Miller commented in 2014 of the release, "When several friends and colleagues reminded me that it was the 40th birthday of the Joker album, I smiled--and started playing the whole album's songs live again. And at the end of the last tour realized we had a great new record that we wanted to share with our fans. We hope you like it as much as we did playing and recording it."
The Joker, of course, was The Steve Miller Band's commercial breakthrough as Miller gently nudged his band's psychedelic blues-rock style into something more accessible to mainstream listeners. The SMB's eighth album, the 1973 release featured Miller, bassist Gerald Johnson, keyboardist Dick Thompson and drummer John King (joined by guest bassist Lonnie Turner and pedal steel guitarist Sneaky Pete Kleinow). The Capitol album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of its chart-topping title song which still receives classic rock rotation today; The Joker also set the stage for such subsequent SMB hits as "Take the Money and Run," "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Jet Airliner."
This new live iteration of The Joker features the band line-up of Miller, bassist/vocalist Kenny Lee Lewis, drummer Gordy Knudtson, keyboardist/vocalist Joseph Wooten, vocalist Sonny Charles (of Checkmates Ltd. and "Black Pearl" fame) and guitarist/vocalist Jacob Petersen, with guest appearances from Lonnie Turner (who died in April 2013), drummer Gary Mallaber, and, on pedal steel, Jeff Kearns. The Joker - Live in Concert has all nine tracks from the original album, though not in album order. Edsel's reissue of the 2014 Sailor Records release has been mastered by Kent Hertz and is housed in a digipak. There are no liner notes or information as to recording dates or venues.
The Steve Miller Band is currently on tour with dates scheduled in the United States through November 7 when the band takes the stage at New York's Beacon Theatre. The Joker - Live in Concert is available now from Edsel at the links below!
- Come On in My Kitchen
- The Lovin' Cup
- Something to Believe In
- Mary Lou
- Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma
- Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash
- Sugar Babe
- The Joker