Dave Thomas With Special Guest Wallace Coleman
Dave Thomas With Special Guest Wallace Coleman
Growing up in the era of the British Blues Boom of the late fifties and early sixties formed a strong foundation for a lifetime playing the blues. He was first talent spotted by United Artistes at the tender age of seventeen singing with a band called The Deep in Bristol. The Deep were one of the best early British blues bands. They appeared at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1968. An early claim to fame was being supported by Fleetwood Mac shortly before they left the UK for a new start in the USA.
Many years later Dave headed in the same direction. He appeared in blues bars in New York, Chicago and San Francisco during the eighties. On his return to London he formed a band called Double Trouble who played on the same bill as one of Dave’s early blues mentors Mose Allison at The Canteen in London’s Covent Garden. Later in the eighties he formed a new Chicago style band called The Diplomatics who played regularly at the legendary Station Tavern for seven years.
At the time The Station Tavern claimed to be the only seven day a week blues venue in Europe and featured many blues artistes who have now earned international recognition. Dave Thomas has, over the years, gained the reputation of being a real blues musician: a blues musicians’ musician. Dave plays traditional blues with style, flair and feeling. His guitar playing has been compared with BB King! It has been recognised that he is now carrying on a tradition almost lost to a couple of generations of American musicians: so much so that he is often asked to put bands together to back visiting blues legends when they visit the UK.
Indeed, he has been adopted by the blues community in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, USA! Cleveland was where Dave recorded his most recent album with harmonica supremo Wallace Coleman. “Repossession Blues” is a 22 track double CD combining traditional Chicago and folk blues styles across a collection of original and classic songs. Here are some selected quotes from the record reviews: “This two-disc set is a well-crafted mix of originals and covers of some well-loved classics. “Thomas and Coleman really shine…two CDs worth of top notch musicianship. Thomas and Coleman exude class, as befits a couple of veterans…” _Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm, UK “Guitarist Dave Thomas has worked, on and off, for about two years with veteran harpist Wallace Coleman, who, was closely associated with Robert Lockwood Jr until Lockwood’s death in 2006. Thomas, like Lockwood, is capable of simultaneously evoking Delta roots and hip, swing-era sophistication.” _Dave Whiteis, Living Blues,USA “I didn’t know what to expect but when I put CD1 from Repossession Blues on in my office.
I felt like I had died and gone to Blues heaven. Both CDs are absolutely stunning and best of all they are REAL BLUES.” _Roots of Rhythm, Melbourne PBS, Australia Dave Thomas’s own band album “Black Dog Boogie” also elicited comments of critical acclaim: “Dave Thomas is a real breath of fresh air…one of the best outfits on the British scene.” _Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm, UK “Playing BB King note-for-note guarantees you’re going to sound good…particularly when your head is enthusiastically rocking back and forth.” _Jonathan Blackstaffe, Blues In Britain The Dave Thomas Blues Band has made many appearances at the major British Blues Festivals e.g. The Great British Blues Festival in Colne and the Burnley Blues Festival. Now a world tour is planned. You can contact Dave Thomas through this website or firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: +44(0)1603 612600or mobile: 07970 139343 or Jerry Freedman is contactable at: email@example.com or telephone +61(0)8 9362 2252 or mobile +61(0)405 653338 II. WALLCE COLEMAN - Biography by Andrew Hamilton If the name doesn't ring a bell, don't go searching for a copy of Blues for Dummies.
Wallace Coleman entered the blues fray after retiring from the Cleveland, OH, bakery where he unloaded trucks. He was born in 1936 in Morristown, TN, where he fell for the blues listening to Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Little Walter recordings on WLAC late night broadcasts out of Nashville. Jimmy Reed and Little Walter records inspired him to play the harmonica. Coleman taught himself to play on a 50 cent harp and developed lung power by imitating freight trains. He followed his mother, who remarried and moved, to Cleveland, OH, in 1956; Wallace arrived a year later and found a career-lasting job at Hough Bakery where he played the harp during his breaks, honing his skills.
He befriended the blues artists who came to town which wasn't difficult to do since most played small clubs seating less than 100 patrons. So blues notables like Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and others were accessible to aspiring musicians and fans. Amazingly, he didn't perform in public until he was 51. Guitar Slim (known for his playing as well as his prowess with the ladies) was introduced to Coleman by one of Wallace's co-workers; an impromptu audition resulted in Coleman regularly playing with Slim's band at the Cascade Lounge located at 79th & St. Clair.
Renown blues singer and guitar player Robert Jr. Lockwood resided near the Cascade on Lawnview Avenue and went to hear the band one evening and came away impressed with Coleman's traditional blues playing. So much so that he offered him a position with his band, Coleman nixed the offer because he was two years from retirement; as events unfolded, he retired early anyway for a chance to pursue the music blooming from his soul. Ironically, the bakery closed for good four years after he left. Upon retiring, he contacted Lockwood in 1987 to see if the offer still stood, it did, and he began a 10-year association with the Godfather of Cleveland Blues.
A guy he emulated as a teen in Morristown without even knowing it; Lockwood played guitar on many of the blues records that he admired; Coleman even created harmonica parts for some of Robert Johnson's songs redid by Lockwood -- Johnson's stepson. The 10 years were eventful as Lockwood's band gigged all over the U.S., Canada, and overseas. In 1996 he formed his own band: the Wallace Coleman Blues Band. A year later he left Lockwood for good and recorded his first CD, Wallace Coleman on Fishhead Records. The critically acclaimed album received rave reviews from blues critics; it included one of his finest efforts "Black Spider." Career highlights include the Lockwood years, playing the Rose Center in his birthplace, Morristown, TN, and his enterprise: Pinto Blues Music where he has released a second CD entitled Stretch My Money.
When not touring he played regularly at the Main Street Cafe in Medina, and Pepper Joe's Bar and Grill in Lakewood, OH. And has also performed at the East Cleveland Library, many private parties, and at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Tribute to Muddy Waters. He married happily to Jody Getz. Read more on Last.fm.
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