Portland’s Ural Thomas returned to the musical scene in a big way barely a year ago, in 2013. Thomas’ first stint in music, decades back, had earned him opening gigs for Stevie Wonder and James Brown among others. He released a series of singles in the 1960’s, including “Pain is the Name of Your Game,” and eventually returned to live in Portland.
Last year local drummer and soul DJ Scott Magee called up Thomas and proposed they start a new band. Taking their name from the best-known of Thomas’ singles Ural Thomas & the Pain played a “coming out” show later that year, and were named “Best New Band” in Portland in this year’s Willamette Week “Best New Band” poll.
Producer Robe Imbriano from OPB-TV’s Art Beat has this profile of the 73-year-old singer, and his exuberant return to performing. Below the Art Beat story, watch additional songs from the band’s recent studio performance at OPB.
Oregon Art Beat: Ural Thomas
Soul Singer Ural Thomas
Studio Session: Ural Thomas & the Pain
You can catch Ural Thomas & the Pain performing New Year’s Eve (2014) at Mississippi Studios.
Audio recording: Steven Kray
Video production: Jarratt Taylor
Shooters: Robe Imbriano, Nate Sjol, Rachel Bracker, Nico Lim