MODESTO -- Blood, Sweat and Tears' peak fame came in the late 1960s when it gained fans for catchy, horn-driven hits such as "Spinning Wheel," "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and "Lucretia MacEvil."
The jazz fusion and rock group has lasted all these years because of an ever-changing roster of musicians who keep its sound fresh and exciting, said manager Larry Dorr. No original members continue to perform with the group.
"We were one of the founders of the all-star band," Dorr said in a recent phone interview. "Every album, every tour, we had different members. We take the best of the best musicians we can find every year. Sometimes, when you see a band from the 1960s and 1970s, they're a little tired. They're playing the same tunes over and over. We don't have that issue. We have guys in their 30s in the band, we have guys in their 60s in the band."
The nine-piece band will perform a mix of favorites and covers Thursday at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. It will be a family-friendly concert with music designed to leave audience members smiling.
In addition to playing its own hits, the band will play other groups' music that fits in its genre, such as Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" and the Ides of March's "Vehicle."
Audience members can expect top-notch musicianship in every song, Dorr said. "People come for the horn section," he said. "It's a spectacular horn section. We have a spectacular rhythm section, too."
Dorr also is proud of the band's new lead singer, Tom Bowes, who previously performed several years with Tower of Power. "He puts on a great show," Dorr said. "We're lucky to have him."
Dorr and Bobby Colomby, a founding member who no longer performs with the group, recruit band members from Berklee College of Music in Boston, as well as from nightclubs, hotels and other live music venues. But the main way they find new talent is by searching YouTube for hours every day. They are now considering a guy from South Africa they saw on the video-sharing site.
"This is a great time for a musician to be alive," Dorr said. "You don't have to come out of Juilliard, you don't have to come out of Berklee, you just have to be on YouTube."
To date, some 160 musicians have performed in Blood, Sweat and Tears. Many have gone on to perform with major artists, which the band encourages. "When a band member is touring with us, if he gets a call from Paul Simon or Julio Iglesias, which has happened, we love to let them go," Dorr said. "We don't say, 'You can't leave.' "
The band never rests on its laurels and constantly strives to perform the best music possible and give audiences what they want. "When you leave that venue, you want to leave in a good mood," Dorr said. "You want to leave getting your money's worth and have a great night."
WHAT: Blood, Sweat and Tears
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100