Timothy B. Schmit mania descended upon the Saban Theater on December 2 during his sold-out, two-hour long performance. Schmit’s highly-animated and vocal fan base were so overcome with emotion, enthusiasm and sheer excitement that they could barely contain themselves. Often, it seemed as if they were speaking in tongues; whether they shouted or screamed, their remarks were sometimes unintelligible.
Almost a year ago, Schmit performed in Pasadena at The Rose. In comparison to the last show, it seemed that he had a fire lit under his butt. He was conversing with the audience and chatty, talking throughout the night, and totally energized. Clean shaven last year, now Schmit is sporting a scruffy beard. He wore a customized western-styled Poco dress shirt that he remarkably can still fit in, and told a story of how his mother made it for him. There were many mentions of, and nods to, the past at this show, including respectful comments addressed to Richie Furay, who is credited as the founding member of the legendary and quintessential groups Buffalo Springfield, Poco and the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Furay brought Schmit out to Los Angeles from his hometown of Sacramento to join Poco and imparted valuable knowledge about being in the music industry. Furay opened the show and performed with Schmit on “Just Me And You” and “Keep On Tryin” as well as the encore “A Good Feelin’ To Know.”
The expertly crafted show focused on material primarily from Schmit’s long and successful solo career, including his sixth solid album, released last year, Leap of Faith, and songs from his well-known stints in the Poco and The Eagles. Among his vast musical credits, Schmit has also done various session work over the years as a musician and vocalist for Steely Dan, Firefall, Toto and Richard Marx. Powered by his crystalline and high soaring vocals, the bassist and songwriter performed material reflecting affirmatively on life experiences characterized by MOR-ish country rock, 70s soul and funk, bluegrass, Cajun, and Americana styles. The easygoing singer/songwriter’s songs are incredibly accessible, but some tend to sound a bit similar and repetitive musically after awhile, especially during a long show where the pacing lagged. Even the material, though heartfelt, was lyrically simplistic and not very challenging. However, it’s clear Timothy B. Schmit has a significant niche and built-in audience that finds no fault in whatever he does, and the crowd was thoroughly satisfied and entertained throughout the night.
Schmit’s backing band and vocalists are virtual who’s whos of the music industry, having worked with The Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson among their esteemed credits. The backing band includes keyboardist, bassist and vocalist Chris Farmer; Hank Linderman on guitars, bass and vocals; Herman Matthews on drums, percussion and vocals; Bobby Carlos on ukelele and bass and Doobie Brother’s John McFee on guitar, pedal steel and fiddle. Marlena Jeter, Lynne Fiddmont and Mortonette Stephens are the background vocalists. They were exceptional and brought the songs to fully to life. The individual solos were some of the biggest highlights of the night and it was quite incredible to hear and watch such virtuosity and talent.
“One More Mile” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“My Hat” (Leap of Faith, Timothy B. Schmit, 2016) joined by John McFee of the Doobie Brothers on keyboards
“The Shadow” (Feed the Fire, Timothy B. Schmit, 2001)
“Red Dirt Road” (Leap Of Faith, Timothy B. Schmit, 2016)
“Ella Jean” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“White Boy” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“Downtime” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“Parachute” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009) raucous guitar solos with Hank Linderman and John McFee
“I Can See Everything” (Poco, A Good Feelin’ To Know, 1972)
“What I Should Do” (Leap of Faith, Timothy B. Schmit, 2016)
“Just Me And You” (Feed The Fire, Timothy B. Schmit, 2007) with Richie Furay
“Keep On Tryin’” (Head Over Heels, Poco, 1975) with Richie Furay
“Friday Night” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit ,2009)
“I Refuse” (Leap Of Faith, Timothy B. Schmit, 2016)
“Secular Praise” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“I Can’t Tell You Why” (The Long Run, Eagles, 1978)
“A Good Day” (Expando, Timothy B. Schmit, 2009)
“I Don’t Want To Hear Anymore” (Long Road Out Of Eden, Eagles, 2007)
“Love Will Keep Us Alive” (Hell Freezes Over, Eagles, 1994)
“A Good Feelin’ To Know” (A Good Feelin’ To Know, Poco, 1972) with Richie Furay