Time To Celebrate These “Shining Stars!”
Napa Valley’s annual musical festival called Bottle Rock just completed a terrific three day celebration of music for fans of all ages.
In this installment of Bottle Rock 2018, I’m highlighting a band that has been entertaining us for 40+ years, and they sound better today than ever!
Yes, Earth, Wind & Fire wowed the crowd at this music festival in Napa, California.
Philip Bailey, who had the huge hit “Easy Lover” with Phil Collins in the 80’s, is lead vocalist, along with Verdine White, who also plays Bass and Percussion, and
Ralph Johnson, who plays Drums and Percussion.
“That’s The Way Of The World!”
They played day one of Bottle Rock and wowed the crowd with an hour+ set that included all of their greatest hits, like this one – here is some of their live performance of “That’s The Way Of The World”:
It’s easy to forget just how impactful this group was when they formed…as their website notes:
“During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born – one that was steeped in African and African-American styles – particularly jazz and R&B but appealed to a broader cross-section of the listening public. As founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White not only embraced but also helped bring about this evolution of pop, which bridged the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America.”
Earth, Wind & Fire sounded great: strong vocals, energetic performances and a great band.
The other members in the group are:
Myron McKinley: Keyboards
Philip Bailey, Jr.: Background Vocals
B. David Whitworth: Vocals, Percussion
Morris O’Connor: Guitar
Serg Dimitrijevic: Guitar
John Paris: Drums, Vocals
Gary Bias: Saxophone
Bobby Burns, Jr.: Trumpet
Reggie Young: Trombone
In 2000, the nine-piece ’70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Even though Maurice is no longer a part of the touring group, he remains the band’s heart and soul from behind the scenes as composer and producer. Maurice reflects:
“I wanted to create a library of music that would stand the test of time. ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ is the key component of our work. Expanding awareness and uplifting spirits is so important in this day. People are looking for more. I hope our music can give them some encouragement and peace.”
Yes indeed. And of course, they played their big hits like “September” and “Shining Star”, which had the crowd dancing wildly along….
Bravo to Earth, Wind & Fire…may you play forever!
I have shared two other great performances from the 2018 edition of Bottle Rock as well:
Bruno Mars played 90 minutes of hits on the closing night – you can see my videos here:
And I learned of a terrific band as this year – Bleachers:
Bleachers has a modern sound with an homage to 80’s Springsteen – you can see their videos here:
Let me know your favorite Earth, Wind & Fire song!