There is nothing like starting off the year with good music and Earl Klugh delivered. I was overjoyed when I found out he was coming to town because I have been enjoying his music for a number of years. His smooth and mellow guitar could be heard on all the quiet storm/lights-out radio formats in the 80’s. Long before I began buying massive amounts of music, I would sit on the porch at night listening to the radio and Earl’s music was a part of it.
His set included such classics as “One Night (Alone With You)”, “Dr. Macumba”, “Heart String”, “Livin’ Inside Your Love”, “Low Ride”, “Twinkle”, “Balladina”, “Wind & Sea.” His music floats you away to a tropical paradise as he caresses his guitar like a babe in arms. His notes are precise and powerful. I observed a childlike wonder in his eyes and playful laughter as he enjoyed his music. He took us from beautiful ballads to soulful funk grooves throughout the evening. Earl mentioned that the Yoshi’s concerts were put together to give him the opportunity to play again with his longtime collaborator, Greg Phillinganes, who has played keyboards for the best in the business. Al Turner on bass guitar and Ron Otis on drums, whom I also saw with Bob James last summer, play with Earl regularly. Each of them brought on the funk during their solos. Earl will have a new release in the fall on an independent label. There will also be a new Earl Klugh website coming soon. Stay tuned.
After the concert, Earl and the band signed autographs. Fans, including me, got to expand their Earl Klugh collections as his previous recordings were on sale for $10 each. The next night I stopped by to pickup an album that sold out the previous night. I helped Denise, Earl’s assistant, with opening purchased CD’s for the signing as people flocked out after the concert. It was fun and I later got to take the photo shown above with Earl and also one with Greg.