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From left: Mike Mills, me, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kenny Aronoff, Billy Gibbons, Billy Branch
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Jim Irsay Collection Concert

written by REO Speedwagon

Anyone who knows me knows that after the Beatles, my musical heroes were Crosby Stills and Nash…and Stephen Stills in particular. Stephen is a triple threat as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. I first met Stephen at a charity concert in 1981. In 1988, I saved him from being bounced from a Little Feat show, which led to us co-writing a song called “Haven’t We Lost Enough (I Still Love You)” that went on to appear on two CSN and one REO album. I hit the trifecta in Vegas this weekend, when I performed a duet with Stephen on “Almost Cut My Hair”, as a tribute to the late great David Crosby.

The occasion was a free concert put on by Indianapolis Colts owner, Jim Irsay, and featuring his 100 million dollar collection of musical and historical artifacts. Jim is the real deal. Along with pieces like Ringo’s original drum set, John Lennon’s upright piano, and David Gilmour’s black Strat, he also owns the original manuscript of the AA Big Book, which he counts as the most valuable piece in his vast collection.

The house band included the amazing Kenny Wayne Shepherd on lead guitar, Mike Mills (REM) on bass, drummer Kenny Aronoff and rhythm guitarist Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp), and legendary blues harmonica man Billy Branch, among this group of soulful musicians. You wouldn’t think a harmonica solo would work in “Ridin’ the Storm Out”, but Billy Branch blew the lid off of it! I love hearing other great players’ take on my songs, so I was a happy guy. Plus, I got to hear Billy Gibbons (ZZ) and Vince Gill (Eagles) fronting that awesome band, and was part of a background vocal trio with Vince Gill and Stephen Stills on the encore jam of the Stones, “Gimme Shelter”. My feet still have not quite touched the ground!

That said, I can’t wait to get back with my REO brothers, Bruce, Dave, Bryan, and Derek. I am grateful that I can be in a great rock band, and also have opportunities to play with other awesome musicians and singers. I am a lucky guy.

Hope to see you on our upcoming tour stops, check REO for details.
Much love…kc

From left: Mike Mills, me, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kenny Aronoff, Billy Gibbons, Billy Branch

From left: me, Stephen Stills, Lisa

From left Michael Kaczkowski, Holly Cronin, Lisa Cronin, me

From left: Edgerrin James, me, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kenny Aronoff
Forefront: Jim Irsay

Stephen Stills and me