Kenny Loggins last enchanted a Maui audience in 2009, closing a Loggins and Messina reunion tour. On Friday he returns fronting his own band to once again regale fans with his many memorable hit songs.
Throughout much of his 40-year-career Loggins has found success morphing between the electric rocker, the mellow acoustic artist and the soulful balladeer.
"I love 'Footloose' as much as 'House at Pooh Corner' and it depends on the mood," Loggins explained in a previous Maui Scene interview. "My music has been a synthesis of the folk guy, the R&B guy and the rock guy."
Kenny Loggins will front his own band at The Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater Friday.
PAMELA SPRINGSTEEN photo
In concert, "I try to touch into each aspect of my career because people come to hear those one or two songs that touched their life."
Loggins first became popular back in the early 1970s performing with Jim Messina. Acclaimed for their buoyant sound, tight harmonizing, broad stylistic influence, Loggins and Messina were one of the most successful duos of the '70s, selling 16 million albums, and creating a string of memorable songs including "Your Mama Don't Dance," "Angry Eyes," "House at Pooh Corner" and "Danny's Song."
"Initially, we figured it was a one-record thing," Loggins recalled. "Then it was too successful to turn your back on."
Voting for Best of Maui 2012 contest begins today
Everyone has their favorites and The Maui News' Best of Maui 2012 contest is a way for readers to make their voices heard. Voting for the best restaurants, activities and more begins today with the ballot on page B4 . Results will be published in a special Best of Maui 2012 supplement on Sept. 2.
In addition to making selections in categories ranging from best bento to best cultural program, voters are asked to include a monetary donation to this year's beneficiary - The Maui Food Bank.
Ballots will be appearing in The Maui News, The Maui Wrap and Maui Scene during the coming weeks. Votes may also be cast by visiting www.mauinews.com and clicking on the Best of Maui icon.
The deadline for voting is July 16.
In 1976, he set off on a successful Grammy-winning solo career. Breaking away from the country rock-influenced sound of L&M, his debut solo release "Celebrate Me Home," featured an impressive array of top jazz players including Lee Ritenour, Harvey Mason, Hiram Bullock, and Steve Gadd. His first three albums sold platinum, and he became a massively popular singer of hit movie theme songs.
Beginning with "I'm Alright," "Mr. Night" and "Lead the Way" from "Caddyshack," other hits included "Footloose" and "I'm Free" from "Footloose;" "Meet Me Halfway" from "Over The Top;" and "Danger Zone" and "Playing with the Boys" from "Top Gun."
Loggins won his first Grammy Awards in 1980 for "This Is It" and "What a Fool Believes," both co-composed with Michael McDonald.
In time he got tired of producing the party rockers that brought him fame and fortune. Beginning with his superb 1991 release "Leap of Faith," he shifted to crafting more soulful, mature music.
That album was partly recorded on Maui and featured a cover and other photos taken here. "In a way it was a bit of a bow to the 'Full Sail' Loggins and Messina record, which cover was shot off the coast of Maui," he reported. "Right from the beginning, when I first came here in 1971 with Jimmy, I fell in love with Maui."
In 1994, Loggins surprised executives at his record company by announcing he wanted to make a children's album. When his proposal was rejected he took the project to another label. The resulting "Return to Pooh Corner" became a major hit and was nominated for a Grammy.
"It's really a parents' record disguised as a children's album," he said. "The material is music that children recognize with a full adult production value. I wanted to make the record work on an adult level."
Loggins went on to record another successful album of children's music, "More Songs From Pooh Corner," released in 2000. And in 2010 he produced his third kid's record, "All Join In," which included a reunion with Messina, collaborating on a countrified version of the Beatles' classic "Two of Us."
Other inspired covers on the album included Randy Newman's "You've Got A Friend In Me" (from "Toy Story"), Traffic's "You Can All Join In" (with the song's composer, Dave Mason, adding vocals), Donovan's '60s classic "There Is A Mountain," and Harry Nilsson's "The Puppy Song." And he recruited Leon Russell to join him on a updating of Loggins' "Long Tailed Cat."
While he still tours solo, Loggins most recently teamed with Nashville-based musicians Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman to form the new band Blue Sky Riders.
Recalling the first time he and Burr sang together Loggins reported in a Huffington Post interview: "We sounded like brothers. The last time I experienced that kind of blend was with Jimmy Messina in 1971. I know there's an audience for us out there, just waiting for something they can relate to, something that moves them."
* Kenny Loggins performs in concert at the MACC's Castle Theater on Friday. HAPA will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45, $55, $65, $85, and $125 for premium seats. Call The MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW.
British reggae stars Steel Pulse headline the Republik Music Festival 2012 at the MACC on Sunday. One of the world's most popular reggae bands, Steel Pulse initially honed their infectious roots sound before wild crowds of punks in their British homeland.
Formed in 1975 in the industrial hub of Birmingham, their militant music brought them to the forefront of Britain's Rock against Racism movement, opening for bands such as the Clash and the Police.
Steel Pulse built a reputation for mesmerizing live performances attracting audiences with their infectious music and theatricality - wearing outrageous costumes such as Klu Klux Klan robes and hoods.
"When we first came to America we just wore the Klan hoods," recalled Steel Pulse co-founder David Hinds. "It was quite controversial."
Since the release of their debut album "Handsworth Revolution," Steel Pulse have rocked against racism, colonialism, social injustice and environmental destruction on classic songs such as "Earth Crises," "Ku Klux Klan," "Tribute To The Martyrs," "Ravers," and "Bodyguard."
Over the years they have always managed to craft potent music that engages both the mind and the feet.
Hoping their music can positively impact people, the musicians of Steel Pulse have often received testimonials to their influence. "So many people have come up to me and said listening to our music has made them take another direction in life," Hinds reported. "That's the biggest tribute you can pay Steel Pulse, saying we played a part in molding their life."
The festival also features Slightly Stoopid, Alborosie, G. Love, and Gyptian.
With combined album sales of more than 700,000, California's Slightly Stoopid are known for their melodic infusion of reggae, funk, rap, and punk. Among their albums, "Closer to the Sun" featured collaborations with Jamaica's Barrington Levy and Scientist, and "Chronchitis" brimmed with chilled-out infectious grooves.
Their latest project in the works features the band collaborating with the likes of Cypress Hill, G. Love, Levy and the Neville Brothers.
* The Republik Music Festival 2012 is presented at the MACC on Sunday, beginning at 3:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $42.50 for general admission in advance, $48 general admission on event day, and $90 for VIP in advance only. Call The MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW.
One of the new music documentaries opening the 2012 Maui Film Festival, Big Easy Express, captures the immensely popular British roots band Mumford and Sons travelling by vintage train from San Francisco to New Orleans.
The Mumfords plus the bluegrass ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show, and jam band favorites Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros toured by rail, making music together not only in front of packed audiences along the way, but nearly 24-hours a day on the train itself.
The bands' camaraderie was captured on film by director Emmett Malloy, who previously made the ultra cool White Stripes' doc "Under Great Northern Lights."
"Big Easy Express" plays on Wednesday in Wailea at the Celestial Cinema.
Lily Meola will perform on opening night of the Maui Film Festival in Wailea. This young rising star recently signed a development deal with legendary jazz label Verve Records. Her projected album will mix original tunes and covers, and she's been advised in song selection by Michael Buble.
For the Wailea gig Lily will perform with some of Maui's finest - Tom Conway on guitar, Mark Johnstone on keyboards, Marcus Johnson on bass and Paul Marchetti on drums, with producer/bassist Bob Rock sitting in.
The fest will also screen the world premiere of a documentary on chant master Krishna Das, One Track Heart, on June 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Castle Theater. Over the years a number of leading musicians have gravitated to accompanying him at chant concerts and on record including Steely Dan's Walter Becker, Sting, Alanis Morissette, Mike D of the Beastie Boys and Def Leppard's drummer Rick Allen.
"I wanted to be a singer, a rock and roller and travel," Krishna Das reveals in the film. "And now that's happened, but I don't know how that happened."
Rap star/actor Ice-T has directed his first documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, which screens June 15 at 9:30 p.m. in the Castle Theater.
Covering the evolution of hip hop it includes interviews with many major artists from Kanye West, Mos Def, Dr. Dre, to Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Africa Bambaataa, Ice Cube and Common.
All the artists elaborate on their processes, their inspirations, their influences, their favorite rhymes and their philosophies about rapping's place in the world of art. And they offer never heard before freestyle raps on screen.