âYou can’t talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad! This is what David Fricke, of Rolling Stone magazine, said of the American blues rock group in 2003.
This is still true in 2015. If you listen to classic rock, you know their hits: “We’re An American Band”, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home”, “Shinin ‘On’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Footstompin’ Music ‘and the general public’ Loco-Motion ‘.
Grand Funk Railroad will mark 48 years of its R&B rock brand next year by continuing to perform in front of generations of fans. Founding members Don Brewer, drummer, and Mel Schacher, bass guitar, are still touring the country performing the songs that made them an unforgettable band. Brewer and Schacher, along with singer and guitarist Mark Farner, composed the original power trio. Farner left the group to pursue a solo career in the mid-1970s and again in the 90s after a reunion tour. Grand Funk Railroad has split up and reunited several times over the years.
Current lineup has been around since 2000 and includes Brewer and Schacher, as well as veteran musicians Max Carl, who wrote “Second Chance,” recorded by 38 Special, and is considered by Brewer to be the country’s last blue-eyed soul singer. ; Bruce Kulick, who was a member of the tour group for Meat Loaf, toured with Michael Bolton and was KISS lead guitarist for the 1984 Animalize tour and the 1996 reunion tour; and Tim Cashion, originally from North Carolina, who has toured with Jon Secada, Robert Palmer and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
The entire group will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Event Center at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia. You must be 21 or older to attend, and tickets cost $ 35 and $ 55.
Formerly known as the Grand Funk Railroad, or simply Grand Funk, the roots of the original trio run deep in Michigan and the R&B sound of the late ’60s and early’ 70s, Brewer said at a telephone interview. Since 1982 he has played and still performs with Bob Seger’s touring band when their schedules permit. Grand Funk plays 35 to 40 shows a year.
âWe usually shoot mostly in the summer and he shoot more in the winter,â Brewer said. GFR’s shows are mostly set in the United States, with a few in Canada, and given the state of the world right now, Brewer said it’s fine with him.
In the 70s, it was sometimes 40 concerts in 40 days and the pressure to release two albums a year for Capitol Records.
âIt was exhausting,â Brewer said. ” It’s much better. It’s a lot … more free. We take our time. “
Brewer wrote and sang the lead role (and plays the drums) on their mega hit “We’re An American Band”. The band was on tour in 1972 and radio was changing to a successful format, he said. It had the lines âwe’re coming to your town, we’ll help you party,â but âI didn’t have a tag,â Brewer said. The band was then hailed as the âAmerican Bandâ and it became the tag that became the hit song they needed. âIt was inspired by the need for a successful record,â Brewer said.
Former band member Mark Farner wrote and sang (often shirtless in concerts) the lead role on “I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home”. Stopping when asked what the song was about, Brewer thanked Farner for writing the song and said it had different meanings to those listening to it. It’s one of his GFR favorites, along with âSome Kind of Wonderfulâ.
âI love to see people stand up, come in and sing the songs,â he said. âThis is the essence of Grand Funk Railroad.
And that is, he said, the subject of the show in Charles Town. “I like to say we’re doing a high-energy show, Grand Funk Railroad, all hit.”