Monday, October 03, 2011

Monday music: "September"/"Free," by EWF and Chicago

Dear wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Chicago and EWF in concert in Lake Tahoe for an anniversary celebration in recent years. Not great seats, but it was a great concert. It was also one of their last performance (if not the last) with the great Bill Champlin. Since his departure, and after what I read in Danny Seraphine's autobiography, I'm less interested in the group's present formation.

Each band was good by itself at Tahoe, but when they got together, it was pretty magical. Absolutely terrific.

As I Tweeted last week, I needed some music to cleanse my brain of some annoying songs. This helped.

BTW, if you're not moving by at least 3:40, put a mirror under your nose and check for coins on the eyelids. Seriously. (I'm talking to you, JT.)

This is from their concert DVD, which I highly recommend.

The showman on bass is Verdine White, who was — wait for it — about fifty-three at the time. From solos I've seen, he's not really All That as a bass-player. But man, does he lively up the performance! Plus, from what I gathered, married to the same woman for 26+ years — not too shabby in the music world.


Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I was moving far before the 3:40 mark!

Loved the crazy pants. Must get a pair of those!

Rachael Starke said...

The music and the sight of those pants livened up my morning bike workout significantly.

I've always liked EWF's music okay. I just can't help wondering if they see their music as kind of a musical bridge ministry the terminally white and rhythmically challenged. They're like the NIV of soul bands.

Mel said...

I think your 3:40 mark comment was a typo. Shouldn't it have read 0:34?!

Gotta love classic EWF.

DJP said...

LOL, Mel; I was being kind to the geezers and the styrofoam-white-type folks who think moving is a sin.

Susan said...

"NIV of soul bands"?? Ouch, Rachael, ouch!

Paula Bolyard said...

Waving my hands like a raving charismatic!!

Check out 25 or 6 to 4. Amazing!!! The green guitar guy is out of this world. The song just kept building and building - my heart was beating faster. The houseplants in our house all just died.

@ Rachael...I think it's kind of like the crossover appeal of Amy Grant in the 80's, trying to appeal to both the Christian and secular markets. My college roommate (white) had a black boyfriend and EWF and Lionel Ritchie were her crossover bands.

Paula Bolyard said...

BTW, there's a great Chicago tribute band called Brass Transit that's worth seeing if they're ever in your area. We happened to be walking by a park where they were playing last summer and I thought it really was Chicago.

DJP said...

Paula 1 — LOL, win!

The "green guitar guy" is their current guitarist since 1995, Keith Howland, who was a huge Terry Kath fan as a youngun. I agree, he's absolutely fantastic. He has some solo albums, of which I have the first two. They're pretty terrific fusion-jazz/rock albums.

Paula 2 — thanks, I hadn't heard of Brass Fusion. Another tribute band is 25 or 6 to 4, with a number of vids on YouTube. Musicially, they're pretty good; fantastic guitarist. Vocals not up to the players, unfortunately — Brass fusion sounds better in the clips on your link.

DJP said...

Oh dude, just watched Brass Transit's Make Me Smilevery nice. LOVE the guitarist.

I note a theme that cover bands always require more musicians to do what Chi does; tribute to Chi's talent... at least, the core group's.

Paula Bolyard said...


They played that for their encore when we caught them in the park last summer. I just kept thinking about how many hours of practice were represented on that stage, both alone and together as a group. You can't fake that!

Solameanie said...

Re: cover bands needing more people to play the songs. Chuckle. Reminds me of something Tony Banks (Genesis keyboardist) said once when he went to watch a cover band play their material. He said, "I noted with some pleasure that it took two keyboardists to play my parts."