Night Ranger still motoringWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fans of Night Ranger will notice the cover of the new disc, “High Road,” looks familiar.
“We wanted to put little bits of our past in there, all the album covers and all the titles. We thought it’d be interesting, kind of like find Waldo or whatever,” drummer and singer Kelly Keagy said and laughed. “It’s fun.”
Even more fun is cueing up the CD which was released in June.
On “High Road,” singer and bass player Jack Blades sings: “See the sun come up, it’s a beautiful day to be dreaming/ Well, you don’t need us/ What you need is a mind of your own…/ I’m on the high road after midnight/ And I don’t think I’ll ever go home/ I’m on the right road, got the freedom/ And I’ll never, no never, give up.”
“We always try to write songs that are in a positive light,” Keagy said during a call from a tour stop in Detroit. He said he and Blades started writing the song, which was finished thanks to Blades’ son, Colin.
With “Knock Knock Never Stop,” the band lives up to its 1983 song: They can still “Rock in America.”
“There’s always going to be those songs on Night Ranger albums. We just love those feel-good, party and you’re in your car [songs] because that’s how we got started,” Keagy said. “Music’s supposed to make you feel good, whether it’s just like a melody or whether it’s something it’s saying that catches you.”
And there’ll always be a ballad or two on their discs. It was Keagy who wrote the 1984 monster hit “Sister Christian” for his younger sister who was graduating from high school.
“I had the chorus, which is ‘Motoring,’ but the beginning of it, I was singing ‘Sister Christy,’ and the guys were like, ‘What are you singing there?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t really know, I don’t have it all written, Sister Christy,’” he recalled. “And they were like, ‘Christy? We thought you said “Christian.”’
“And then we kind of looked at each other and said, ‘That sounds better.’”
Night Ranger also scored in the ’80s with “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Sentimental Street,” “Four in the Morning,” “Goodbye” and “The Secret of My Success.”
“We were kind of making it up as we were going along, so the fact that we had success — I think it was all about the songs and how we performed them as a band because it’s really a band, you know, everybody has their own musical stamp on it,” Keagy said.
Night Ranger — Keagy, Blades, guitarist Brad Gillis, keyboardist Eric Levy and guitarist Keri Kelli — will play a sold-out show at the Hollywood Casino Toledo at 9 p.m. Sept. 13. Also taking the stage will be 38 Special.
“When we came out with ‘Midnight Madness’ [in 1983, 38 Special] put us on this big tour they were doing, and we got a chance to play a whole lot of shows with them,” Keagy said. “They’re good old friends of ours, and we really enjoy playing with them.”