The highly decorated band Jefferson Starship will perform at the Owensboro RiverPark Center on Oct. 28. The band traces its conception back to 1974 in San Francisco and is excited to be back on the road performing following the extended break triggered by the pandemic.
The show begins at 7 p.m., and vocalist Cathy Richardson said it would feature all their hits and showcase songs from their new album.
“We’re ecstatic to be able to come and play shows after being cooped up for a year and a half,” Richardson said. “We released a record during the lockdown, and we’re excited to get out and start playing some of those songs; we’re excited about singing to people.”
Touted as one of the most successful arena rock groups of the ’70s and ’80s, Jefferson Starship has earned three platinum and eight gold records, in addition to several top-40 singles. The band has undergone several personnel changes during its nearly 50-year existence, but its passion for bringing people together and inspiring peace remains untouched.
“This is the first album that our current group of five has produced; we’re all co-writing together and creating new music as a group,” she said. “We wanted to see what would happen with each of our individual viewpoints contributing to the music. It’s definitely us, but it nods back to the origins of the band.”
Grace Slick and Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane formed the band and quickly invited Paul Kantner of Quicksilver Messenger Service to join them. Kantner wrote the band’s most critically acclaimed hit, Jane, which continues to dominate the streaming charts today.
Other original members include Pete Sears, Craig Chaquico, John Barbata, and Papa John Creach, with Marty Balin joining a decade later. Propelled by the success of the hit singles Miracles and Play on Love, the album Red Octopus went double-platinum, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1975.
“I’m not an original member, but I grew up a huge fan,” Richardson said. “I remember catching their tour in 1983 and having to catch a ride from our friend’s sister. I had all their albums on vinyl, so when this opportunity presented itself, I was like, ‘are you kidding me?’ It’s an incredible honor and responsibility that I take seriously.”
The band went through several significant changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the Jefferson Starship name. The band’s name was retired in 1984 but revitalized in 1992 by Kantner, continuing even after he died in 2016.
Following Kantner’s death, the band received approval from the Kantner and Slick families to continue performing. Slick even granted the current members a lifetime license to use the name Jefferson Starship.
Richardson said the band’s continuation is a tribute to both Kantner and Slick.
The group released their latest studio album Mother of the Sun on Aug. 21, 2020. Mother of the Sun features former bassist Pete Sears on three songs, and the album includes a song written by former singer Marty Balin and a live version of the Jefferson Airplane song Embryonic Journey.
The first single on the album, It’s About Time, was co-written by Jude Gold, Richardson, and Slick. Richardson said that some have said it sounds a lot like country, but she insisted that the entire album is a melting pot of quality sounds, much like American music is.
“It’s American rock-n-roll with a little bit of psychedelia mixed in,” she said.
Richardson also wanted to ensure concert-goers that they would keep their cherished hits at the forefront. She said everyone deserves to hear them and experience them live.
For more information on Jefferson Starship or for additional tour dates, visit their website here.