A pre-birthday celebration and another stellar concert from Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band made last weekend one that I shall never forget.
Ringo, who turned a ripe 72 on Saturday, treated the extremely enthusiastic Fox Theatre patrons to one of the best All-Starr shows I have ever witnessed. What a band!
Of course, Ringo sang hits from his Beatles and solo days but it was the All-Starrs who gave the show a unique twist as they always do.
This year’s All Starrs boasted a lineup that included Santana keyboardist and vocalist Greg Rolie (Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways), Richard Page (Mr. Mister: Kyrie, Broken Wings) Todd Rundgren (I Saw the Light, Bang the Drum All Day), and Africa and Rosanna from Toto’s supreme axeman Steve Lukather.
The crowd simply ate it up as it was a rock and roll smorgasbord of the highest order. Fans in the audience never knew what was coming next!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE DEPT. There’s another chance next weekend for you to enjoy another unique group of musicians that have more than 25 hits among them. The Dukes of September feature a trio of some of the finest rhythm-and-blues singers and musicians anywhere: Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald, and the sensationally soulful Boz Scaggs.
The threesome will play July 20 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, but unlike Starr’s group, you will hear the hits as well as several songs the guys have never recorded.
Says Fagen: “We’ll be playing the R&B tunes that made us want to be musicians way back when, as well as select numbers from our personal repertoires.”
The Dukes have been opening their recent shows with the stunning one-two punch of That Lady (Isley Brothers) and Arthur Conley’s infectious Sweet Soul Music before visiting their hits.
Sure, McDonald will do I Keep Forgettin’ and Takin’ it to the Streets, while Scaggs will rock it out with Lowdown and Miss Sun. Fagen’s Kid Charlemagne, Hey Nineteen, and Reelin’ in the Years are always crowd pleasers too, and you can expect to hear those as well.
But it’s those “soulful as red-eye gravy” covers that have my rock and soul sensibilities stirring as Scaggs will also offer Love T.K.O., the 1980 smash for Teddy Pendergrass.
McDonald is a big Pendergrass fan too as his dark, smoky vocals are ideal for If You Don’t Know Me By Now the 1972 top-10 hit Teddy sang when he handled lead vocal duties for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
Not surprisingly, Fagen is all over the place with his covers that range from Marvin Gaye’s terrific Trouble Man to a rollicking rendition of the Lovin’ Spoonful hit Summer in the City.
Please remember that Alpharetta is about a 45-minute drive farther away from downtown Atlanta venues. Get there early and buy a parking pass as the walk to and from your car might be so long that even the trail-blazing naturalist William Bartram would have been tempted to hitch a ride. ROAD TRIP!
TURNER’S QUICK NOTES: Uncaged, the latest from the Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band, is new this week … Crosby, Stills and Nash visit Verizon Wireless July 14 … Sigh No More, the fabulous disc from Mumford and Sons, has now sold almost 2.3 million copies in its 125-week stay on the charts.