Legendary Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine brings his high-powered California Transit Authority, featuring fellow Chicago veteran Bill Champlin, to Proctors for a night of classic rock and roll—including fan favorites like “Make Me Smile,” “Saturday in The Park” and “25 or 6 to 4”—8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31.
Tickets are $20-$50 and are available at the Box office at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady; by phone at 518.346.6204; and online at proctors.org.
At the dawn of the hard-rocking 1970s, Chicago—propelled by co-founder Danny Seraphine’s deft stickwork—blew out of the Windy City to populate the pop charts for the next several decades, earning its rightful place in rock ‘n’ roll history. Back then a “horn band” was a new idea, and the group’s wide-ranging brand of “jazz rock” carved out a whole new sub-genre. With searing guitar, blaring brass, a dead-on vocal blend, killer songs and an unstoppable rhythmic drive, the adventurous spirit and freewheeling musicality of those early Chicago recordings have never quite been matched.
Say hello to CTA. Based in Los Angeles and fueled by Seraphine’s creative passion and pure percussive power, CTA is all about a man—and a band—on a mission. With the release of its landmark sophomore CD, Sacred Ground, CTA accomplishes that mission and a whole lot more.
Working side-by-side with acclaimed guitarist Marc Bonilla, whose co-production, playing and co-writing are front-and-center throughout the project, Seraphine and CTA throw down the musical gauntlet with a collection of songs that takes the music full circle and lays a new cornerstone for the jazz/rock genre.
Three years in the making, Sacred Ground takes Seraphine and Bonilla’s vision to the next level. Aided and abetted by Seraphine’s former Chicago bandmate, Bill Champlin (and his son, acclaimed vocalist Will Champlin), along with an A-team of L.A. touring and studio veterans, CTA’s skin-tight arrangements and pure musicianship maximize the impact of the album’s hook-laden songs.
With a funky backbeat and a signature horn line, the album’s title cut—featuring a career-high performance from the younger Champlin—gets things off to an auspicious start, musically and thematically. CTA and company take the opportunity to stretch out on take-no-prisoners instrumentals like “Primetime” and “In The Kitchen,” displaying a versatility and a virtuosity that feels like a breath of fresh, creative air across today’s over-programmed radio landscape.
“It’s taken me a while to get here, but I feel like CTA is in a very good place,” Seraphine says. “I’m very proud of this band, and I feel like we’ve made a record that will stand up for generations to come.”