orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Entertainment

June 15, 2014

VIDEO: The ‘High Road’ leads to Louisiana for rejuvenated rockers

KINDER, La. — With a new album under its belt and classic songs in its set, Night Ranger is ready to rock.

Rock act Night Ranger returns to Southwest Louisiana with a concert on Friday, June 27 at The Pavilion at Coushatta Casino and Resort in Kinder, La. Tickets are $30 for ages 16 and older at all Ticketmaster outlets and seating is general admission. Special guest is LA Roxx.

Night Ranger is touring in support of its new album, “High Road,” which was released on June 10 through Frontier Records. This is the band’s 11th studio release and its first since the June 2011 album, “Somewhere in California.”

The group, which features core members Brad Gillis, guitar; Jack Blades, bass and vocals; and Kelly Keagy, drums and vocals, along with Joel Hoekstra, guitar, and Eric Levy, keyboards, is best known for its string of hit songs in the 1980s, such as “Sister Christian,” “(You Can Still) Rock in America,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Sentimental Street” and others.

“We are really excited about what lies ahead of us now that this new record is out,” Keagy said in a telephone interview. “It’s a continuation of the last record, but we went to another level with it.

“We did some recording and then went out on tour, and then came back and had a chance to listen to everything,” he continued. “We realized we were on to something. We tossed some songs out, wrote some new ones, and it has everything a fan would like and then some.”

Keagy said the group has made a conscious effort to focus on its craft the past two studio albums and that is quality songwriting.

“The last two records, we have really honed in on the songwriting first and the recording second,” he explained. “We took our time because we want to keep to that high standard we set a long time ago of wanting to write quality, memorable songs.”

Keagy and the rest of Night Ranger will stay busy on the road as it current leg of the North American tour will keep the band out through the middle of September before heading overseas. This will give the band time to work its new material into the set.

“Right now ‘High Road’ is the only new song we are playing, but we hope to add in another song or two during the summer, especially if our song keeps moving up the charts like it has been,” Keagy explained. “When we go to Japan in October, we will probably play four or five new songs in our set. The Japanese people are really great fans and they really want to hear new material when a band plays over there.”

Night Ranger will headline its own shows at various casinos and festivals across the U.S., and then the band will join legendary rockers Boston for a handful of dates in the Northeast, and a string of shows with classic southern rock band, 38 Special. On its way back from Japan, Night Ranger will perform in Hawaii for the first time in 25 years, according to Keagy.

Along with his duties in Night Ranger as vocalist and drummer, Keagy was especially excited about a honor recently bestowed upon him as he became of an ambassador for the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. This is the newest location, which joins others in cities such as Detroit, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, and Muscle Shoals, Ala.

According to its official website at musicianshalloffame.com, the Musicians Hall of Fame is the one and only museum in the world that honors the talented musicians who actually played on the greatest recordings of all time.

“This is really a great thing because it is all about the unsung heroes of studio recording,” Keagy said. “There are so many great musicians who were a part of the some biggest songs in history, and not everyone knows about them because they were studio musicians only. It’s a really great musuem with a lot of history and exhibits.”

For more information on the band and its upcoming schedule, visit www.nightranger.com.

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