‘Music of the Eagles’ to soar at Deer Valley
July 12, 2011
With timeless songs such as "Take It Easy," "Desperado," "Hotel California," "I Can’t Tell You Why" and "Wasted Time," the Eagles ruled the radio waves in the 1970s.
Since reuniting in 1994, the band, which is the epitome of the Southern California sound, has gained a new generation of audiences.
On Saturday, July 16, the Utah Symphony and Windborne Productions will play the Eagles music to the pop-symphony audience at Deer Valley.
Conductor Larry Baird, who bright Al Jarreau’s symphonic concert to the Utah Symphony a few years ago, is looking forward to working with the Utah Symphony again.
"I’ve done half dozen or more shows with the Utah Symphony," Baird said during an interview with The Park Record. "It’s always a pleasure for me to work with the Utah Symphony. It’s a fine organization and they have great players, which makes my job so much easier."
Baird also works with the Moody Blues, Kansas, Michael Bolton and Three Dog Night as arranger and music director.
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"The Music of the Eagles" is one of the few productions he didn’t arrange, he said.
That honor goes to Brent Havens, who started Windborne Music and Windborne Productions.
"Brent’s first symphony, if I remember right, was ‘The Music of the Doors,’" Baird said. "The Eagles show was his second. Since then he’s written symphonic arrangements for the music of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Michael Jackson. Pink Floyd and the Who, the new one which just debuted a few weeks ago."
With the popularity of these symphonic shows, Havens needed help meeting the demands, so his agent, who happens to also represent Baird, suggested the two get in touch.
"Brent gave me a call and I’ve been working with him for three years," Baird said.
"The Music of the Eagles" is a straightforward show that also includes a full band, he explained.
"They are all excellent musicians whom I have worked with before," he said. "There are also three singers Glenn DeLaune, Terry Brock and John Hines who really know how to get the audience involved."
The set list will please even the most casual of Eagles fans, Baird said.
"As we all know the Eagles are loaded with hits, so there is a lot of material to pick from," he said. "We’re going to be doing between 16 to 20 songs that include ‘Take It Easy,’ ‘Witchy Woman,’ ‘Best of My Love,’ ‘I Can’t Tell You Why,’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes,’ Take It to the Limit,’ ‘Heartache Tonight’ and, of course, ‘Hotel California.
"Brent picked many of the ones he did because he had to," Baird said with a laugh. "I mean, if we didn’t do ‘Hotel California,’ we wouldn’t be allowed to leave the stage."
Other songs were chosen because they lent themselves so well to orchestration.
"Some of the songs like ‘I Cant’ Tell You Why’ and ‘Take It to the Limit’ are dynamic and give room for the orchestra to shine," Baird said. "I wasn’t too sure how ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Witchy Woman’ were going to work, but they surprised me.
All the songs flow well musically, Baird said.
"It comes together really well and the band has done the show many times, so they know what their doing," he said. "Since the music isn’t full of time-signature changes, after one rehearsal with the symphony, everyone is ready."
Baird, who cited "Wasted Time," "Take It to the Limit" and "Hotel California" as his three Eagles favorites, said the concert gives people a different take on Eagles songs.
"The show keeps the music alive in a different way," he said. "The symphony brings it into a whole different arena. People who have seen the eagles live, and those who have only listened to CD or have seen them only on video, get a chance to hear the music live in a different dimension. It’s fun for us as well as the audience."
At least one original member of the Eagles likes the idea, Baird said.
"The first time I conducted ‘The Music of the Eagles’ was in Palm Desert. Calif.," he said. "Glenn Frey has a home there and he was in town the week we played. I don’t know if he was there the day we did the show, but he was there that week and did an interview. The interviewer asked what Glenn thought about an orchestra doing his songs. He said, ‘I think it’s great.’ It was nice to hear he was all for it."
The Utah Symphony will open the Deer Valley Music Festival with "The Music of the Eagles" at the Snow Park Amphitheatre at the Deer Valley Resort on Saturday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $85 in advance and are available by calling (801) 533-NOTE. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting http://www.usuo.org.