Ambrosia headlining with Pablo Cruise in Carson City Concert Under the Stars
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Ambrosia and Pablo Cruise will co-headline at Concert Under the Stars, A Benefit for The Greenhouse Project, Wednesday, July 8 at Cafe at Adele’s in what’s shaping up to be a sold-out, hit-laden evening of fantastic music.
Ambrosia will be in the house performing its numerous hits and new offerings, including its latest song, “Hopes & Dreams,” written for and featured in the movie, “The Sparrows Nesting.”
“Being asked to write for the sound track has inspired us to start writing seriously again,” said Burleigh Drummond, founding member and the band’s drummer, percussionist and singer. He’s also a prolific songwriter and producer. “The floodgates are open and things are flowing; there is no shortage of material.”
The process of writing is both collaborative and singular, he said.
“Just recently, I had a drum beat and a melody, somebody else had the lyric, and soon there was a song … It can happen just that fast,” he said. “Or someone will bring something they wrote years ago, and we’ll work on that.”
Band members are located north and south of Los Angeles, so getting together to write is less of a logistical issue than it is for some bands.
“We just have to enforce (a time to write) and make it happen.”
If “Hopes & Dreams” is any indication, Ambrosia still have everything it takes to craft great material and are going to be releasing many more hits in the future.
Meanwhile, they’re on the road playing the old favorites and previewing new material.
“We have a good year shaping up and if we had more (dates) it would not be enough,” Drummond said. “We feel lucky that people still want to see us perform and hear our music, and we still love doing it. The fact we can be there physically and mentally and still perform is a blessing.”
Ambrosia has dates scheduled throughout the United States clear into late fall and next year is looking pretty good, too. The touring schedule is on the scale “regular folk” might have difficulty keeping pace with, but as is the case with this event, is fulfilling some of the wishes of the band.
“We’re really looking forward to playing with Pablo Cruise,” Drummond said. “We’ve talked about it for years and finally get to do it.”
Ambrosia was founded in 1970, and even after going on hiatus for a while, returned to a supportive audience.
“I think the (band’s staying power) is a testament to good music,” he said. “It reached people on a deep level, their memories are tied to it and we have really good compositions with a lot of Prague influence — like King Crimson and Yes — that have stood the test of time, and some people who only know the hits and I hear surprising comments after the show from people who came to hear ‘Biggest Part of Me.’”
The present-day incarnation of Ambrosia includes three original members — Drummond, Christopher North on B3 Hammond organ, keys and vocals; and Joe Puerta, bass and vocals. Other members include Doug Jackson, electric guitar and backing vocals; Mary Harris, keyboards and vocals; and Ken Stacey, acoustic guitar and lead vocals.
“We enjoy each other still, we’re family and we’ve spent 45 years together, so as long as we get along, we’ll stay together.”
As Drummond has taken over management and booking duties and simply because he’s older now, his perspective has changed.
“I have come to respect and to see what goes into the logistics of a gig,” he said. “I appreciate getting to play — I’m 63 — and I treasure every opportunity to play.
“I am lucky and I’m honored and I take great joy in playing for audiences today.”
In addition to music, there will be a live auction with great offerings, a silent auction to benefit Capitol FFA Chapter and food and beverages available from L.A. Bakery, Burger Me, Carson BBQ and High Sierra Brewery.
This year’s Concert Under the Stars is made possible in large part due to the generous support of NVEnergy, Carson-Tahoe Health, Reno News & Review, The Greenhouse Project, Cafe at Adele’s, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Gold Dust West Hotel & Casino and Abowd & Rose Financial Group.
To keep up with the latest, visit Ambrosia on the web at http://www.ambrosialive.net.Tickets for the show cost $30 (on-line availability only), $45 and $65 and are available at http://www.carsoncitygreenhouse.org or at Cafe at Adele’s, 1112 N. Carson St. Doors open at 5 p.m.