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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pure Prairie League

The Stiefel Theatre
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 6/16/2012

PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE . . .When you see a steel guitar on the stage, you know your in for some "real" country music, or in this case, a country/rock mixture.  This band straddles that line with a mix that can't be beat. 

     Pure Prairie League took to the stage for the second hour of The Stiefel Theatre show. The band sang “Let Me Love You Tonight”, “Amie”, “Jazzman”and “Two Lane Highway”.  The audience sang along with every song without any encouragement whatsoever.    When every song's a hit, that's easy to do.  The lyrics are so memorable that if you knew the song in the "70's, you still remember the lyrics today.  The band sang one I’d never heard before, but liked instantly, “I’ll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle”. PPL encouraged the audience to sing along on“Falling In and Out of Love”.  Then they introduced their new drummer, Scott Thompson, and he sang lead on a couple songs. 

      All to soon another hour had come to a close and after a standing ovation, the band was off to the lobby for a meet and greet, the hunt for autographs and pictures began anew. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pure Prairie League was the highlight of the night for me.

These guys gave a very polished and energetic set which contained a great blend of country rock classics as only PPL can still do.

The lead guitar of Donnie Clark combined with the incomparable pedal steel of original member John David Call rocked the place. Lead vocals from three singers, Clark in particular were superb. Mike Reilly another member since the early years provided terrific vocals on several classic PPl tunes Kansas City Southern, Flat Tire Merle and others.

A great show from a band that knows what country rock is all about,a band that many of today's stars in country music still cite as an influence.

David Speras

Nice blog !

Here's some more PPL info for you that I copied from their website from Tom who apparently knows this band as well as anyone.

Pure Prairie League is not only one of the earliest bands in the history of country rock, it is one of it’s most successful, influential and critically acclaimed. Inspired by various folk and rock acts, most notably The Byrds and The Beatles, PPL formed in Waverly , Ohio in 1969. The pioneering band boasts numerous critically acclaimed releases from the 70’s and 80’s, which many have praised as the greatest country rock ever recorded. The self titled debut LP, Bustin’ Out, Two Lane Highway, Live ! Takin’ The Stage, Firin’ Up and the most recent, All In Good Time, are among the PPL releases hailed as classics by critics and why fans today are still clamoring for more.

The band rose to the top of the country rock world in the 70’s and stayed there into the 80’s accomplishing what no other country rock band did: 5 consecutive releases in the 70’s and another in the 80’s that hit Top 40 LP charts. Credited with advancing the country rock genre into the national music mainstream, PPL was the first of the genre to hit Billboard’s Country Top 40 charts, merging rock and roll and country music.

While The Eagles turned to a decidely more rock oriented approach, it was Pure Prairie League who ignited the country rock torch and kept it burning brightly as the music scene changed abruptly in the mid 70’s.

The trail of success which PPL blazed widened the road for their country rock contemporaries as the spark lit by PPL kept the genre alive and provided a path for others to follow.

The legacy of PPL and it’s influence on both it’s peers and future recording artists is extraordinary. It’s music appears on well over 100 CD compilations, a true testament to both the level of excitement and respect the band generated. Cited as influential by Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Lonestar, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton , Keith Urban, Patty Loveless, Counting Crows, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, former member and Country Music Hall of Fame superstar Vince Gill and numerous others who have played and recorded their work, PPL continues to forge ahead. Not content to rest on their laurels, the band added their most recent release in 2005, All In Good Time, hailed by Goldmine Magazine as “ an unlikely but potent candidate for CD of the year.” Heady praise, yet it’s come to be expected from PPL. Obviously PPL is far more than nostalgia, it is still a force to be reckoned with 42 years since it’s inception.