Steve Miller Band

Roadrunner, 2010

REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


I have been waiting for this album since I read a couple of years ago that Steve Miller and his band were working on new material for an upcoming release. Needless to say, I eventually gave up on it and it seemed to me the band did, too, as they toured throughout 2009 with no news about the new release surfacing at all. That is, of course, until now, because apparently Bingo! was recorded alongside another album due for release early next year. 

I’m not sure if the delay in releasing this one had anything to do with the untimely passing of the great Norton Buffalo in October of 2009, but the disc is dedicated to him and his work on here is as vital as it always was. Bingo! is the first studio album form The Steve Miller Band in seventeen long years, and I’m pleased to say the wait was more than worth it, because this is the best thing I’ve heard all year. The boys have produced a vibrant, slick, and rocking album of blues/rock covers that sound just as good as their classic work of the ‘70s and early ‘80s.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Miller’s voice is ageless and he breezes through these songs with a rock star cool that belies his 66 years. The band were on fire in the studio, and it’s Joseph Wooten’s piano playing that’s the star of this one. His brilliant work is the highlight of this set for me and it’s a big reason why these songs work as well as they do. All of the arrangements are as tight as can be but are still free enough for the guys to cut loose and shake, rattle, and roll when they need to. 

It’s impossible for me to select favorites from this set because they are all brilliant and there’s not one song that doesn’t work or falls flat. But a few highlights start with the opener Jimmie Vaughan’s “Hey Yeah” and “Don’t Cha Know,” the latter which features some rhythm guitar by Kenny Lee Lewis and some doo-wop inspired backing vocals. 

Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani makes a couple of welcome guest appearances on the B.B. King classic “Rock Me Baby” (which is worth the price of the disc on its own) and another Vaughan track, “Sweet Soul Vibe.” A blistering romp through Earl King’s “Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)” finds the band again having more fun reenergizing a classic party song. The pace drops a few cogs for a stellar slow-burning rendition of “All Your Love (I Miss Loving),” of which Miller’s sublime, longing performance is a definite highlight. 

“You Got Me Dizzy” and “Who’s Been Talkin’?” fit really well with the rest of the material on offer here, and “Tramp” is the most fun you can have with your pants on.  The album’s closer is one of my all time favorite songs, the Jessie Hill-penned Ike and Tina classic “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” which the band have transformed into a tight, bouncy boogie that works a treat. Miller chose wisely not to take on Tina’s fiery delivery but gave it a cool Tom Petty-esque reading instead. 

Well, look at that, it seems every song here’s a highlight after all. Bingo!

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


I'm a big Steve Miller fan and have been waiting just like the reviewer. I hope this CD is as good as he says it is. SMB doesn't dissapoint, can't wait to get it.

© 2010 Mark Millan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Roadrunner, and is used for informational purposes only.