LEAD VOCALS/RHYTHM GUITARS
13 Top 40 Hits (2 #1)
The latest chapter of REO history began in the spring of 2000 when the band joined forces with fellow Midwest rockers, Styx, for a sold-out, nationwide, co-headline tour. The band members became such good friends and the tour was such a success, that the tour was captured on a live CD and DVD entitled “Arch Allies”. The bands appeared together on “The Today Show”, VH1 and on numerous syndicated radio shows. Together, the bands organized a series of concerts to benefit the New York Port Authority Police and the families of the officers who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks. REO and Styx continue to pack venues across the country whenever they appear together in concert.
Over the following two years, REO Speedwagon toured non-stop, playing all the usual concert stops, but also getting back to the band’s roots in small town America. “These are the people who supported our music from the beginning. This is REO country”, says Kevin Cronin. These are the people who sing along every night to the songs he has written such as the number one hits, “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep On Loving You”, as well as the classics “Roll With The Changes”, “Keep Pushin’”, “Time For Me To Fly”, “Riding The Storm Out” and “Take It On The Run”.
During this time, the band was honored with a “Behind The Music” special on VH1. Kevin Cronin was a guest panelist on “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher”; he came in a close second on “Rock ‘n Roll Jeopardy”, and was interviewed by his old buddy Howard Stern on the “Howard Stern Show”.
In 2003 REO joined fellow classic rockers Journey and old friends Styx for the “Main Event Tour”, a tour of the arenas which they had all been filling since the late ‘70’s. The tour was an incredible success and generated an abundance of positive press. Yes, even members of the sometimes antagonistic rock press had to finally admit that REO had “kept their standards extremely high”, and were “thrilling their fans night after night with their incredible power, sheer energy, and songs that will live forever”.
As much as the band loves touring the country playing their “nothing but hits” live shows, it is new songs which have been the lifeblood of REO since its first album in 1971. Between shows of the “Main Event Tour”, in hotel rooms across the country, the inspiration struck and the band members began writing in earnest.
The band began introducing these new songs into their live shows and the fan reaction was positive. Thus the new album was born.
While not touring, the band has been in the studio for the last 18 months working on their first CD of new songs since 1996’s “Building The Bridge”.
“It has been an intense few years, crazy years for me, but that’s when I usually do my best writing”, says Cronin. “All of us have been going through some big time changes, and it shows in our performances on the new record.”
The band has teamed up with producer, keyboard whiz and all around musical genius Joe Vannelli (Gino’s brother and musical partner). “Joe has brought a musicality to the new songs which is thrilling”, says Cronin. “Dave is playing with such amazing versatility, using all his vast arsenal of guitars and amps, Bruce and Bryan who have always been such a powerhouse rhythm section, have never played tighter or stronger together. And Joe’s keyboard ideas are taking our music to places we’ve never been before and will allow Neal to take those ideas to our live shows”.
The band is putting the finishing touches on the new album. The record will be released, “when all the pieces are in place, and the time is right…” which most likely translates to late 2006 or early 2007. The buzz in the REO camp is unmistakable. It is a familiar feeling for this band, one they felt in 1978 during the sessions for their classic album “You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish” and again three years later when they released the 10 million selling “Hi Infidelity”.
Lead Singer and principle songwriter. He joined the group in 1972 in time for the band's second album, REO/TWO A year later, he left to pursue a solo career. Cronin returned to the fold in time for 1977's Live: You Get What You Play For, the band's first million-selling album.
Keyboard player and founding member. A versatile musician, Doughty plays the organ as well as piano and synthesizers.
Bass player extraordinaire. He joined REO in 1976 when he was playing in a bar band in Champaign, IL, the same musical scene that spawned REO Speedwagon.
The man who keeps the beat. He joined REO in 1990 after enjoying success with Wang Chung.
Lead Guitarist. He joined REO in 1989 after playing with Ted Nugent and Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora.
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