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Kenny Loggins at the Birchmere

By Stephen Brookes • The Washington Post • July 24, 2008

The music of Kenny Loggins is lodged deep in the baby boomer psyche -- the soundtrack to every rite of passage on the road to middle age. How many seductions in the 1970s were conducted to "Danny's Song"? How many '80s weddings featured "Forever"? How many of the resulting babies were burped to the gentle strains of "House at Pooh Corner"? The numbers are incalculable.

So it's no wonder that Loggins sold out two shows at the Birchmere this week, rewarding the faithful with a mix of classic favorites and newer songs from last year's CD, "How About Now." Fronting a tight four-piece band, Loggins was in fine form on Tuesday night, looking and sounding far younger than his 60 years and still very much the boy-next-door of soft rock: upbeat, non-threatening and astoundingly gifted.

Most of the set was devoted to early songs, a few of them souped up for the 21st century. After opening acoustically with "Danny" and "Pooh," Loggins plugged in for hard-rocking anthems "Your Mama Don't Dance" and "Angry Eyes," led a falsetto-tinged singalong to "Celebrate Me Home," crooned the maudlin "The One That Got Away" and got the crowd roaring with the eternally irresistible "Footloose."

But it wasn't just a nostalgia-fest. "How About Now" never got much play (marketed exclusively through Target, it somehow failed to sell -- go figure), so Loggins is rereleasing it next month on a new label. And to judge by new tunes like "I'm a Free Man Now" and the title track, Loggins is writing as well as he did in his heyday -- still a master of the melodic hook and the diabolically catchy rhythm, but digging into the tough, painful issues of adult life.
Posted on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 01:43PM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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