local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 previous edition

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Friday — May 28, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

'Gonna reach out and grab ya'

Steve Miller plays benefit in August

Express Staff Writer

Steve Miller, musician, bandleader, recording genius and longtime Wood River Valley resident, has always carved a path for himself, both within the music industry and without.

Steve Miller

Of his extra curricular activities, keeping pace with the valley and helping out at benefits has gained him legends of additional fans across the country. He said he plays two to three benefit shows a year.

To help celebrate the Snake River Alliance’s 25th anniversary, Miller will play at the Wood River High School football field in Hailey on Sunday, Aug. 29.

The Snake River Alliance is an Idaho-based community group working through research, education, and community advocacy for peace and justice, the end to nuclear weapons production activities, and responsible solutions to nuclear waste and contamination, said SRA Development Director Margaret Macdonald Stewart, of Ketchum.

The organization was formed 25 years ago by concerned citizens who "learned INEEL was disposing of liquid nuclear and hazardous waste directly into the Snake River Plain Aquifer, which sits below the site, between Arco and Idaho Falls," Macdonald Stewart said. The organization is based in Boise with offices in Ketchum and Pocatello.

Miller was born in Milwaukee to Bertha and Dr. George "Sonny" Miller. Miller’s dad was an amateur recording engineer in his spare time, and often invited musicians he had recorded at clubs back to the family house for dinner.

Among those guests were legends such as Charlie Mingus, Les Paul and T-Bone Walker. In fact, Dr. Miller was best man at Les Paul and Mary Ford’s wedding. What’s more, Paul showed the 5-year-old Steve how to play his first chords.

The Marksmen, Miller’s first band, formed when he was 12-years-old, was eventually joined by friend Boz Scaggs. The Steve Miller Blues Band came into official being in 1967 in San Francisco’s musical hey-day.

Miller's career covers two distinct stages over the course of his 40-year career. The most important musically was as one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Later he became a more mass-market hit maker with tunes such as "The Joker," "Fly Like an Eagle," and "Abracadabra."

Ask purists and they’ll say they still revere his earlier tunes, such as "Motherless Child," "Junior Saw it Happen," "Space Cowboy," "My Dark Hour" and "Your Saving Grace."

His current band includes longtime band mates Norton Buffalo, Billy Peterson, Gordy Knudtson, Joseph Wooten and Kenny Lee Lewis.

Miller said he has been a Snake River Alliance supporter for 15 years.

"I have a real special interest in what they do," he said. "Normally, I don’t make a big deal out of it, but when Margaret called and asked me to be part of the celebration, I said sure. They work long and hard and deserve a party and a pat on the back."

He said he was not interested in a fancier concert with valet parking, for instance.

"I felt like it should be a community concert, really. We looked around for the right place, and eventually talked to the folks at the school district."

To incorporate the community more, the show will include music by some local bands, including the Wood River High School’s Dixieland Band, under the direction of Bart Bailey.

"We’re in the midst of putting it all together right now. We’ve got tapes from Bailey’s groups," Miller said. "It’s going to be a really great concert."

Tickets for the event will go on sale June 15 through www.ticketweb.com or at Chapter One Bookstore and Sunburst Guitar Gallery in Ketchum and at Atkinsons’ Markets in Ketchum and Hailey.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.