Steve Miller Band and Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
August 3, 2019
The Wind Creek Steel Stage
Mother Nature must be a “Gangster of Love.” She certainly appreciates the Steve Miller Band. It was a beautiful day as Musikfest 2019. No rain and lots of people. If you have never been to Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA it is fun, crowded, magical in many ways as the day winds down. You get to see everything lit up. There are tons of amazing volunteers, tons of companies and places to visit and lots of good food to eat. ‘Aw Shucks’ Roasted Corn was packed. People were walking around with corn on the cob, Musikfest mugs (which if you look on the Musikfest site there are offers for those who have the mugs. (https://www.musikfest.org ) Also, DonutNV, Pies to Die For Café, Take A Taco, FryDay Concessions, Wood Fire Pizza and Island Expressions and so many more.
They had various stands set-up and also inside Arts Quest, I ran into a group of amazing folks who were part of the Steam Fest 2019, it will take place on August 31, 2019 from 10-5 www.pasteamfest.com
Back outside the Artquest Glass Studio Tent was set up and there was a beautiful piece on display called the “Kaleidoscope Chamber.” It is a sculpture “constructed of numerous colorful glass components providing a unique visual experience. Created in 2018, the 35 musical notes on top of the chamber represented the 35 years of Musikfest. All glass pieces were hand made by members of the Arts Quest Glass Studio.”
The Wind Creek Steel Stage was about to be rocking. Barry Williams from “The Brady Bunch” did a cool introduction. “The Brady Bunch” theme song started to play and all of the sudden like, “Abracadabra” Barry Williams was onstage.
Bluesy, Country and Rock infused, Matt Andersen started the show off. The sunshine played a big part in today’s Musikfest. Several people who came to the concert were also in the ABC Action News tent because they had a GIGANTIC air conditioning unit and also a GIGANTIC MUSIKFEST mug. They were handing out Action News van fans. (Thank you) Matt Andersen is a signer and he was playing guitar. This man can sing. He ended his set with Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and his voice is bluesy and authentic. (http://www.stubbyfingers.ca/ ) He riled the crowd up and was humble and thankful. It is pretty amazing to be opening for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives came out after Matt Andersen. This talented band consist of: Marty Stuart who reminds you slightly of Johnny Cash. He certainly channeled him tonight as they sang, “Ring Of Fire” to pay tribute to Cash. They have an album out, “Way Out West.” (https://martystuart.net/ ) Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Chris Scruggs.
They are classic country but so much more than that. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives would definitely be a band that would have played for the Outlaws, Billie the Kid, Wild Bill Hickok. You hear the Blues, Rock N Roll, Country and songs like, “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” a Travis Tritt cover was almost made for Marty to sing and rock out to. Songs like, “Pretty Boy Floyd” by Woodie Guthrie was beautifully done. “Time Don’t Wait” certainly drops a lot of truth on you. Time doesn’t stop for anything.
As the sun said goodnight to the nice people at Musikfest and to Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives they ended with a standing ovation from an excited crowd. Music always impacts people differently. People listened and clapped, laughed and had fun. You could sense the excitement as it got closer to the Steve Miller Band taking the stage. The Steve Miller Band logo shined brightly on the Wind Creek Steel Stage monitors and all of the sudden the Steve Miller Band was onstage.
The Steve Miller Band was “formed in 1966.” Just to give you an idea of this legendary band and the music that follows. The heat decided that it would wind down and maybe everyone felt the calm, cool and collectiveness of Mr. Steve Miller himself. His guitar and his voice are stand-outs as always. The crowd was excited and singing along.
Steve Miller is up there with all the legends of Rock N Roll, Country and Blues. His songs are distinct and knows almost as soon as they start playing. The Steve Miller Band consist of Steve Miller, Gordy Knudtson, Kenny Lee Lewis, Jacob Petersen and Joseph Wooten. We should also acknowledge that Steve Miller and his fellow guitar player and bass player continuously walked back to his keyboardist who was just doing an amazing job. Joseph Wooten (https://josephwooten.com/) is certainly a legend. It shows the respect that Steve Miller has for his fellow musicians.
The Steve Miller Band performed some legendary hits including, “Living in the U.S.A,” with Steve Miller dedicating that one to everyone serving in the military. “Space Cowboy,” “Jungle Love.” Steve Miller invited Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives back onstage to perform a few songs together. It was an interwoven mix of Country, Blues, Rock, Rock N Roll and musicians with certain respect for one another. Steve Miller played guitar and Marty Stuart played a mandolin with what looked like etchings from over the years. You could see some of the words and names like, “Hank” that stood out. I’d imagine Hank Williams.
Another song that everyone loved and sang along to was, “Abracadabra.” The people next to me told me they saw Steve Miller in concert before and he was excellent. He did the “Space Intro” which led into “Fly Like an Eagle.” The crowd had fun singing along. “Rock’n Me” was a highlight. The various states in the song received applause over and over. “I went from Phoenix, Arizona All the way to Tacoma Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.” It is one of those songs you never forget, have some of memory attached or you just love it.
They did “Swingtown” and the Steve Miller Band had an audience full of background singers by this point. All of us were singing along and the Steve Miller Band briefly left the stage as the audience gave them a standing ovation (They received standing ovations all night.) The crowd was excited. The Steve Miller Band returned to the stage. They played a clip from “The Simpsons” of Homer Simpson singing, “The Joker.”
The audience was thrilled. There wasn’t a person in sight who was not singing along to this song. “Some people all me the space cowboy. Some people call me the gangster of love. Some people call me Maurice” and that slide Steve Miller does on guitar. It didn’t feel real. It was surreal to hear a song I myself love and have heard probably a million times played live by the Steve Miller Band. Steve Miller thanked the crowd, he is a beyond talented human being. He created so many songs that are unforgettable. He did one more song, “Jet Airliner,” a Paul Pena cover.
Musikfest always delivers, people are kind, helpful and they work hard. Musikfest takes a lot of preparing and the music is one of the main reasons people love Musikfest. The Steve Miller Band rocked. They brought fun and love and magic with some psychedelic guitar moments. The Steve Miller Band rocked Musikfest. If you have never seen the Steve Miller Band of you have never been to Musikfest, you should do both. Go get tickets and see the Steve Miller Band and go check out Musikfest. The last day of Musikfest is August 11, 2019. Thank you Musikfest for always rocking.
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