Pure Prairie League to ride into MonroeWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
Pure Prairie League is known for its country-rock sound — and a certain mustachioed cowboy who wears a wide-brimmed hat, red bandana and vest.
“Luke has been a faithful friend and companion and our mascot over the years,” said bass player and vocalist Mike Reilly. “We had a brand since 1971, and it had to do with that cowboy.”
Every album, from the self-titled debut in 1972 to 2005’s “All in Good Time,” has featured Luke.
“The band was called The Omars before we took on the name Pure Prairie League, and RCA liked the idea of the name because of the kind of thought it invoked,” Reilly explained during a phone interview from his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y. “The name of the band came out of an old Errol Flynn movie from 1939 called ‘Dodge City.’
“Our art director at RCA was a friend of Norman Rockwell, and he suggested a Rockwell cover from 1927 to be our first album cover. So he contacted Rockwell and got permission, and we got permission from Saturday Evening Post to use their copyrighted script for our name.”
It was the aptly titled “Bustin’ Out” from 1972 that shot up the charts with the hit “Amie.”
While the band’s lineup changed over the years and included Vince Gill, Pure Prairie League continued that laidback sound with songs such as “Let Me Love You Tonight,” “I’m Almost Ready” and “Still Right Here in My Heart.”
“Great musicianship is really important, and we love the fact that we sing very well together, and we like our style of harmony,” Reilly said. “I think [our music] sounds better now then it did back then because we’re all a lot more mature, our voices are better, our attitudes are better, our egos are less-inflated.
“We love what we do, and we go out and do good shows. We’re out there and realize how lucky we are to be able to do this in our 42nd year.”
Pure Prairie League — Reilly, guitarists and vocalists Craig Fuller and Donnie Clark, drummer Rick Schell and pedal steel guitarist John David Call — will play a 7:30 p.m. show Feb. 12 at Monroe County Community College’s La-Z-Boy Center. Tickets are $20 and $30.
Reilly said the guys are working on new songs.
“It took us 24 years to get [‘All in Good Time’] together, and it’s been five years since we released that,” he said. “Our sense of timing has never been the most brilliant, but we survived the disco scare.”