Now this is a musician with a resume. In the 40 years he has been recording, over 25 million albums have been sold, he has been a constant feature on the Billboard 200, and has scored a couple aces.

Surprisingly though, prior to this boxed set he has never previously released a DVD. That factoid interested me, and off I went into review mode.

Live From Chicago comes from the bands 2007 appearance at the Ravina Festival in Chicago. I popped in DVD one and sat back. The first thing I noticed was the absolutely stunning quality of the video, this is high def at its very best. I was also impressed with the sound clarity, I may not have the greatest audio system in the world, but even with my less than ‘state of art’ sound system the audio is spectacular.

Anyway, lets progress to content. Steve Miller and his minstrels have been prolific composers and album producers. This DVD encompasses the very best of their career, a great combination of old and new, and played with the ease of professionals at the top of their game, yet managing to incorporate the high energy that whips the crowd up.

Leader Steve Miller must be ‘older than dirt’ but he sure looks in good shape, and his voice is as good today as it was back in the 70’s. This is a trait that not many bands of this age can brag about!

The set starts out with what many consider to be their ‘anthem’ Fly Like An Eagle, this performance seals the success of the concert, this song may be 35 years old, but you would never know it. The crowd loves it.

A couple of songs later we get a fabulous rendition of Abracadabra (1983). Mercury Blues follows closely after, and we see another side of Steve Miller, as he moves effortlessly from Rock, into a Bluesy sound.

Maybe the most unique track is Wild Mountain Honey, this track is infectious, a completely different sound, almost Indian, Steve Miller does something to his guitar that makes it sound almost like a sitar. A guitar he tells us “I was offered over $600,000 for it, but I think I’ll keep it .” and the crowd most certainly agreed.

I have talked a lot about Steve Miller, but the rest of the band deserves great credit as well. Steve handles lead guitar and vocals, while Norton Buffalo, Steves partner in music for 31 years moves between vocals and harmonica, which is not an instrument often found in a rock band! Joseph Wooton handles the ‘ivories’, I couldn’t get a good look at them, but it looked liked a two tier set of Yamaha’s or something pretty similar, with a ‘schwack’ of electronics added. Gordy Knudson is the percussion Meister, Kenny Lee Lewis is on guitar, and Billy Peterson is the bass man.

This is a band that knows their craft, they are flawless. Even better, the songs they perform are timeless, and glorious.

DVD one has 20 tracks on it, that by anyones measure is a bunch, and it wraps up with another of their big hits Jet Airliner.

If someone says Take The Money and Run, run down to your local record store and get this fabulous 2 DVD and one CD set. Even if you are A joker, a smoker, a midnight toker, you will want it. If you are in a far flung part of the world, you can always catch a Jetliner to somewhere that has this DVD set.

Oh damn, I haven’t even got to talk about the second DVD, or the CD. Well, you will just have to take my word, they are every bit as good. I may be the editor of this site, but I do have a boss, and he just told me that we are going to be running out of disk space on the servers if I keep writing:)

Have a great time with this set, oh, and you will be able to buy it on May/27.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

 

 

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