Derek St. Holmes & Brad Whitford - photo by Michael Sherer
The reunion of Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes, of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent Band fame respectively, has been a long time coming. They formed in the early ‘80’s after leaving their bands, those being Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. They released one record in ‘81, titled simply Whitford/St. Holmes, and soon fizzled out.
They’ve now written and recorded nine songs that comprise a new album entitled Reunion, being released early ‘16, unless you bought it at one of their shows during their brief club tour of ten dates. Their reunion is surely not about sales or making much money, though. It’s about the enjoyment of playing with an old friend in a relaxed, simple setting, that being clubs to intimate audiences as they did in their youth before any fame.
As is typical at clubs, the stage at BB King’s is rather small and with basic lighting. There’s little room to move a lot, and there’s certainly no room for any sort of production. This puts all the onus on the music, which is what every band should be about first and foremost. This band has the goods. They consist of Troy Luccketta from Tesla on drums, Buck Johnson from Aerosmith’s touring band on keyboards and vocals and Nashville session player Chopper Anderson on bass. They were very tight and had plenty of swagger and energy. While St. Holmes and Whitford look quite different than they did in their late ‘20’s when they initially played together, their gusto and power are intact. Whitford’s fluid riffing ability is especially cool to hear, as is St. Holmes’ strong vocals. It was clear that the two truly enjoy each other’s company and musicianship. They are also nearly neighbors, living relatively close to each other in Nashville.
All nine songs from their new release were played, although in a different running order than the CD. They also played some songs from their debut record, and of course some from Aerosmith and Ted Nugent to close the show. The entire set list appears below.
I wish them much success, and hope that this collaboration holds up much longer than their first one did. More shows should follow the release of their new CD, and I recommend you catch them if they strut their stuff near your town.
1. Shake It
2. Tender is the Night
3. Rock All Day
4. Hot For You
6. Catch My Fall
7. Hell is on Fire
8. Gotta Keep on Movin’
9. Flood of Lies
10. Shy Away
11. Every Morning
12. Whiskey Woman
14. Hey Baby (Nugent)
15. Last Child (Aerosmith, sang by Buck Johnson)
16. Train Kept a Rollin’ (Aerosmith)
17. Stranglehold (Nugent)