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Steve Miller Band

Joker Live in Concert

Format: CD   Release Date: 06/17/2016
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Steve Miller celebrated the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough 1973 album The Joker by releasing a brand-new live recording of the entire album as The Joker Live in Concert in 2014. Cut with his touring band of the mid-2000s -- an outfit featuring bassist Kenny Lee Lewis, drummer Gordy Knudtson, keyboardist Joseph Wooten, guitarist Jacob Petersen, and vocalist Sonny Charles -- The Joker Live in Concert does indeed contain all nine songs from The Joker, but the running order is shuffled so the tunes work as a concert experience: it opens with the steady-rolling blues of "Come on in My Kitchen" and builds to the closing sequence of "Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash," "Sugar Babe," and "The Joker," the latter originally opening the album's second side but nevertheless an obvious choice for a closing selection. Some of the 1973 album's period production flair is missed -- those studio grace notes are part of the flair -- but by stripping the arrangements down to the blues basics, Miller reveals how sturdy and enduring the songs are while additionally showing that he was supported by a fine band in 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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