James “Diamond” Williams and the other Ohio Players make no bones about the fact that when they ride the “Love Rollercoaster” these days, it’s primarily for nostalgic purposes.
“It’s good to have been blessed to write songs where people have great memories,” says the drummer, who’s been part of the Ohio-based funk band since its early- and mid-’70s heyday of hits such as “Funky Worm,” “Fire” and “Who’d She Coo?” “Each night that we perform we give a chance for the people and ourselves to reminisce about some times that were a little bit better and when we were a little younger.
“It’s gratifying for the musicians, and it’s great to see the people be so exuberant and energetic.”
Williams, 61, and company aren’t done making new music, however. The group recently released a song called “This is Your Life” via its www.loverollercoaster.com website, and he says the band is also “working on finishing our album and doing some other songs that will be on the Internet quite soon.” And he promises that the results will seem “timely” to today’s concerns.
“Most of our songs more or less depicted what was going on during that period of time,” Williams says. “During the ‘Skin Tight’ album, you had college students that were freaking cheek-to-cheek, running around college campuses buck naked, so we wrote about what was going on.
“This album will be that, too. Some of the topics are needing more money and more jobs, world civilizations and hurricanes and floods and all the things that are going on today and relevant to today. That’s still what drives us to write new things.”
The Ohio Players perform at 8 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Sound Board in the Motor City Casino, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $33 and $30. Call 1-866-782-9622 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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