The Show: Wednesday, September 3, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Buddy Miles

By Ken Shimamoto

Before singing lead for the California Raisins in an ’80s tv commercial, Fort Worth resident Buddy Miles was responsible for some auspicious moments in musical history.

As a teen-age session drummer in the ’60s, he played on several noteworthy sides, including the Jaynetts’ “Sally Go ’Round the Roses.” While playing in wicked soul singer Wilson Pickett’s road band, he was discovered by white blooze wunderkind Mike Bloomfield, who tapped Miles for his post-Paul Butterfield outfit, the Electric Flag. The Flag debuted at 1967’s Monterey International Pop Festival, where Bloomfield’s stage rap still holds the world record for the number of usages of the word “groovy,” before tensions between the junkies and acidheads in the group tore the team asunder.

Miles is probably best known for his association with Jimi Hendrix, playing on the epochal Band of Gypsys album, which marked the first appearance of Miles’ signature tune “Them Changes” — still a bar band staple. Around the same time, he powered the band behind John McLaughlin on the album Devotion, a fiery harbinger of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s fusion fury. Miles also toured and recorded a chart-topping live album with Carlos Santana, and briefly fronted the Santana band after emerging from a career hiatus during the ’80s.

These days, Miles appears around the area with a band called the Blues Berries, featuring blues-rock guitar powerhouse Rocky Athas (Lightning, Black Oak Arkansas). Their eponymous 2002 album employed the services of the Double Trouble rhythm team of Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon. Once, at the Keys Lounge open jam, Miles kicked Kevin Schermerhorn’s traps hard enough to move them forward a couple of feet on the bandstand — proof positive that this legend has lost none of his vaunted power.

Thu-Fri at the Hard Rock Café, 2601 McKinney Ave, Dallas. $12. 214-885-0007.


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