Two time Grammy winner and recent Hollywood RockWalk inductee, Kenny Loggins, returns with his newest album in four years, How About Now.
The latest collection of folk and country inspired tracks finds the legendary artist going back to his roots and offering lyrics that emotionally reflect his attempt to come to terms with the recent separation from his wife, Julia.
Loggins, best known for his soulful voice, gift of creating a great melody and hit songs such as, "Danny's Song", "Celebrate Me Home", "Danger Zone" and "Footloose"--began his pop career with fellow singer-songwriter, Jim Messina in 1971.
With songs like "You're Mama Don't Dance" , "Brighter Days" and "House At Pooh Corner", duo--Loggins & Messina, enjoyed a five-year run delivering upbeat pop tunes that incorporated folk and country themes with soulful melodic vocals.
After the split with Messina, Loggins continued on to enjoy a successful 30+ year solo career.
In the midst of his current tour, Kenny Loggins took some time out to talk with Souls & Sounds.com about his new album, new tour and more.
S&S: Good morning! We are James & Raina LeGarreta, also known as Souls & Sounds Productions based in Sacramento California . Thanks so much for spending this time with us!
First off, what influenced you to pick Target this time to distribute How About Now over a major label?
***180 Music, a record label started by Target retail stores--distributed How About Now and is sold exclusively at Target.***
KL: Target convinced me their audience is my audience. Lots of artists are going with major retailers now a days, and it seemed like a good deal.
S&S: The new album really has that classic Loggins & Messina sound mixed with a bit of new country. Were you at all influenced by any of the new country music and did your recent reunion with Jim Messina have anything to do with the overall sound of the album?
KL: It all started with the L&M reunion tour and getting the acoustic guitar back into my lap. I enjoyed singing the old songs that year. The simplicity of style spoke to me, and I felt it would be a fun direction for me to explore again.
Plus, Nashville has a ton of great writers still writing in the verse, bridge, chorus form, as opposed to modern pop music, so I knew I would find "like minds" to collaborate with there.
S&S: How About Now seems to be a very personal album. Each song reflects either your coming to terms with your recent divorce such as "How About Now" and "I'm A Free Man Now" or your struggle to come to terms with it--with songs like "Truth Is" and "A Years Worth Of Distance".
The last song on the album, "One Last Goodbye Song", seems to relay to your fans that this song would mark the end of your writing about the hurt from the separation.
Would you say that this album became therapy for you in a sense? Something that has helped you become at peace with yourself about the situation? A sort of closure if you will?
KL: Yes, in many ways it is. I needed to write this album at this time. It was obviously the right moment in time to be the observer of one of life's more difficult changes, and that's my job. I feel it chronicles all the aspects of picking up your life and moving on. Not ever easy, but inevitable.
S&S: Oftentimes, artists who have been around for a while and have performed tons and tons of concerts throughout the years tend to currently do "predictable" set-lists. Meaning that their fans can basically memorize the songlist before the artist takes the stage.
Without letting the whole cat out of the bag, just give us the tail....what can we expect on the new tour?
KL: Live shows have become the primary way for legacy artists to showcase new material, as radio is unlikely to do that, at best. Therefore, I will do 5 or 6 from the new CD, as well as the hits and favorites the audience has come to expect. It's always a tricky balancing act, but I want my audience to feel entertained and "full" when they leave.
S&S: On your current tour, you will have five plus concert dates in a row with one or two days off followed by another five or more days of concerts in a row. With such a strenuous schedule, how do you take care of not only your voice and your physical health, but your spiritual and emotional health?
KL: It's challenging. And gets rougher to maintain every year. I exercise every day, keep the alcohol intake down to a minimum, run, and get as much rest as the schedule allows. The hardest days are the ones where I have to decide between sleep and exercise.
S&S: Here on SoulsandSounds.com we like to have a bit of fun with the artists we interview, so here comes the FUN questions! :)
(James) On the down low, just between you, us and our readers--what secret musical "guilty pleasures", if any, would you like to fess up too? I'll go first, mine is POLKA......LOVE IT!! Of course, now, (quoting Devo) "I'm through being cool!"
(Raina) I'd definitely have to say 1970s/early 80s soft-rock! It's been my guilty pleasure for the past few months.....bands like Bread, Player, Rupert Holmes...."I'm so lost without it!"
KL: Early 1940's Sinatra.... I like "The Feeling" and Mika (the second coming of Freddie Mercury) right now. Late at night I prefer David Darling (cello) and Billy McLaughlin.
S&S: (James) While playing dominoes last night, I thought about the fact that I really appreciate the artistic expression of every sound on an album and all that hard work is being represented by the picture on the front cover. Talk about judging an album by its cover, lets time travel back to the front cover of 1972's "Sittin' In" with Messina, you two are pictured playing cards and enjoying beverages. We (I) just have to know, who won that hand and what was the beverage of choice in the bottles?
KL: Sorry. It was all a set up for the camera. The bottles were probably from the bar we were in to take the shots. Looks like whiskey to me.
S&S: (James) One last album question please. Recently looking back at my senior picture in High School (Selma Class of '86'), I recalled thinking to myself, "MAN IF I DON'T LOOK LIKE 'ABU' FROM THE QUICKIE MART ON THE SIMPSONS!" Ever feel that way about a photo? Looking back at all the album covers you've appeared in, which one do YOU wish you could take a mulligan on and do over?
KL: Many of them. And I am still messing w/my frickin hair. I guess some of us never learn.
S&S: We're good friends with your son, singer-songwriter Crosby Loggins. I know you've sung with him live on several occasions but would you ever consider recording a song with him?
KL: I'd love to, but I think he wants his own way there. I agree. He shouldn't be seen as riding on my shoulders or overcoming any negative image either. He did sing backgrounds on my new CD...on "I'll Remember Your Name."
S&S: You've just about sung it all. Soul, rock, folk and country. So many artists these days are going way, way back and doing complete albums of certain genres of music, for example jazz standards, Motown, etc. Would we ever see a Kenny Loggins gospel album or something like that? Musically, what's next?
KL: I'd like to do a swing band Christmas album. I sang with the Army Big Band and Orchestra and choir 3 Christmases ago, and I loved it. Big fun.
S&S: Thanks again for sharing your time with us and we'll see you on tour!
***You can catch Kenny Loggins on tour Friday, July 14th at the Solano County Fair in Vallejo, CA and Sunday, July 22nd at the Chuckchansi Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, CA (40 min outside of Fresno). For more California and more concert dates log on to www.kennyloggins.com***
Photo credit top of page: Carl Studna.