Chicago Theatre Review
Jim Messina – City Winery
Jim Messina at City Winery
On Sunday night I had the pleasure of seeing legendary producer/musician Jim Messina at the City Winery.
Jim Messina has been on the music scene for 50 plus years. His career is the envy of any serious musician. In Buffalo Springfield he served as recording engineer, producer and musician on their final album Last Time Around. After Buffalo Springfield disbanded, Jim founded Poco with Richie Fury in 1968 where he played lead guitar and shared vocals.
In the summer of 1970 while still on the road with Poco, Jim was introduced to Kenny Loggins. Being an independent producer he decided to produce Kenny’s first solo album in 1971. Jim’s contribution was so great: playing lead guitar, writing songs, singing and forming the band for the album that they decided to release the album as Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin’ In. Together they recorded 9 albums selling 16 million records and becoming one of the leading musical duos of the 1970s, breaking up in 1976.
Jim has stayed busy producing, writing songs, collaborating with other artist and solo projects.
With all that said it’s no wonder Jim chose songs covering his star studded career. His set list included music from Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Loggins and Messina and solo.
Jim opened the show with the Latin influenced song, Mojito Moon on acoustic guitar. He jumped from acoustic to electric guitar the whole evening. The band was very tight, featuring an animated Bass player; a very talented Saxaphonist who played multiple instruments and a fiddle player who added a folky country flavor as needed. Jim told us stories about his life and the songs he was performing, which gave us nice insights into the mind of Jim Messina. My personal highlights (while there were many) included Kind Woman, You Better Think Twice, Sinners and Saints, (a song about his time in both Buffalo Springfield and Poco), Angry Eyes, which became an extended jam highlighting every member of his tight band, and his 2 encore songs You Need a Man and Your Mama Don’t Dance leaving the crowd jumping and dancing and smiling!
The show was top notch and the City Winery, with great food and drinks, and not a bad seat in the house was the perfect venue for this intimate performance by the multi-talented legend Jim Messina.
Reviewed by Terry Giardina
For information on CityWinery and upcoming shows visit http://www.citywinery.com