27 June 2010
Remember The Steve Miller Band, whose unbroken string of infectious pop-rock hits included "Abracadabra" and "The Joker"? Since 1984, the band's recording output dwindled to a mere three albums. But, fans are cheering their long-awaited return to the studio.
At age 66, singer and guitarist Steve Miller is having the time of his life. And, judging by this energetic rendition of Jimmy Vaughan's "Hey Yeah," he and his six-man band are in peak form on their new album, "Bingo!"
Miller describes his collection of blues-Rock classics as the ultimate "party record." He says, "It's about getting up and getting ready to dance," adding, "I went through and picked all my favorite tunes that I really, really loved."
Miller's fascination with the blues began in Dallas, Texas, where he formed his first band The Marksmen. Leaving Texas for the bright lights of Chicago, Miller made a name for himself on the city's electrifying blues circuit, playing in groups led by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy. His fortunes steadily began to turn when he moved to San Francisco, and launched The Steve Miller Band. Taking a more pop-oriented direction in the 1970s, the group garnered five Top 5 singles, including three that went to Number One.
Steve Miller says "Bingo!" is the record he's wanted to make ever since he learned to play guitar. While it marks a return to his blues roots, it also contains the band's signature rock and roll sound on tracks like "Rock Me Baby."
Also featured are vintage blues tunes by Otis Rush, Elmore James, Earl King and Jimmy Reed. The album is dedicated to singer and harmonica player Norton Buffalo, a longtime band member who died shortly after the recording session. Earlier this year, the Steve Miller Band honored Buffalo with an all-star tribute concert at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, California.