Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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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