Thao with The Get Down Stay Down is an alternative-folk music group. It consists of Thao Nguyen (vocals, guitar), Frank Stewart (lead guitar, producer), Adam Thompson (Bassist), and Willis Thompson (drummer).
After picking up her guitar at the age of 12, Thao Nguyen began performing and recording as a pop-country duo with a high school friend. Raised in Falls Church, Virginia with her single mother, she often practiced her songs while working at her mother's laundromat. She often cites Lilith Fair as an inspiration for her desire to become a young singer/songwriter. After recording an EP that differed from her initial style, she began performing as a soloist with her acoustic guitar.
Nguyen would meet drummer Willis Thompson while studying for her degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies at College of William and Mary and his in Environmental Studies and Music. Willis Thompson was a member of Camp Tigerclaw, Acousticore, and Murphy's Kids. He is also a contributing member to the band The Light Footwork whose singer/guitarist Jay Underwood briefly played bass for Thao and coined the name The Get Down Stay Down during one dubious southeastern tour. Thao Nguyen and Willis Thompson met Adam Thompson (no relation) during a show at the Harrison Street Coffee Shop in Richmond, Virginia. At the time, Adam Thompson was performing as a solo jazz-influenced act under the moniker The OK Bird.