Steve Miller is a joker, a smoker ... and he sure don’t want to hurt no one. But he does want to teach them a thing or two — about the blues.
“Our show has always been a musical education — a little bit of education and a little bit more than you thought you were gonna get for whatever a ticket costs today,” notes the Milwaukee-born, Texas-raised Miller, 64, who learned much of his craft from guitar icon Les Paul and emerged in 1966 with the Steve Miller Blues Band.
“We’ll play some jazz out there, or some blues or some other kind of roots music. And when you’ve got ‘The Joker’ in your back pocket, you can bring people along. You can bring them on this trip they might normally say ‘no’ to — and they go nuts when you play that stuff.”
Miller’s arsenal of accessible material includes nine Top 40 hits between 1973-82 — including “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” and “Abracadabra” — but he’s been focusing on his roots in recent years. He’s recorded 33 blues songs that he plans to group into three albums and sell via his Web site.
And his new DVD, “Live From Chicago,” includes a healthy dose of blues from the 2007 concert at Chicago’s Ravinia Amphitheater and in the accompanying documentary and interview.
“I really wasn’t very interested in doing it,” says Miller, who shot a concert video in 1982 at the Pine Knob Music Theatre (now DTE Energy Music Theatre). “But I was really pleasantly surprised by them and how much work they put into it and what a great job they did. I think they really captured the kind of joy and fun and happiness we have at our concerts ... doing what we do without too much rock ’n’ roll posing and that kind of bull ...
“It’s a really good, straightforward representation of who the Steve Miller Band is and what we do, period.”
The Steve Miller Band and Joe Cocker perform at 7 p.m. Friday (June 27) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $59.50 and $39.50 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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