Music scene

Blue Sky Riders puts Kenny Loggins in the saddle again


If only the late singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg and flautist Tim Weisberg hadn’t gotten to the name first, Twin Sons of Different Mothers could have worked just fine to describe the musical pairing of songwriters Kenny Loggins and Gary Burr, who formed Blue Sky Riders along with fellow songwriter Georgia Middleman.

“We got incredibly lucky, if you believe in luck. I was writing with Gary, and we were recording demos, and there’s this sibling vocal blend. There were times I couldn’t tell when which one of us was singing,” said Loggins, who was half of the early-1970s soft rock duo Loggins & Messina. Loggins would go on to have solo hits with Whenever I Call You ‘Frie nd’ (with Stevie Nicks), This Is It and Celebrate Me Home, and he became an ’80s movie music fixture with hits for the Footloose, Top Gun and Caddyshack soundtracks.

Blue Sky Riders recently released a debut album, Finally Home.

“The inspiration was to bring in a female singer-songwriter. This group had to be built on the writing,” Loggins, 65, said on the phone from San Diego. “Luckily, she’s a star as a singer, and we have this vocal blend.”

That sort of male-female harmony singing on melodic tunes, which is enjoying a resurgence on country radio thanks to Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum, was part of the appeal of slipping back into a group situation for Burr, who in the early ’80s was a member of Pure Prairie League before he notched success as a songwriter. ( Juice Newton’s Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me, Patty LovelessI Try to Think About Elvis, Randy TravisOut of My Bones, Kelly Clarkson’s Before Your Love and the Ricky Martin/Christina Aguilera duet Nobody Wants to Be Lonely are among his hits.)

“What’s fun about this is while writing the songs we’ll all sort of evolve,” Burr said from Nashville in a joint interview with Loggins. On one pass Loggins might take a lead with Burr on utility or the high notes. On another, Middleman might take the melody line. By the time a song made it to the finished product, the vocal roles might have switched half a dozen times.

“When we sang, it was Kenny’s idea to have all the mikes facing each other,” Burr recalls. “We want to record like Peter, Paul & Mary right there in the room together. As a trio, that’s exciting and nerve-wracking.”

The men met when mutual friend Richard Marx suggested to Loggins that he write with Burr. “I don’t think anyone was not aware of Kenny. I’m not sure I was a name to him but for my first marriage I got married to Danny’s Song and used most of his repertoire to get chicks in college when I was 19, 20 years old. I was thanking God for him,” Burr said, laughing.

Loggins plans to take newlyweds Burr and Middleman on the road for his solo tour in April where the three will serve as the opening act.

And though Loggins’ first major hit, with former musical partner Jim Messina, hit the Top 5 more than 40 years ago ( Your Mama Don’t Dance) don’t think he’s not as savvy as Bieber, Gaga and Rihanna about promotion via social media.

“We are utilizing the Internet and social media where we talk to our audience during a show,” Loggins said. “We’ll say, ‘Who has Facebook on their phones? Pick up your phone and Like us right now and go online and take pictures, please.’ When you used to hear, ‘No photos,’ well, forget about that. Post them! This is the only way to get out there.”


Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity roundup

    Ex ‘Ice Road Truckers’ star faces felony charges

    Well, this reality star didn’t get vetted too well: Tim Zickuhr, who used to costar as a one of the drivers on the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, extortion and coercion after police say he kidnapped a prostitute from Las Vegas, reports TMZ. The woman (aka Snow White) told police her client threatened to kill her if she didn’t repay $1,000 that he believed she stole from him. Zickuhr will have his day in court next month. No comment from History Channel folks.

  • Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

    MIAMI (AP) – Justin Bieber is seeking a delay in his trial currently scheduled to begin next month on Florida charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.

Miami playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney has received a $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award.

    La vida local

    Mag: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods’ ex wife are friends

    No bad blood here. Though Elin Nordegren is unlikely to befriend one of her ex-husband Tiger Woods’ conquests (even though we’re sure that Perkins waitress was/is a great human being), Us Weekly is reporting Nordegren has no issue with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. In fact, the two are friends. Not besties by a stretch, but after spending time doing parental things, the two have found they get along. A source tells the mag: “You'd think it would be weird, but ... they talk all the time. Elin likes that Lindsey is a strong woman.”

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category