What do you get when you take Funk, Jazz, R&B and Rock & Roll and mix it all together? Well, you get one of the greatest bands of all time; WAR has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.
Lonnie Jordan, original lead singer, keyboardist extraordinaire and musical director has always been the voice of WAR and is one of the most versatile and musically talented men of the twentieth century. His powerful voice presides over WAR’s political, historical and downright fun songbook. Whether listening to “Lowrider” on “Grand Theft Auto San Andreas” or on classic vinyl, WAR’s music is a timeless thread in the quilt of American pop culture. War, one of he most influential bands of the 1970’s with its funk infused brand rock and roll that became one of eh best selling acts from that era. With such hits as ‘Low Rider’, ‘Sippin the Wine, ‘Cisco Kid’ to name a few one can’t help to remember a certain moment in time.
One of the reasons WAR songs have graced the soundtracks of so many films, is that their music is a part of the soundtrack of a generation. They are bringing their stage show to Miami as Magic City Casino host WAR, with special guest Rare Earth at Stage 305 on Saturday, June 15 at 8pm.
We sat down with original lead singer Lonnie Jordan to discuss the band’s legacy, and the upcoming show.
What is it like to be back out on the road with War?
LJ: We love playing live. 45 years and still going strong, what can you say about that? The influence the band has had in the fusion music is huge. How did that sound of funk, rock, jazz all come together? Our music has always been about taking chances from street experience. We liked all music and tried to bring in everyone’s influences to music. It just worked.
You guys used to have the late Deacon Jones sit in with you; what did he play?
LJ: Deacon Jones was a football player for the Rams. He didn’t play an instrument. In the mid 60s we performed as his backup band calling ourselves the Night Shift at the time he was trying to pursue a singing career.
You have had so many of your songs on movie soundtracks, any idea how many?
LJ: I lost count (Laughs). But it is cool to have that where people still want to use our music. We are a soundtrack for so many memories. Do you ever hear a track and know they were listening to a War song when they were writing that one? LJ: Absolutely. It makes me smile every time think ‘ahh ,so they are War fans to!’
It must feel good to know you had a musical impact on so many artists from so many genres.
LJ: It really does. It’s an honor, especially from the younger generation. There are so many greta bands and songwriters, that when someone taps into what you have done it makes it special.
Please tell us the back story of who the ‘Cisco Kid’ was. Everyone just loves that song.
LJ: The Cisco Kid was a Mexican hero on black & white TV in the late 50s, played by Duncan Renaldo, as the Cisco Kid, and his sidekick Pancho played by Leo Carrillo. Just thought the riff we wrote fit that character and it worked! I love that song.
Any plans to get into the studio with this current line up?
LJ: We just finished an album, and we plan to release a single hopefully within 2 months or sooner, and I’m not sure when the release date for the album is yet because of marketing and promotional planning which could take a little time.
With the show at Magic City Casino, what can the fans expect?
LJ: A lot of energy and flashback. We lay it out onstage as we always have done. You come out to see us, you are going walk away with a smile knowing you just saw a great show.