Gregg Rolie & Alan Haynes - photo by Michael Sherer
As a founding member of Santana and then Journey, Gregg Rolie has an illustrious past. Since ‘80 though, when he left Journey, he’s had a much lower key life. That’s the kind of performance that he led at the Iridium, a jazz geared club in the heart of midtown Manhattan. With only Rolie’s piano and singing accompanied by guitarist Alan Haynes, it was a bluesy, mellow and soulful affair. There were some well known songs from Rolie’s past, such as such as Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman by Santana, and the lesser known Look Into The Future by Journey, and the rest were a hodge podge that included songs that he and Haynes have composed together.
Haynes is a Texas reared musician that resides in Austin, and was born in Houston. Rolie has also been residing in Austin for several years, hence their musical partnership forming. Both are excellent musicians, and with Rolie a fine singer, they sounded great and full together. For much of the set, Haynes used a Fender Stratocastor that the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan had given him in the mid ‘80’s. (Vaughan was also an Austin native.)
Since the mid ‘60’s, Rolie’s instrument has always been the Hammond B3 organ, which is a personal favorite of mine. For this gig though, he used the house acoustic piano. It was good to hear him in an “unplugged” fashion, especially in such an intimate setting. In fact, Rolie said it was like playing in his living room. The guys had a Q & A with the audience during the show, which was cool.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable show, and a down home one at that.