If life was at all fair, Ural Thomas would be a household name. The 78-year-old singer, who straddles the line between hot soul shouter and velvety-smooth crooner, performed with James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder, but didn’t experience the wide recognition of his peers. Thomas released a few singles in the late 60’s and early 70’s (most notably “Can You Dig It”) and 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. He became a mentor to many of the younger players, who dubbed him “Portland’s Godfather of Soul”. In 2014, local soul DJ Scott Magee urged Thomas 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 record. The Right Time features a host of beloved Portland musicians, including Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, and Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax. The record was engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones, Ty Segall).
Thomas isn’t at all bitter about his long road to success. “We have to be positive if we want the world to get better” Thomas advises. “We’ve come a long way, but if you carry a grudge with the whole world you’ll stop your growth. You can’t get anywhere without an open heart.”
The dance floor will be open for this show.
The Palms Playhouse is your oasis for folk, blues, bluegrass, country, rock, Americana, jazz and more. For over 40 years, we have hosted national touring bands and regional stars in a casual, intimate setting where you are never far from the stage. Come join us for a great night of live music.
We are located in downtown Winters, on the second floor of the Winters Opera House, between The Scoop frozen yogurt shop and Cloth Carousel. We generally host live music Thursday-Saturday evenings, with occasional shows on other nights of the week.
Our bar has a rotating menu of local craft beers and wines, sodas, tea and coffee, and light snacks.
Thursday, November 8 at 8:00pm
13 Main Street, Winters, CA 95694