Veteran Canadian artist Randy Bachman can stand up next to all the jazz talent that also will be playing in downtown Detroit — somewhat surprisingly considering he’s known for a cache of rock hits with the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
But while he’s recorded jazz in recent years, Bachman says he plans to rock when he closes out this year’s Rockin’ on the Riverfront series tonight at the GM Renaissance Center.
“It’s mostly stand-up, in-your-face rock ’n’ roll,” says Bachman, 65, noting that the audience for his brand of that has gotten younger thanks to having songs like BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business” and the Guess Who’s “American Woman” included in video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
“Someone told me they saw ‘Takin’ Care of Business’ was the No. 1 downloaded song on iTunes last month,” Bachman says. “If so, that’s probably why. Those games have revitalized so many classic rock songs. I saw this game my grandkids play has ‘Shakin’ All Over,’ my first hit. I said, ‘You know, that’s me.’ ‘No, it’s not, grandpa ... ’ They can’t even believe it’s me, but it brings the songs back to life.”
Bachman, meanwhile, is wrapping up work on his next album, which will be released in 2010. One track features old friend Neil Young, while another reunites him with Fred Turner on “a really rootsy, screaming hard rocker that’s going to be the title track” — though he won’t say what that title is.
But Bachman does say that the song could be the harbinger for more work with Turner in the near future.
“It might be the way of me doing an album with him, whether or not it’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive or just Bachman-Turner,” he says. “We’ve been getting offers for five or six years, and we’re kind of the last band of the ’70s that hasn’t gotten back together. We’ll see what happens when my CD comes out, ’cause the first track people hear will be the one with Fred singing.”
Randy Bachman and Backstage Pass perform at 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4) at Rockin’ on the Riverfront on the GM Renaissance Center Riverfront Plaza in downtown Detroit. Admission is free. Call (313) 567-6700 or visit www. gmrencen.com.
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