THE STEVE MILLER BAND - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents The Steve Miller Band (2002)
By the early 70s Steve Miller was a beaten man. Still only in his mid-twenties, the precocious purveyor of acid-tinged blues rock had seen his stomping ground of the West Coast crumble at the hands of 'the man 'and had seen his band (which had featured a young Boz Skaggs) whittled away to nothing. His critically-lauded albums had made little money and Miller, himself injured in a car crash, was on the verge of quitting for good. Times were not good for the man once referred to by Miles Davis as a 'sorry-ass cat'. Yet a sabbatical spent licking his wounds and recapturing his muse was to prove his making. Within a year the 'Gangster of Love' was back with an album that was about to put him in the platinum league and sign his meal ticket forever. The album was The Joker and was rapidly followed by his masterpiece, Fly Like An Eagle. With a fresh band and a new fire in his playing, Steve was back. His return to favour is gloriously captured on this double live CD.
Taken from two shows separated by three years; this album is as good a testament to Miller's numerous strengths (and occasional weaknesses) as you could get. The first set, from 1973, has Steve retaining his stock in trade blues repertoire and blending it with the newer, fresher material. By the second set (from 1976) he's incorporated the stylish harp playing of the wonderfully monickered Norton Buffalo and has pushed further into the pop-rock that he was surely born to make.
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