Blood Sweat and Tears Play the Hits at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA

February 11, 2016 – Santa Ynez, CA | by L. Paul Mann
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Blood, Sweat and Tears brought their jazz drenched classic rock to the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez last Thursday night. The band, along with their English counterparts Traffic were most well known for their innovative fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as “jazz-rock,” beginning in the late 1960s. Former American Idol rocker Bo Bice acts as the current lead singer of the band. Guitarist Dave Gellis has been with the band the longest, some 31 years. But even he joined the group over a decade after the band had their phenomenal run of hits. In fact Blood Sweat and Tears has had one of the largest and most diverse group of members in rock music history.

The original band formed in New York in 1968, featured the legendary Al Kooper and many of the musicians that would go on to form Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. But it was when Canadian David Clayton Thomas took over the lead vocal roll in the early 70’s, that the band had their greatest success, rolling out a string of hit songs. In addition to Bice and Gellis, the current band features, Glenn McClellan on keyboards (Ween), Buster Hemphill on bass, Mike Cottone and Trevor Neumann on trumpet, Mike Boscarino on trombone, David Mann on saxophone, and Dylan Elise on drums. Bice and the band kicked off the night in top form, launching into “Lucretia Mac Evil” and getting the nearly full house into the dance party mode almost immediately. Though they may not be well known, Bice’s bandmates showed their collective skills throughout the evening, including when Bice took a break backstage and left them to deliver a riveting rendition of “Serendipity,” which brought the crowd to their feet in a dance frenzy. Bice returned to the stage and blasted through some of the band’s best-known hits, including the Carole King classic, “Hi-De-Ho,” “Spinning Wheel” and the 1969 hit, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” Together with the usual top notch production touches at the Samala showroom, including perfect sound, lighting and live big screen video feed, the show was a big hit with an amorous audience. The show was a real tribute to some of the most interesting music to come out of the jazz rock genre.

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