Almost 30 years after their 1976 breakup, the hugely successful duo of Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina took their hit-making magic on the road once again in 2005. When they first came together, Loggins was an acclaimed songwriter and Messina a former member of both Buffalo Springfield and Poco. Live finds these two consummate musicians revisiting the music that made them world famous with the passion and energy that have inspired fans for decades. This DVD captures them in front of their hometown audience in Santa Barbara.
The liner notes accompanying Sittin' in Again at Santa Barbara Bowl
rank Kenny Loggins & Jimmy Messina among the great pop music duos of all time, including the Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel. That's a serious stretch. Still, there's no denying that back in the day, Loggins & Messina were responsible for a fair share of memorable tunes and commercial hits--and judging from this 2005 concert, recorded nearly thirty years after the pair called it quits, their music has readily stood the test of time. They originally hooked up when Loggins, who was looking for a record deal, found both a producer and a partner in guitarist-singer Messina, a former member of the Buffalo Springfield and Poco; the hits ("Your Mama Don't Dance," "A Love Song," "Danny's Song,"" "House at Pooh Corner") started happening soon thereafter. It was Loggins, not the man he once called his "mentor," who enjoyed the more conspicuously successful solo career after they parted ways in 1976. But while none of his post-Loggins & Messina material is performed here, "Celebrate Me Home" would have been a natural, as this 20-song, two-hour concert has the feel of a joyous family reunion, with the pair's hometown audience very much part of the proceedings. Sure, everyone's hair is shorter and grayer these days (both frontmen were 57 at the time of this recording), and the vibe is a good deal more relaxed (for contrast, check out the breakneck, adrenaline-fueled versions of some of these same tunes from a 1973 appearance on TV's The Midnight Special
). But that's precisely what this mellow night in a mellow town called for, and the Loggins & Messina band's country lilt, replete with fiddle, mandolin, and acoustic guitars, flows as freely as the breeze-blown clouds projected on the screen behind them. Clearly, a splendid time was had by all. ---Sam Graham