Who: PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE
Where: Florida Theatre ~ Jacksonville, FL
When: July 25
Ages: all ages
From their beginnings in Ohio as a group of friends playing cover tunes to the present day unit featuring founding member/pedal-steel innovator John David Call, veteran bassist Mike Reilly, drummer Scott Thompson and guitar ace Donnie Clark, Pure Prairie League continues to embellish the rich 44-year history of one of country rock’s pioneering forces. PPL’s first hit, “Amie” got its meteoric launch on one of Jacksonville’s AOR radio stations. As one reviewer recently wrote, “PPL’s sound combines sweet memories with edgy, contemporary muscle. Their vocals are as strong as Kentucky moonshine and the musicianship and performance skills are as sharp as a straight razor”.
Their eponymous first album – featuring the Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover that introduced fans to PPL’s trademark cowpoke “Sad Luke” – has been hailed as a “major early influence in the emerging popularity of country rock music”. Their second effort, the multi-platinum “Bustin’ Out” brought us the Craig Fuller-penned classic “Amie”, along with other gems of the genre. With “Two Lane Highway”, nine more albums and countless shows, a legacy has been forged and enriched during the ‘70s and 80’s, highlighting contributions from several noteworthy members, including co-founder George Powell, Cincinnati’s legendary Goshorn Brothers, Country Hall of Famers Gary Burr and Vince Gill, award-winning writer Jeff Wilson (3 Top-20 singles) and a host of other guest appearances from Chet Atkins, EmmyLou Harris, David Sanborn, Eagle Don Felder, Nicolette Larson, and many more.
Now in their fifth decade, Pure Prairie League continues to lead the way for the new generation of country rockers such as Keith Urban, Nickel Creek, Wilco and so many others that cite PPL as a major influence. As crisp and clean as spring water and as comfortable as a well-worn cowboy shirt, Pure Prairie League still brings it all back home.