Steve Miller was a mainstay of the San Francisco music scene that upended American culture in the late 1960s, but his career extends far beyond that era. With albums like “Children of the Future,” “Sailor” and “Brave New World,” Miller and his band perfected a psychedelic blues sound that drew on the deepest sources of American roots music and also articulated a compelling vision of what music -‐ and, indeed, society -‐ could be in the years to come. In the 1970s, Miller changed gears and began crafting a brand of pop that was polished, exciting and irresistible.
His music also dominated radio in a way that few artists have ever managed before or after. His hits were frequent and numerous: “Take The Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” and “Jungle Love,” among them. Even today, these songs are instantly recognizable when they come on the radio and impossible not to sing along with. Running through Miller’s distinctive catalog is a combination of virtuosity and song craft, as explained by his upbringing. His parents were jazz aficionados, so as a budding guitarist, Miller absorbed valuable lessons from that musical tradition. When the family moved to Texas, Miller deepened his education in the blues.
He eventually moved to Chicago, where he played with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and Paul Butterfield. Most recently, his distinguished career has led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Musically, Miller has re-immersed himself in the blues once again, making records that are at once immediately accessible and more than able to stand the test of time.
July 26, 7 p.m. at Statesman Skyline Theater at the Long Center. Tickets from $49.