All it took was hearing the opening strains of Christopher Cross’ profound, “Sailing” online at SiriusXM’s new Yacht Rock channel online before bookmarking it on the computer. It was already locked in on the car radio. The station programming two-week trial began Aug, 21 at 5:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 31. The good news is that it is a featured channel all the way through Labor Day weekend. The bad news is that, currently, that’s when it ends, too.
If you love the music of Christopher Cross, Toto, Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Player, and more, this is the only SiriusXM channel you’ll be playing for the next two weeks. In just one sitting, the station played “Sailing” by Christopher Cross, “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs, “FM” by Steely Dan, “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree, “Baby I’m-a Want You” by Bread, “How Much I Feel” by Ambrosia, “Smooth Operator” by Sade, “You Can Do Magic” by America, Toto’s “I’ll Be Over You,” Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgetting,” 10cc’s “Dreadlock Holiday,” Bertie Higgins’ “Key Largo,” and the groove was capped with England Dan and John Ford Coley’s “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” and Hall and Oates’ “Sara Smile.”
There’s no music better to soft-rock-loving Boomers than the songs on this channel. You know all the words to all the songs, all the breaks, and one would dare you not to air-guitar the bass groove to Ace’s “How Long.” You know you will.
The SiriusXM concept of Yacht Rock Radio was likely inspired by the popularity of the “Sail Rock 2013” tour that featured Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree, and Player. That tour did so well that the “Rock the Yacht Tour 2015” began in July, featuring Little River Band, Ambrosia, Player, Stephen Bishop, and Robbie Dupree, as noted by the Albright Entertainment Group.
For the 2015 summer tour, Jeff Albright notes that Player has original members Peter Beckett (guitar/vocals) and Ronn Moss (TV’s Ridge on and bass/vocals) and Ambrosia features original members Joe Puerta (bass/vocals), Christopher North (keyboards), and Burleigh Drummond (drums). Check out Little River Band’s website to see who’s there today; the talented musicians are not the same as on the records. But if you know that up front, you’re not surprised, and you can enjoy the songs same as when LRB sold over 30,000,000 CDs.
Meanwhile there’s only one Stephen Bishop, one Robbie Dupree, so you’re good to go sailing. Future dates for the Rock the Yacht tour are Sept. 16, Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky and Sept. 18, IP Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Want more? There are also still several good dates on the Happy Together Tour to hear music by other favorite performers (The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, The Cowsills, The Association and Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders) in Ontario (tonight); Fort Wayne, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Riverside, Iowa; Moorhead, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota; Canfield, Ohio; and Essex Junction, Vermont.
If you can’t make the live concert dates, your best bet is Sirius XM’s Yacht Rock Channel. Their “Coffee House” station has moved to Channel 16 on their lineup in case you’re looking for it, but for the next two weeks, classic rock lovers will be able to lock in on SiriusXM Channel 31 and sail poignantly and gently as the sun sets on summer 2015. And if you like what you hear, follow Yacht Rock on Twitter and let them know you would like to keep it around. Perhaps they’ll make it permanent.
Time for smooth operators to make a cool change. Grab a pina colada at a bar called O’Malley’s and plan your escape, or just steal away and go sailing to Key Largo, just like Bogie and Bacall. If you get caught between the moon and New York City, just look for Vahevala, and homeward sail away.