One of the perks of writing Nightlife is the opportunity to talk with music legends. I've had the good fortune to chat with the late Richie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, Johnny Mathis, Peter Wolf, Emmylou Harris, Rob Halford, Jon Anderson and Joe Satriani, among many others.
But I recently got a special thrill from chatting with the iconic Paul Rodgers, lead singer of Free, Queen + Paul Rodgers and, of course, Bad Company. This was the second time I had the good fortune of interviewing him.
In 2013, Rodgers fronted Bad Company on their summer co-headlining tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd (the two groups went back on the road together the following summer). He's amiable and humble to speak with, and having seen them both in 2013 and 2014, I can tell you first-hand that his voice is as strong as ever. (Crowds at both Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in 2013 and Xfinity Center in 2014 cheered stronger for Bad Company in the opening slot than they did for Skynyrd in the headlining spot.)
This time around, Bad Company is touring with Joe Walsh on the "One Hell of a Night" tour and they'll be stopping at the Xfinity Center on Thursday, June 9.
The band consists of founding members Rodgers, drummer Simon Kirke and guitarist Mick Ralphs (though Ralphs is not on this tour, as Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson is filling in for him), along with guitarist Howard Leese and Todd Ronning on bass.
The band's phenomenal self-titled debut album remains a mainstay of the setlist, with "Can't Get Enough," "Movin' On," "Ready for Love," "Rock Steady," "Seagull" and, of course, the title track part of each night's show. There's also "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy," "Burnin' Sky" and "Shooting Star" as well.
Throw in Joe Walsh, who has played with The Eagles and James Gang along with his solo career, and you get "Walk Away," "Funk #49," "Life's Been Good," "In The City" and "Rocky Mountain Way," among others.
It really is a "Hell of a Night."
Also taking place is next weekend is the album release party for the local group Pineapple Jam. It happens on Saturday, June 11, at The Old Court in Lowell. There's an opening act from 8 to 9, and then Pineapple Jam takes the stage at 9 p.m. A $10 cover charge includes a copy of the new CD, Best Served on Toast, along with your chance to see the band live.
The band features lead singer and drummer Tom Burke of Billerica, guitarist Steve Baldrate of Billerica, bass player Alex Kotzias of Lowell and guitarist Mike Powell of Malden.
Burke tells me that Pineapple Jam is a blues/funk/jazz rock band based out of Boston that formed in the summer of 2013. Pineapple Jam has played in and around the Boston area for the past couple of years, listing its influences as Pink Floyd, John Mayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix and, of course, The Beatles.
Band members are all in their 20s and early 30s, with Burke and Baldrate knowing each other since middle school before forming Pineapple Jam in 2013. Powell is Baldrate's cousin while Kotzias went to Lowell High and UMass Lowell.
As the old saying goes... support local music, while it's still local!