Written By: John Weatherford
“You’re too old” is what Kenny Loggins was told when he asked a friend and business confidant about his plan to form a new band with a recent collaborator. The comment knocked the wind out of him, but not for long. He called his new friend, Gary Burr, and said, “We’re going to start the band but, we need a female singer to join us.” Mr. Burr knew the perfect person: Georgia Middleman. Together, they formed the Blue Sky Riders. The three singer/musician/songwriters are currently at Feinstein’s Loews Regency until September 29. The show is a celebration of their CD, Finally Home, which will be released January 22, 2013.
The entire evening was composed of mostly original songs written by one or all of them, according to Mr. Loggins. The first was “I’m Feeling Brave,” proving that their voices and styles are a perfect match. “Another Spring” was inspired by seeing a few green sprouts coming from the burnt forest near Mr. Loggins’ California home. When he was able to take his regular bike ride after the fires had subsided, he realized that the rebirth would take another spring. It is about the time it takes to begin recovering from disasters, including those of the heart.
All the material from the evening comes from the new CD. The songs are heartfelt and tell stories of living. In “Little Victories,” written by Ms. Middleman, she sings about the struggle to survive loss and accepting that each day the sun comes up, you move forward and understand the healing power of the heart (“Take it from me, little victories are all a heart needs”).
We also discovered the path that led to the forming of the band. We were told wonderful stories about the thoughts bringing them mutual understanding. We were also allowed to share many of the heart moments that became lyrics that will, no doubt, become glorious individual mantras of hope.
The backup musicians left the stage and Loggins, Burr and Middleman remained to sing individual numbers that were accompanied vocally and musically by the others. One of Mr. Loggins’ selections, his classic “Danny’s Song,” was set up with the story of his brother’s letter to him in 1965 about the expectation he had of his son’s birth. The audience, filled with fans, sang along with the touching lyrics. This was followed by Ms. Middleman’s “Love Doesn’t Come with a Contract,” written for Keith Urban. Mr. Burr performed “A Thousand Wild Horses,” his first recording that played on the radio and took him from being a Connecticut electrician to a Tennessee musician.
It is clear why these fine folks fell in love with each other, musically and creatively. Their new material is clever, melodic and memorable. Their old songs are thrilling and as new as when first written. They closed the show with the title song from the new CD, Finally Home.
This classic club, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, should be packed to the rafters for those lucky enough to experience this delicious new band formed by the-never-too-old Kenny Loggins.
It is clear that their voices, passion, creative merging and love of the art will make an impact on the world of music. This may well be one of the best shows in town, even for twice the money. Gather your friends and family and make reservations to see this musical adventure. I will add, hesitantly, that I would have preferred the encore number be one of their own.
Photos: Russ Weatherford