Say Somethin’ is David Clayton-Thomas’ call to action on a number of social issues. From a failed justice system to gun control to climate change and immigration, we get his bluesiest album in some time. In place of the Blood Sweat and Tears-style big band he has chosen a quartet of veterans to help him out: Eric St. Laurent on various guitars, Lou Pomanti on keyboards, George Koller on bass and Davide Direnzo on drums. He starts out with a piece about his teenage years called “Burwash”, the industrial farm in northern Ontario where he was sent as a delinquent. A guitar left behind by an Indigenous inmate showed him the future. He takes the story to his days in Yorkville with the Shays and on to New York where he found fame & fortune – a powerful talking blues and a major highlight. “The System” is the second single and a jazzy condemnation of the justice system has failed many of today’s youth. Apparently, not much has changed since his days in the system. “Dear Mr. Obama” contrasts eloquent comments from the former president about including others with today’s much more partisan rhetoric, a tuneful, well-written ballad. The first single is ”Never Again”, released last fall, an effective blues about the violence from guns in the US and the desperate need for gun control. “The Circus” is a jaunty, accordion-led song about the goings-on in Washington. A slower blues he calls “The Precipice” describes where we are in the fight for climate change, a hard-hitting call for action. “Bright Shining City” addresses the people who are building walls instead of tearing them down the way we should be if we are to welcome our neighbours. He ends with a tender paean to his homeland, “God’s Country”. It appears that various band members helped with the music and arrangements while Clayton-Thomas wrote the incisive lyrics. Wherever the credit goes, and David Clayton-Thomas is the producer, the result is brilliant accompaniments and well-crafted and performed lyrics. Perhaps listeners can choose one of these topics and say somethin’ as doing nothing is not an option. This album will be released on March 20 and his web site is www.davidclaytonthomas.com. 

March 2020 - Layla Zoe
Sass Jordan - March 2020