Loggins shifts gears with new band


St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pop-rocker Kenny Loggins has done well for himself as the king of movie soundtracks, giving us “I’m Alright” from “Caddyshack,” “Danger Zone” from “Top Gun” and “Footloose” from the movie of the same name.

“It doesn’t hurt to have a title like that, I suppose,” he says. “But I actually think Celine Dion did more than I did.”

Loggins says he’s grateful to have “Footloose” as part of his repertoire. And so are his fans.

“It always gets people up and dancing and gives me a climax to my show,” he says.

Loggins was never sure whether the songs were big because of the movies or the movies were big because of the songs.

“I think it was the movie — and the songs didn’t hurt,” he says. “I’m fortunate in that I was associated with movies that have become such cult classics.”

They certainly aren’t making soundtrack songs like they used to. When he was recording songs for movies, it was a new idea — viewing rock ’n’ roll as a valid form of music for movies, instead of just using “traditional Henry Mancini songs,” he says.

“The hipper the music, the hipper the movie,” Loggins says. “Hollywood jumped on it.”

But it went wrong after random songs from artists’ albums wound up on soundtracks. He says that dilutes the power of music written for movies.

“There’s a craft to it,” Loggins says. “You have to get a hold of the emotional content that is being conveyed, and they don’t do much of that anymore.”

Loggins, who regrouped with Jim Messina as Loggins and Messina in 2005 and 2009, has formed a new band, Blue Sky Riders, with Nashville singer-songwriters Gary Burr (who was with Pure Prairie League) and Georgia Middleman (who has written for Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney). They’re hopeful for a January release of their debut album on their newly created label.

“I hit a place where I didn’t know what I wanted to do as Kenny Loggins,” he says. “I really enjoyed writing with Gary, and I was tired of being alone. I wanted to do something with a friend and make something new. I wanted that challenge of building a new beast and the adrenaline that comes with that.”

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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