Enjoy the smoothest hits from the 70s and 80s with the original artists! Featuring Ambrosia ("How Much I Feel"), Player ("Baby Come Back"), Robbie Dupree ("Steal Away") and Matthew Wilder ("Break My Stride"), along with the Yacht Rock Revue, performing your favorite songs by Toto, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates and more.
In the year 1970, four young musicians from the South Bay of Los Angeles, came together to create a new invigorating style of music.
Exploring the possibilities of progressive, classical and world influences, yet rooted with the soul of the blues and R&B, Joseph Puerta, Christopher North, David Pack and Burleigh Drummond created a new sound that was defined and recognized as “Ambrosia”.
Originally labeled as America’s answer to the progressive invasion of such English acts as “Yes” and “King Crimson”, the group quickly proved it was all that and much more as it’s albums painted aural landscapes covering the gamut of musical styles and attracting the collaboration of such cultural icons as, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Alan Parsons.
In it’s brief recording history, Ambrosia garnered 5 Grammy Nominations, 5 Hit Singles, Heavy FM Airplay and the admiration and respect of the musical community. All this was in addition to Sold Out concerts around the world.
Today, the band is more alive and compelling than ever. With three of the original members in tact plus the addition of guitar ace Doug Jackson on electric guitar and backing vocals, Mary Harris contributing amazing keyboards and vocals, and the powerful and contemporary lead vocals and acoustic guitar of Ken Stacey…Ambrosia is exploring new musical territory and continuing to wow life-long fans and new converts alike!
Player began as a chance meeting between Peter Beckett and J.C. Crowley, in 1977. They met by coincidence, both being the only two dressed in jeans and t-shirts, attending an all-white garb party in Hollywood. J.C. came from Galveston Bay, Texas. Oddly enough, they both turned out to be singer/songwriters, and made plans to get together later and jam. In J.C.'s garage, they began working on their new material. They called themselves Riff Raff but later changed their name to Bandana and recorded a single called "Jukebox Saturday Night". The chemistry was good enough for Beckett and Crowley to agree to the idea of organizing another band to play their own songs. They hired Mark Roswell as their manager, who later brought in Paul Palmer. Paul introduced them to his friend Ronn Moss, who came aboard as their bass player. It was just the three band members jamming for awhile, then Ronn brought in his old friend John Friesen(drums). Both had been in high school bands together. John Friesen had toured with the Ice Follies as a drummer, percussionist, and music director. The band's style of music developed into mainstream soft pop/rock, with mellow keyboards and layered harmonies. This seemed to fit right in with the breezy sounds of L.A at the time.
They began playing bars and gigs to perfect their playing skills. Their potential managers took them around to different producer's offices to play live, lugging their guitars and amps. The band's theory was that "a demo tape can be thrown on a shelf and forgotten, where as a live band wouldn't fit." The band was turned down many times when auditioning. They eventually ended up at the office of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, successful songwriters and owners of a new production company called Haven Records. Dennis and Brian were well known at the time for producing recording artist such as The Grassroots, The Four Tops, Dusty Springfield, Glenn Campbell, and The Righteous Brothers to name a few. It wasn't until the band played "Baby Come Back" live in their office that Lambert and Potter's chins hit their chests, knowing the band had something unique. They then took the guys into the studio to record a few songs. Based on these tracks alone, Lambert and Potter were quite impressed, but Haven Records had since then folded. They then collaborated with the owner of RSO Records, Robert Stigwood, and CEO Alex Corey, and got the band, still nameless, signed to a record deal.
The matter of a band name was resolved while watching a movie on television. They saw the end credits list the film cast as "players", and so they dropped the "s" to become Player. The band also added keyboard/synthesizer player Wayne Cook, former band member ofSteppenwolf (1976), as a session artist. A few short months later, with massive radio play, Player had an international number one hit single called 'Baby Come Back'. This song came about when Peter Beckett had just split from someone he had been in a relationship with for a long time. Still feeling the sting, he sat down with J.C. Crowley, to write, and their moods came out in the song 'Baby Come Back'. This song broke on the radio in October of 1977 and reached number one early January 1978.
Player was voted by Billboard Magazine's honor roll as Best New Single Artist for 1978. 'Baby Come Back' was immediately followed by their top ten hit, 'This Time I'm In It For Love'. Both songs appeared on their self-titled, debut album, PLAYER. As well as both playing guitar, Peter and J.C. shared the lead vocals on this album, except for 'Tryin' To Write A Hit Song', which Ronn Moss took the lead vocals on. J.C. is also credited with playing keyboards and synthesizer as well as guitar. They first performed live as the opening act for Gino Vanelli November of '77, then later with Boz Scaggs. It was in the middle of this tour that 'Baby Come Back' became a huge hit, and the band took off from there.
The following year in 1978, they released a second album also on RSO, called DANGER ZONE. This album produced the hit singles 'Prisoner Of Your Love', which made the top 40 list, and 'Silverlining'. Where their first album captured the sunny sound of California pop, DANGER ZONE illustrated the band's progressive pop/rock side with heavier guitars pushed to the front. Both LPs, PLAYER and DANGER ZONE,released also on 8-Track, went gold. The band then continued to tour bigger arenas with Eric Clapton on his famous 'Slow Hand' tour, Heart,Little River Band, and Kenny Loggins, as well as headlining at smaller venues. RSO wanted Player to harden up their image, putting them on tours with hard rock bands. After extensive touring, JC decided to return to his roots in the country music field as Peter, Ronn, and John continued on to record their third LP 'Room With A View'.
Departing RSO, Player then signed with Casablanca Records, releasing their third album, ROOM WITH A VIEW, in 1980, which Peter co-produced with Tony Peluso. From this album came the top forty hit 'It's For You'. ROOM WITH A VIEW was a combination of soft, romantic melodies, such as 'Bad News Travels Fast', and heavier rock tunes, such as 'Tip Of The Iceberg'. Peter sang and wrote every song on this LP. By the end of the tour, Ronn Moss' focus had now shifted to acting, and he quit the band to make films in Italy. This left Peter and John as the only two original band members to continue with Player. By 1982, Peter Beckett and Dennis Lambert collaborated on the release of Player's fourth LP, 'Spies of Life', on RCA Records. From that album came the single 'If Looks Could Kill'. Also joining Peter and John Friesen, the only two original band members left, was Miles Joseph(guitar/vocals) and Rusty Buchannan(bass). Miles was credited on ROOM WITH A VIEW as a session artist but was now listed as a PLAYER member on SPIES OF LIFE. J.C Crowley appeared again on this Player album, but this time as a co-writer with Dennis Lambert on "I'd Rather Be Gone'. After this album, the band members went their separate ways.
Once again in 1995, Ronn Moss, long time friend and bandmate, got together with Peter to listen to some demos that Peter had been working on in his home studio. Ronn was taken back by what he heard, claiming that Peter was always one of the most incredible song writers he has ever known. Originally, it started out as a solo project for Ronn but then they later decided to release ELECTRIC SHADOWS (Polystar) as the fifth Player album. ELECTRIC SHADOWS was released in Japan on 1995, with Peter and Ronn sharing the lead vocals. Peter, also the producer of this new project, decided to change the title to a more American style and released it in the US as LOST IN REALITY(River North Records), in 1996. The Japanese release listed an extra track called 'Until You Let Go', off the movie soundtrack Frankie and Johnny, which Peterrecorded as a duet with Jeanette Clinger in 1991. The single, 'Footprints In The Sand' was released off of LOST IN REALITY, getting a lot of air play. The other tracks were also straight-to-the-heart melodies
about love and life.
LOST IN REALITY earned Player a nomination at the L.A. Music Awards for best independent production of a cd. This was the first time in fifteen years that Peter and Ronn had performed live as Player. Backing them up was Elliot Easton of the Cars on guitar, Burleigh Drummond of Ambrosia on drums, and Tony Sciuto of Little River Bandon keyboards. The reviews were so amazing, that they had several offers to continue playing live again as Player. River North was orignally a country label out of Nashville, and later dropped the band. Player tried to buy back the rights to the cd, with no luck.
Longing to be on the road again, Peter and Ronn Moss decided to regroup, touring as Player once again in the spring of 1998. The backing lineup consisted of Tony Sciuto(LRB), Burleigh Drummond(Ambrosia), Steve Farris(Mister Mister), Ron Green(Loggins and Messina), Dave Amato(Reo Speedwagon), Ron Wikso (Foreigner), depending on their schedules. A later lineup of Player included drummer Craig Pilo,Michael Hakes, Ron Green, Tony Sciuto, Ronn Moss and Peter, playing festivals and venues across the United States. Sadly, Michael Hakes died on November 19, 2003, from complications of leukemia. He was an excellent guitarist, sideman, bandleader and composer. He was also known as the creator of a software called SmartSound that offers customers original royalty-free music. After losing a band mate, the band lost their spirit to play, and Player stopped touring. They then continued on with their other projects.
In 2007 Player reunited once again with a lineup of: Beckett, Moss, Pilo, Green, Ricky Zacharaides (guitar) and Ed Roth (keyboards).
By 2009 Rob Math (guitar) and Johnny English (keyboards) had come in to replace Zacharaides and Roth. On November 14, 2009 J.C. Crowley temporarily reunited with Peter and Ronn at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California for a tribute concert to Dennis Lambert in a charity benefiting the Desert Arc Foundation.
In February 2013 Player released their new album Too Many Reasons on Frontiers Records. They toured throughout the United States and Canada over the summer as part of the Sail Rock 2013 with Christopher Cross, Gary Wright, Al Stewart, Orleans, Firefall, Robbie Dupree and John Ford Coley. They perform locally at the House of Blues and The Canyon Club in Los Angeles and will be touring with the Yacht Rock Revue both on cruise ships and other venues around the U.S. in 2014.
Robbie Dupree began his music career by singing on the street corners of Brooklyn. His passion for music flourished in the rich, creative atmosphere of the late 1960s. Moving to New York City during these exciting days, Robbie dedicated himself to songwriting and the pursuit of a solo career. He studied the work of R&B legends like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. Their powerful rhythms and sensual melodies became the foundation of Robbie’s emerging style.
By 1970, he was performing on the club scene in Greenwich Village with bandmate , the legendary Nile Rodgers in a group called New World Rising.
Robbie spent the next several years establishing himself as a self-sustaining musician. Acting on the advice of a friend, Robbie packed up and moved to Woodstock, New York. It was 1972.
The Woodstock arts colony was in its heyday, the local clubs and studios filled with brilliant musicians and songwriters. Robbie formed a number of bands in those early years, among them The Striders, Small Fortune, and Chrome Willie and the Sparks. He toured extensively and during this time, his songwriting began to take shape. National recognition came in 1976 when his song, "When You’re Down," received the American Songwriting Festival Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Song.
In 1978, Robbie made the decision to pursue a solo career. He moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with old friends Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta. Together, they produced his first solo recording. In 1980, Robbie signed a contract with Elektra Records. His debut self-titled album yielded two Top 10 singles, "Steal Away" and "Hot Rod Hearts," and earned him a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist. To date, "Steal Away" has been played on American radio almost three million times. It stands as a true pop classic.
Over the past 25 years, Robbie has released 11 albums. His latest is Arc of a Romance,which features covers of the songs that most influenced his career.
Robbie’s music can be heard in major motion pictures, network television shows, and national sports events. VH1 recently featured a profile of his enduring career. He continues to record and maintain a full touring schedule, performing on concert stages around the world.
Matthew Wilder has brought his versatile talents as a songwriter and award- winning producer to a wide variety of contemporary music and films. Launching his recording career as a songwriter and a performer, Matthew Wilder scored a worldwide hit with his single, Break My Stride from the Private I/Epic album “I Don't Speak The Language”. Wilder has become a top record producer, producing, among many others, No Doubt's hit album, “Tragic Kingdom”. “Tragic Kingdom” has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide and earned Wilder a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.
As the composer, producer, singer and instrumentalist for Disney's 36th animated feature Mulan, Matthew Wilder won the Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Song and Best Score. Wilder also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score in a Comedy or Musical and another Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
Matthew Wilder's productions are known for his mastery of both the latest in digital technology and classical orchestration. Having written and produced the score to Mulan, Wilder re-imagined Reflection, the heroine's yearning ballad originally performed in the film by Lea Salonga, for RCA recording artist, Christina Aquilera. Reflection became the first hit for Christina's debut album as well as the title track for her Grammy Award winning Latin debut, Mi Reflejo.
He wrote and produced the rousing finale, True To Your Heart for Stevie Wonder and 98 Degrees. Wilder also brought his singing talent to the voice of Ling in "A Girl Worth Fighting For" and "I'll Make A Man Out Of You".
Continuing his success with Disney, Matthew Wilder has written, produced, performed and engineered both of the multi-platinum albums for Miley Cyrus and gone gold with Selena Gomez's debut album, Kiss and Tell. Wilder also wrote and produced songs for Miley's two films, Hannah Montana, Best Of Both Worlds and Hannah Montana, The Movie.
Matthew Wilder has mentored and developed young artists. In recent years, developing, producing and upstreaming the bands, “The Belle Brigade” to Warner Bros. and “Fairground Saints” to Verve/Universal.
Matthew Wilder's songs have been recorded by Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson, Aaron Neville, Billy Ray Cyrus, Puff Daddy, Matisyahu, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, Christina Aquilera, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler and many more.
Matthew has composed the score to two new Broadway musicals called “Princesses”, which debuted at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater and “Cry To Heaven”, his musical adaptation of Anne Rice's novel, currently in development for its Broadway debut.
Yacht Rock Revue
Like a flood, middle school make out, or amateur adult film, it all began in the basement. The now-famed Yacht Rock Revue was once a band called Y-O-U, pursuing dreams of indie rock fame, when they were given free reign over Thursday nights at 10 High. In the Virginia- Highland’s subterranean music lair, they did everything from original tunes to theme sets like Led Zeppelin vs. The Who to comedy (which bombed). But it was the impulse idea to smoothly croon ‘70s light rock (Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Linda Ronstadt, etc.) whilst wearing polyester, aviators, and captain’s hats that captured the people’s hearts. In early 2008, Yacht Rock became a weekly occurrence; by 2009 the city’s cool kids were packing out 10 High on Thursdays nights and tossing back PBRs in their own captain’s hats, and by 2010, the eight guys (only one of whom has since left the band to join Blackberry Smoke) quit their day jobs and began stockpiling polyester suits.Did the indie rockers dream of being a cover band? About as much as a Rich Girl wants to get a job at Shoney’s. But they were tapping into an underserved genre of music, captivating folks both young and old, and their legions of cultish fans are glad they stayed swayed with it. When they finally moved the tunes up to sea level, it was for a holiday show at the Variety Playhouse in 2009. They’d never heard of a local band renting out the place for a concert, so decided to give it a whirl…and it sold out.
Yacht Rock was legit.
Larger gigs poured in (corporate events, weddings, Park Tavern) and the band wondered if they could get the very artists they covered to join them on stage while they were out on tour. Spoiler alert: They could (everyone has a price). It started with Walter Egan at a show in Nashville, and they have since shared the stage with Eddie Money, John Oates, and Bobby Kimball from Toto, to name just a few. They’ve played at the Playboy Mansion (obviously), sang the national anthem at the Atlanta Braves game on Fourth of July (complete with Greg and Nick jumping off stage and rounding the bases), opened for Ludacris and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis during the Final Four, sailed on music cruises with Kid Rock, Train, Heart, Weezer, and Kiss (for the record, they do NOT drive the boat), and have packed out shows in NYC, Nashville, Los Angeles, and more.
The guys (who actually like each other in real life) have developed a flawless, signature style with spot-on renditions, refreshing comedy, and energetic stage presence any band would covet. They’ve received accolades like “Best Place to Get Drunk With Your Dad” to “Best Overall Music Act in Atlanta” to “Best Place to Start an Extramarital Affair,” and have been name-dropped by the New York Times, Pitchfork, the Guardian UK, Spin, TimeOut New York, Billboard, MTV.com, and (probably) your mom at her last Tupperware party.
And it’s not always pure AM Gold glory, as they perform under many aliases: Please PleaseRock Me (Beatles), Reagan Rock (Smooth ’80s) Uno Dos Tres Catorce (U2), Dazed and Confused ('70s Stoner Rock), Rock Fight (Led Zeppelin vs. the Who, Tom Petty vs.
Fleetwood Mac, etc.) and so forth. Yacht Rock Revue also performs many classic albums in their entirety, including Michael Jackson's Thriller, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Prince's Purple Rain, the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, XTC's Black Sea, and Led Zeppelin IV. But no matter what they’re playing, it’s always a license to let loose.
Smooth rock on, y’all.