Earth Wind and Fire have never faded away. The Chicago band continues to play with new generations taking the helm and continuing the legacy that is one of R&B’s most beloved bands, a group that embraces a horn section, the electric guitar, and a little competition at the microphone. Thus, Earth Wind and Fire tickets are never a surprise announcement, though once the word gets out millions of fans do search every single option to find great seats. Much rarer, is the announcement of a new album. This year, 2012, is one of those rare years in which the band is getting ready to celebrate a new album.
The album is Then and Forever and the lead single Guiding Lights has sparked renewed interest in Earth, Wind, and Fire as something more than a chance to induce a little nostalgia. Singers Kim Johnson and Philip Bailey Jr., the competing tenor and falsetto, bring the lyrics alive as Greg Moore plays the rhythm guitar, Myron McKinley plays the keyboard, Morris O’Connor play the lead guitar, and John Paris pounds on the drums. Of course, there will be the classic horn section (Reggie Young on trombone, Gary Bias on saxophone, and Bobby Burns, Jr. on trumpet) and a live show far more energetic than most of the acts out there, no matter who young or old the performers.
This is the first new project for the music institution since illumination released in 2005 and earned a Grammy nomination for best R&B album. The album is yet released, but fans will get to hear the new single when they attend one of the six concert dates scheduled between September 20 and September 30, 2012. Of course the group will also be performing the songs that have endured the ages, including “”That’s the Way of the World” and “Shining Star”. There will be much more for each fan. EWF knows how to put on a complete show featuring the elements of soul, disco, R&B, funk, jazz, and rock that has allowed them to exist for more than four decades with a revolving lineup.