Steve Miller at a Yard Sale — Review of Sailor

One of my favorite albums for more than 40+ years has been the Steve Miller Band’s “Rock Love,” a 1971 live album I first discovered while living in a cabin one summer at Camp Hoffman in West Kingston, RI.
I eventually went to college up the street at the University of Rhode Island in 1976 and my classmates were raving about Steve Miller and his songs like The Joker, Take the Money and Run, and Fly Like An Eagle. Those songs were slick commercial productions seemingly without the soul of Rock Love.
I lamented not having heard any of the soulful blues associated with early Miller.
Yesterday changed all that when I stumbled across the album “Sailor” at a yard sale table. This was Miller’s second album, released in 1968, and while “Rock Love” is still my favorite of his, “Sailor” is an excellent album with only one clunker – a schmaltzy love ballad called Quicksilver. The rest of the album is a reflection of the pared-down psychedelic blues of the late 60’s. It moves from slow blues to the hit Living IN the USA. A little heavy on the base, but that’s alright.
Fun fact — I was surprised to see that the band’s members include Boz Scaggs who would eventually release the popular “Silk Degrees.”
In the end it was one of those great treasure you can only find at a yard sale.

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