgary Stampede talent search.

“We’re standing on stage together getting our picture taken and I asked if she remembered me,” said Udy.

“He had become a man!” interjected Odegard.

Udy laughed and finished, “So we connected then, and ended up by chance playing at another event.”

The chance meetings piled up and eventually the two started writing and performing together under the moniker Leaving Thomas.

“You have to kind of be the right amount of best friends,” Odegard explained. “You have to be so open and honest with the person you’re writing with, that it’s hard not to feel like you’ve become best friends.”

They take a focused, story-telling approach to their music. Their goal was always to enjoy themselves, not specifically to write a radio hit, but their success has been a lovely surprise.

Leaving Thomas will be performing at Knoxville’s in Calgary on Feb. 23, in support of the Big Hearted Mavericks Foundation.

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