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Steve Miller Band: Bingo!
For his first album in 17 years, Steve Miller returns to his early days in Chicago with classic blues covers by Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Vaughan and others. Produced by Andy Johns (Hendrix, Zeppelin, Stones), Bingo! incorporates plenty of impressive guitar work— most notably on muscular opener “Hey Yeah,” as well as “Rock Me Baby” and “Sweet Soul Vibe” with guitarist Joe Satriani. The album features longtime Steve Miller Band cohorts like the late harmonica player Norton Buffalo alongside newer members like vocalist Sonny Charles, likely making this an effort that older fans will relish. However, anyone looking for traces of FM radio gold “Fly like an Eagle,” “The Joker” or “Take the Money and Run” will not find it here. But listeners have to be realistic—those mid-‘70s super hits were some of the best of the era and this is a covers collection. Miller isn’t breaking any new ground here, he’s doing what one would expect from a 67 year old still plugging along 35 years after his prime. With a second companion album due out next year, if expectations are kept in check then these should serve as decent, if forgettable, late editions to a legendary catalog.
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