Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

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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