Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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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