Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Music · David Clayton Thomas
. . . .

David Clayton Thomas

Ross Boissoneau - March 2nd, 2009
Sizzling horns, rock rhythms, and in front of it all, a dynamic singer and powerful presence that took his cues equally from r&b, rock and jazz.
That was the recipe for success for Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now, 40 years later, David Clayton-Thomas is still delivering the goods.
The singer from the band that invented jazz-rock is still singing up a storm, this time fronting his own
band, with an expanded horn section. While Blood, Sweat & Tears sans its trademark singer still tours as an oldies act, Clayton-Thomas is performing selected venues with a show that includes the hits from his tenure with BS&T as well as newer material. Clayton-Thomas will be performing with his band at Manistee’s Little River Casino on Saturday, March 7.
“There was no creative push in the band anymore,” said Clayton-Thomas from his home in Toronto. “I’m a singer/songwriter. I need to make new music.”
That led to his departure from the band he had been fronting for most of its existence, and to whom he had contributed such hits as “Spinning Wheel” and “Go Down Gamblin.’”
“I’d meet guys at the airport, and they’d be Blood, Sweat and Tears that night,” he continued. “After 35 years I was the only one left. It just got old.”

NEW STUFF
But true to his creative nature, Clayton-Thomas wasn’t finished. A return to his hometown of Toronto and meeting with an old friend, onetime BS&T trumpeter Bruce Cassidy, led to new music, and a new band.
“We said, ‘Let’s go into the studio and push the envelope,’” Clayton-Thomas recalled. The result was a new album, Spectrum, and an expanded band, upping the count from four horns to six: two trumpets, two saxes and two trombones.
“It’s got a bigger bottom end,” he said, pointing to the use of baritone sax and bass trombone. “Those two horns make an enormous difference. We’re expanding
the charts. I’m enjoying it a lot.”
That wasn’t necessarily the case by the time of his departure from Blood, Sweat and Tears. The tours had become a grind, with over 150 dates a year. Now, Clayton-Thomas limits it to about 20 shows per year.

WOODSTOCK TOO
Not only was BS&T the first band to combine jazz and rock, it had great success in doing so. Not many people know that Blood, Sweat and Tears performed at Woodstock, and was the first rock band to tour behind the Iron Curtain – and in Las Vegas.
“What made Blood, Sweat and Tears different was the horns. But what really stood out was that these guys were conservatory grads,” Clayton-Thomas noted. “That was pretty much unknown in rock. When I joined, it was a jazz band with jazz players. It was a gray area. I remember when John Lennon saw a show of ours, he was asked what he thought of the new rock group. He said, ‘That’s not rock. They’re too bloody competent,’” Clayton-Thomas said with a hearty laugh.
The audience in Manistee can still expect to hear the best tunes from those halcyon Blood, Sweat and Tears days, along with others. “We’ll do ‘God Bless the Child,’ ‘You Made Me So Very Happy,’ ‘Spinning Wheel,’ ‘And When I Die,’ but there’s new stuff coming in all the time,” he said.
“It’s special to see faces light up.”

David Clayton-Thomas and his band will be performing at Little River Casino at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 7. For ticket information, call 800-585-3737 or log onto littlerivercasinos.com.

 
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