Kenny Loggins at City Winery: review
Not so much a highway to the danger zone as a meandering stroll down memory lane, Kenny Loggins' Tuesday night show at City Winery quickly took the form of a VH1 Storytellers episode.
Between songs, the 65-year-old singer-songwriter shared the tales behind his music. Seated on a stool for some of the set, Loggins made joking mention of ex-wives and Seals and Crofts. Before launching into a unfortunately rocked-out rendition of "This Is It," he discussed writing lyrics with "Mike" (his sometime partner in smooth, Michael McDonald) as Loggins' father went in for major surgery. He introduced "The House at Pooh Corner" with a story about how Disney wanted to block the song from being recorded. That is until the girl Loggins was dating worked a little magic on her father, who just happened to be Card Walker, president (and eventual CEO) of the Mickey Mouse corporation. When Loggins moved out of his parents house in 1968, he bought his first dog, a Beagle-mutt named Moose. He later wrote the song "Moose n' Me" to accompany a children's book.
This autobiography was met by the rapt attention of 300 mostly middle-aged people seated around candle-lit tables at City Winery. They ate it up like the $16 beef medallions on their plates. Among the grayhairs, I spotted Metro talent buyer Chris Baronner, one half of the local Stay Smooth DJ crew. He was one of the only non-Boomers in the crowd. Which is good, because any Yacht Rock series fans hoping Loggins would set a course through slick AM radio tunes would've been sorely disappointed.
With his new band the Blue Sky Riders, which includes Nashville ringers Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman, Loggins appears to be taking aim at the Hot Country charts. "I'm a rider 'cross the great unknown," he belted, backed by four big strumming guitars. These days, the Log jams. He doesn't sail.
Loggins hardly acknowledged his '80s soundtrack hits until the very end. He wrapped things up with "I'm Alright," then returned for an encore of "Danger Zone" and "Footloose." The country club crowd, of course, went wild. A second encore, which included "Your Mama Don't Dance," seemed unecessary. The line at the valet was already forming.