Average White Band

Friday, March 25; the Ambassador, 114 Northland Shopping Center, Jennings

Everyone has a horror story of seeing some once-beloved band appear twenty to thirty years after it had a hit. My favorite was the time Bachman-Turner Overdrive played at a bowling alley in Collinsville, Illinois -- with nary a Bachman nor a Turner in the group.

But then again, there are those occasions when the oldies circuit delivers the goods for real, and by all accounts, that's what you get when you see the Average White Band in concert these days. Original members? Well, there are only two out of the six left from AWB's hit-making days of the 1970s, but this doesn't seem to be a problem. The two are Alan Gorrie, bassist and lead vocalist on many of the band's songs, and Onnie McIntyre, one of the funkiest rhythm guitarists in history.

Not to take anything away from the contributions of the missing members, but the Average White Band's classic approach was rooted more in the creation of a groove than in individual expression. So a group like this can re-create its sound with especially competent players brought on board, and this seems to be the case. If you've never had a chance to hear "Pick Up the Pieces," "Cut the Cake" or "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" performed live, maybe it's time to polish the dancing shoes and catch these guys.

Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23.50-$28.50; call 314-389-6767 for more information.

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