Steve Miller - lead guitar, vocals
Bobby Winkelmann - guitar
Lonnie Turner - bass
Tim Davis - drums, vocals
The Steve Miller Band had burst onto the ballroom scene in late 1966 with a unique mixture of sophisticated blues and sonic experimentation. Miller was an excellent songwriter and arranger, skills which made him a huge star in the '70s. These tracks, however, are focused on his fine guitar playing, which was muted during his more successful seventies period.
The current Steve Miller Band album at the time of this recording, Your Saving Grace, was the band's fourth, having been produced in San Francisco and London with layers of keyboards and guitar overdubs. On stage, the Steve Miller Band had a much more raw sound. The first track, "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," is basically a blues shuffle with a few improvised standard blues lyrics, although the jamming periodically drifts into melodic territory. The second song was a lengthy arranged instrumental in a style familiar to fans of the early Miller Band, but not so well known on record.
Original bassist Lonnie Turner and drummer Tim Davis on drums were still on board here, although Turner would leave a few months later, only to rejoin in the '70s and co-write "Jungle Love." The rhythm guitarist was Bobby Winkelmann, formerly of Lafayette's finest psychedelic band, Frumious Bandersnatch. In any case, Winkelmann ended up playing bass by the time Steve Miller Band recorded their next album, Number 5.
All in all, a brief but fascinating slice of a very interesting side of Steve Miller that was much submerged in the 1970s.