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Ural Thomas & The Pain

Friday, October 18, 2019, 3:00 AM

If life was at all fair Ural Thomas would be a household name, his music slotted into countless sweet, seductive mixtapes between James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder (all of whom Thomas has performed with.) Straddling the line between hot soul shouter and velvety-smooth crooner, Thomas released a few singles in the late 60s and early 70s; most notably Can You Dig It, which featured backing vocals from soul luminaries Merry Clayton, Mary Wells and Brenda Holloway. Thomas played over forty shows at the legendary Apollo Theater before turning his back on an unkind business and heading home to Portland, OR.It goes without saying that a man practically built out of rhythm would never stop playing music. Thomas began hosting a regular Sunday night jam session at his home that ran for nearly twenty years. A de facto mentor to many of the younger players, Thomas reminds us all that If you care about what youre doing, you need to build those muscles and do the work. Dont get discouraged, do it for love. Even if youre digging ditches, do it with passion.In 2014, local soul DJ Scott Magee sat in on drums. The two became fast friends and at Magees urging Thomas decided to give his musical career another shot. Magee became the musical director, they put together a band, and in 2016 released a self-titled album on Mississippi Records.In 2017 Thomas signed with Tender Loving Empire and began work on what, in many respects, will be his debut full length. Diving deep into lifetime of melodic creativity, Thomas and his band got to work. Recorded in Magees studio Arthurs Attic, The Right Time features the air-tight work of Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax, Portland jazz scene fixture Brent Martens on guitars and vibraphone, Arcellus Sykes on bass, Steve Aman (Lady Rizo) on piano and organ, Dave Monnie on trumpet, Willie Matheis (Cherry Poppin Daddies) on tenor sax, and Jasine Rimmel, Joy Pearson, Sarah King, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals. The Arco Quartet performed the strings, and the record was engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones, Ty Segall). One might think after a sizeable taste of early success Thomas would be more than a touch bitter yet the opposite is true. We have to be positive if we want the world to get better Thomas advises. Weve come a long way, but if you carry a grudge with the whole world youll stop your growth. Were a family, all just brothers and sisters, descendants of Adam. You cant get anywhere without an open heart.A developing artist at nearly eighty years old, for Thomas music has always been about bringing people together. If we play for twenty people we cook it like its twenty thousand says Thomas. If we make someone smile were satisfied. Theyre aint no difference between us. Its all love and brotherhood. If folks listen to my record and feel that Ill feel very blessed.Standing in bold defiance of the idea that aging is a reason to slow down and stop living, for Thomas the right time to get down is the next time someone plugs in a guitar or puts on a record. Ural is ready are you?

Cost: $20 ADV / $24 DOS
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ural-thomas-and-the-pain-tickets-64448796084?aff=aff0eventful

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3939 North Mississippi Avenue
Portland, OR 97227

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