Ready to rock

The Loving Mary Band joins Steven Tyler at Maui shows

Marti Frederiksen (center in hat) and The Loving Mary Band (above) join Steven Tyler at 7 tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater in Kahului. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 for general admission, $79, $89, $129 and $179 for Gold Circle seating (plus applicable fees). For tickets or more information, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to www.mauiarts.org. Photo courtesy the band

Ready to rock the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater tonight, Steven Tyler, backed by The Loving Mary Band, will also perform two benefit shows on Maui: a New Year’s Eve party at the Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott, Maui on Monday and at Fleetwood’s on Front St. in Lahaina on Jan. 3.

The New Year’s Eve stellar event will include Alice Cooper and his band, Pat Simmons, Michael McDonald, Dave Mason, Disturbed’s David Tremain, Linda Carter, Bob Rock, Willie K, Lily Meola and drummer Andres Forero from the hit stage show, “Hamilton.”

“I’m playing the (Wailea) fundraiser for the Maui Food Bank, and we’ve managed to round up 2.6 million meals,” Tyler enthuses. “To even stop for a minute and give it some gravity — there’s people on this island that can’t afford to eat, never mind the rest of the world.”

In the last few years on New Years Eve, Tyler has played in both Wailea and Lahaina.

“I usually do Shep’s (Gordon) opening up, and then we jump in a limousine and rush over to Lahaina,” he explains. “We’ve done that enough times. It’s great, but it’s really a bit much. So I thought we can do something with my country band at my club (Fleetwood’s), and the proceeds will go directly to Janie’s Fund.”

Created by Tyler in partnership with the Youth Villages organization to help abused young women, Janie’s Fund was inspired by his Grammy-winning, No. 1 hit “Janie’s Got a Gun.” Last year he opened a Janie’s House in Atlanta.

“I wrote the song on piano and, as I’m sitting there, the first thing that came to mind was, ‘Janie’s got a gun.’ I thought, ‘What the f— is that?’ I wrote the lyrics and Tom Hamilton had this bass lick, and it was perfect for the introduction. When I was done with the song, I had painted a picture of a girl who was abused.

“Being in a band, you’re asked to do charity things, and I always thought to do something, and luckily we got hold of Youth Villages who takes care of kids, and they adopted Janie’s Fund. A good friend said, ‘You’re talking about abuse; you don’t want to talk about guns. How about “Janie’s got a fund“? ‘ I thought, ‘That’s beautiful.’ We’re opening up the second house in Memphis.”

Hosting a major Janie’s Fund fundraiser last year in Los Angeles, “we raised $2.4 million,” he reports. “It was insane.” Another fundraiser is planned in L.A. on Feb. 10.

Since 2016, Tyler has been touring with The Loving Mary Band. The Nashville-based group was founded by Marti Frederiksen, one of Tyler’s old friends and songwriting partners.

Frederiksen has composed so many songs with Aerosmith he could almost be an honorary member. Working with the legendary rockers since the mid-1990s, he helped write four songs on their 1997 album “Nine Lives” and 10 songs on 2001’s “Just Push Play.”

On the band’s most recent studio album, “Music from Another Dimension!,” he co-produced three tracks and co-wrote five.

Friends with Tyler since they first began working together, when Aerosmith’s legendary singer called him up asking if he knew a group that could back him on a solo gig, Frederiksen formed The Loving Mary Band.

Besides Frederiksen, the group comprises lead vocalist/harmonica player Suzie McNeil, two-time Grammy Award-winner lead vocalist/bassist Rebecca Lynn Howard, mandolin/banjo player Elisha Hoffman, drummer Sarah Tomek and guitarist Andrew Mactaggart.

“It started as a writing thing, and we were joking around, ‘What if we were the artists and we sang the songs that we were writing,’ “ Frederiksen explains. “Then Steven called me and said, ‘I’ve got this thing in Washington D.C., do you know anyone who could play?’ I said, ‘I think so. It will be a little different from Aerosmith, but it will be cool.’ He loved it. We did a couple of shows with him, and the rest is history.”

After that debut in 2014, which was a special performance in front of Congress, Tyler officially adopted Loving Mary as his backing band heading out on an “Out on a Limb” tour. And this summer, the Tyler-led group set out across America and then internationally playing the U.K., Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

A Taste of Country review praised: “Even if Tyler called in sick, this motley collection of country and rock musicians would be worth the ticket price. They inject new bohemian life into songs fans have listened to for decades.”

On their debut album, “Little Bit of Love,” they cast themselves in the country rock vein, while tracks like “Knock Knock” (with its Stevie Nicks-sounding vocal) firmly reflect a Fleetwood Mac influence.

In concert, The Loving Mary Band has been backing Taylor on such Aerosmith classics as “Sweet Emotion,” “Jaded,” “What It Takes,” “Walk This Way,” “Livin’ On The Edge” and “Cryin’.”

“With us, there’s a lot more vocals with four-part harmonies, and with the mandolin and banjo more acoustic instruments,” he explains. “The sound we’re going for is not as in-your-face rock as Aerosmith would do.”

Frederiksen first landed in Aerosmith’s camp in 1997 when he got together with Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry.

“Over the years it’s been really cool,” he says. “When I get with those guys, Joe will play guitar and I’ll play the drum parts and bass. Steven will sing, and he’d be jamming on a keyboard and we’d start throwing it out. A lot of times Steven and I will work on lyrics together. On ‘Jaded,’ I added extra lyrics.”

Living on Maui off and on for five years, Frederiksen contributed to a handful of Aerosmith songs composed on our island.

“We worked on a lot of stuff, including a lot of songs that have not been released,” he notes. “We will see what happens to them. They were definitely Maui-inspired. The first time I went to Maui was in 2002 with Joe and Steven, and we wrote ‘Girls of Summer’ and ‘Lay it Down.’ Obviously I fell in love with Maui.”

Besides Aerosmith, Frederiksen has worked with a number of artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow and Foreigner. He produced and co-wrote all songs on Foreigner’s 2009 release, “Can’t Slow Down,” and he co-wrote five songs on Ozzy’s “Down to Earth” album.

Then there was his time with Sir Mick Jagger. He helped produce, play guitar and drums and sang on Jagger’s “Goddess in the Doorway” solo album.

“That was something else, to go from Aerosmith to work with Mick Jagger,” he says. “It was inspiring. I’ll never forget it.”

One more credit Frederiksen’s proud of — singing in Cameron Crowe’s cult-hit movie “Almost Famous,” where he was the voice of Stillwater’s lead singer, including the iconic scene where the fictional band breaks into singing Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” on a tour bus. It’s one of the greatest rock movie scenes.

“I went to a screening before it was released with Cameron Crowe and Nancy (Wilson of Heart),” he recalls. “I worked with Nancy on the songs. I couldn’t believe how great it was, and I was a part of it. It’s so timeless.

“Then the first time I saw it at the theater, I took Steven Tyler and Mark Hudson (who co-wrote Aerosmith’s Grammy-winning hit “Livin’ on the Edge“) in New York, and I didn’t tell them I was singing in the movie. After, I said, ‘Wait, let’s watch the credits.’ It was fun to do that.”

• Tyler and The Loving Mary Band will be among the artists playing a New Year’s Eve event at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott, Maui along with Alice Cooper and his band, Pat Simmons, Michael McDonald, Dave Mason, Disturbed’s David Tremain, Bob Rock, Willie K, Lily Meola and drummer Andres Forero. The show is a benefit for the Maui Food Bank and the MACC. Tickets are $675. For tickets, email: nyewaileafundraiser@gmail.com.

Tyler and The Loving Mary Band will also perform at Fleetwood’s on Front St. at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3 to benefit Janie’s Fund. Tickets are priced from $515. Call 669-6425. For more info about Janie’s Fund, visit www.janiesfund.org.

*****

Three-time Grammy-winner Steve Earle returns at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to the MACC’s McCoy Studio Theater for a solo show.

Earle’s breakthrough album, “Guitar Town,” topped the Billboard country album charts, received two Grammy nominations and was later included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 2015, he turned to the blues, releasing the great “Terraplane Blues,” noting in the liner notes, “everybody’s sick of all my happy songs anyway.”

Most recently, he released the acclaimed country rock album, “So You Wannabe an Outlaw,” which featured Willie Nelson singing with him.

• Tickets are $30, $45 and $65 (plus applicable fees). For tickets or more information, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to www.mauiarts.org.

*****

And G Love returns to Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia with guests and opening act Kanekoa tonight and Friday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets are available at www.dovepresents .com. For more information, call 579-8085 or visit www.charleys maui.com. This is a 21 years and older event.

COMMENTS