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A fantastic duo….

Thirty-three years after first Sittin’ In together, and nearly thirty years since they last toured together, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina are sitting side by side in Loggins’ living room. The two men are in the early stages of putting together their surprising and heartening Sittin’ In Again reunion tour as well as finalizing a new Loggins & Messina retrospective of the same name.

All this shared activity marks the unexpected and unlikely return of the most successful duo of the early Seventies – a group whose most enduring songs were so well crafted that they have never really gone away. At the same time, Loggins & Messina find themselves in the moving process of healing a personal connection fractured long ago.

“This is less about a musical reunion and more about reuniting a relationship that’s become more of a friendship than ever before,” says Jimmy Messina.

“Nothing like thirty years to be the great leveler,” Kenny Loggins says.

Though Loggins & Messina’s first greatest hits collection was called Best of Friends, both men confess that their relationship has long been a complex and sometimes difficult one. When they first met, Jim Messina was already a well-established success story, having produced and played with the legendary band Buffalo Springfield and later with the country-rock pioneers Poco. Loggins, meanwhile, was a young singer-songwriter with far less experience, but with talent to burn as evidenced by early compositions like “House At Pooh Corner” and “Danny’s Song.” Then Sittin’ In (1972), originally envisioned as a one-off joint release intended to introduce Loggins as part of a Messina six-album production deal with Columbia Records, became a major smash hit.

So as if by public demand, this accidental duo was created. In the next few years, a series of albums would follow in rapid order – 1972’s Loggins & Messina, 1973’s Full Sail, 1974’s double-live On Stage, the same year’s Mother Lode, 1975’s cover song set So Fine and 1976’s Native Sons. The Best of Friends collection followed later that year and in 1977 another live album fittingly called Finale. With that, Loggins & Messina, who had sold sixteen million albums and become one of rock’s most popular draws, was over and apparently done.

In retrospect, the once close connection between Loggins & Messina was torn apart by the unusual nature of their working relationship and by what Messina calls a “divide and conquer strategy that’s been around since Napoleonic times.”

“The trouble with duos is inevitably it becomes a competition,” explains Loggins. “It’s not just the press that pits you against one another – it’s everybody. It’s your business managers, your managers and your lawyers. Everybody wants to get on your good side.”

Complicating matters, Loggins & Messina’s partnership was from the inception not one of equals. “In our original relationship, I came in and auditioned for Jimmy,” Loggins remembers. “Right from the beginning, Jimmy was the producer, I was the artist. I’d never made a record. I’d never put a band together. I’d never found a manager or an agent. So Jimmy was the lead and in that way, he became my mentor. The inevitable thing when you grow through a mentor is you have to leave and go off on your own. Our relationship had become teacher-student, father-son, big brother little brother and eventually it was not healthy for me. I had a lot to prove to myself and, subconsciously I think, I had a lot to prove to Jimmy too.”

In the decades apart, Loggins established himself as a solo artist with a series of albums starting with 1977’s Celebrate Me Home, 1978’s Nightwatch, 1979’s Keep The Fire, 1980’s Alive, 1982’s High Adventure, 1985’s Vox Humana, 1988’s Bacl to Avalon, 1991’s Leap of Faith, 1993’s Outside: From The Redwoods, 1994’s Return To Pooh Corner, 1997’s Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins and The Unimaginable Life, 1998’s December, 2000’s More Songs From Pooh Corner, 2002’s The Essential Kenny Loggins, 2003’s It’s About Time, as well as a number of soundtrack contributions.

During this time, Jim Messina recorded five solo albums: 1979’s Oasis, 1981’s Messina, 1983’s One More Mile and 1996’s Watching The River Run. Messina also reunited with Poco for the 1989 album Legacy, as well as establishing the Songwriters’ Performance Workshop. “The purpose of the workshop is to empower amateurs,” explains Messina.

Today, Jim Messina explains that he has no desire to be in charge. “The nice thing is I get to work with Kenny again, but with him having had all his solo success,” Messina says. “So instead of me being the successful one, now Kenny brings that to this relationship. Quite honestly, I feel good about it now because I can relax. This time I’m looking forward to just being an artist. I’m very excited about playing our music listening to our arrangements and pulling out my dusty mandolin to see if it still works.

Until a recent series of low-key benefit performance together, there had been precious little contact between the two men. “There was just very little bridge left to cross back during those years,” Loggins admits. “There’s the career and there are the wives. Wives will tend to take people in different directions – that’s the cleanest way I can put it.”

When Jimmy joined Kenny at a benefit at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater last year, Loggins noticed something else. “As soon as we hit the harmonies, I was struck by the fact that I hadn’t heard that sound in a long time,” he says. “It hit me like the Everly Brothers hit me the first time they got back together. There was something that in thirty years I had not been able to duplicate with anyone else. There’s a spark here that I’ve completely forgotten about.”

Both men see Sittin’ In Again as a chance to look back at what they’ve achieved.

“This album is about more than hits,” says Messina. “I think one of the reasons we were successful is that we spoke to a generation, not just to a radio station.”

“I wanted this new retrospective to accurately depict who Loggins and Messina was,” adds Loggins. “I wasn’t too concerned with who we became or what songs spoke better now than they did then. I want this to be the quintessential element of who we were then.”

“You know I spent years trying to forget this crap,” Loggins jokes to Messina. Today, he seems struck by the harmonic convergence and of the sound of their original band — Al Garth, Jon Clark, Michael Omartian, Merle Brigante, and Milt Holland. “All the forces came together to create one hell of a band,” Loggins recalls. “We were very lucky.”

As for the Sittin’ In Again tour, both men want to celebrate the past while leaving the future an open and intriguing question. They want their show to feature a Sittin’ In segment that will allow other musical associates and possibly former band members to join them onstage.

As they head back to work auditioning new band members, Loggins & Messina both sound genuinely excited and fully engaged.

For Loggins: “There’s a message of reconciliation here that hearts will heal over time. We’re not the same people, but in some ways, we’re exactly who we were. Essentially, I’m still pretty much naïve. I look back on the last thirty years and think, how the hell did I do that in a world where they try to beat it out of you? So when people ask, ‘What do you see coming for Loggins and Messina?’ I see that we have an incredible second chance at actually having fun and dropping some of the competitive thing. I remember we were so tight at the beginning we’d walk into a clothing shop and both reach for the same shirt or boots.”

For both men the chance to be Sittin’ In Again represents what Jimmy Messina calls “a great and meaningful opportunity.”

“I’m really looking forward to the audiences,” says Kenny Loggins. “I’m looking forward to seeing good friends from long ago and, I’m hoping, some of the friends I’ve picked up along the way. And then . . .well, and then we’ll just see where it goes from there.”

Words and picture from the official website.

Discography

Farewell Concert 1976

Orbit 2018

Tracks: Disc 1: Intro, Another Road, Dannys Song, At the Whiskey, Pretty Princess, Be Free, Bluegrass Medley, Band Intros & Peacemaker -Native Son. Disc 2: Keep Our Love Growin, Angry Eyes, You Need a Man-Wonderful World, Vahevala, You Mama Don´t Dance-Rock´n´roll Medley, Nobody But You & Peace of Mind.

Musicians on the Farewell Concert 1976 album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

On Stage “Digital Re-Mastered”

BGO Records 2013

Tracks: Disc 1: House At Pooh Corner, Danny’s Song, You Could Break My Heart, Lady Of My Heart, Long Tail Cat, Listen To A Country Song, Holiday Hotel, Just Before The News, Angry Eyes, Golden Ribbons & Another Road. Disc 2: Vahevala, Back To Georgia, Trilogy: Lovin’ Me/To Make A Woman Feel Wanted/Peace Of Mind, Your Mama Don’t Dance & Nobody But You.

Musicians on the On Stage album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Larry Sims, Al Garth, Merel Bregante & Jon Clarke.

Finale “Digital Re-Mastered”

BGO Records 2012

Tracks: Introduction, Travelin’ Blues, Medley: Danny’s Song / A Love Song / House At Pooh Corner / Thinking Of You, Keep Me In Mind, Pretty Princess, Brighter Days, Be Free, Peacemaker, Growin’, Motel Cowboy, Country Medley: Listen To A Country Song / Oh, Lonesome Me / I’m Movin’ On / Listen To A Country Song (Reprise), Oklahoma Home Of Mine, Changes, You Need A Man, Lately My Love & Rock & Roll Medley: My Music / Splish Splash / Boogie Man.

Musicians on the Finale album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merle Brigante, Jon Clarke, Vince Denham, Steve Forman, Larry Sims, Richard Greene, Jack Lenz, Don Roberts, George Hawkins, Doug Livingston & others.

So Fine/Native Sons

Beat Goes On 2008

Tracks: Oh Lonesome Me, My Baby Left Me, Wake Up Little Susie, I’m Movin’ On, Hello Mary Lou, Hey Good Lookin’, Splish Splash, A Lover’s Question, You Never Can Tell, I Like It Like That, So Fine, Honky Tonk Pt. II, Sweet Marie, Pretty Princess, My Lady My Love, When I Was A Child, Wasting Our Time, Peacemaker, It´s Alright, Boogie Man, Fox Fire & Native Son.

Musicians on the So Fine/Native Sons album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

Sittin´In/Loggins & Messina

Beat Goes On 2007

Tracks: Nobody But You, Danny´s Song, Vahevale, Trilogy: Lovin´Me/To Make A Woman Feel Wanted/Peace Of Mind, Back To Georgia, House At Pooh Corner, Listen To A Country Song, Same Old Wine, Rock´n Roll Mood, Good Friend, Whiskey, You Mama Don´t Dance, Long Tail Cat, Golden Ribbons, Thinking Of You, Just Before The News, Till The Ends Meets, Holiday Hotel, Lady Of My Heart & Angry Eyes.

Musicians on the Sittin´In/Loggins & Messina album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

Full Sail/Moder Lode

Beat Goes On 2007

Tracks: Lahaina, Travelin´Blues, My Music, A Love Song, You Need A Man/Coming To You, Watching The River Run, Pathway To Glory, Didn´t I Know You When, Sailin´The Wind, Growin’, Be Free, Changes, Brighter Days, Time To Space, Lately My Love, Move On, Get A Hold, Keep Me In Mind & Fever Dream.

Musicians on the Finale album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

Finale

Wounded Bird Records 2007

Tracks: Introduction, Travelin’ Blues, Medley: Danny’s Song / A Love Song / House At Pooh Corner / Thinking Of You, Keep Me In Mind, Pretty Princess, Brighter Days, Be Free, Peacemaker, Growin’, Motel Cowboy, Country Medley: Listen To A Country Song / Oh, Lonesome Me / I’m Movin’ On / Listen To A Country Song (Reprise), Oklahoma Home Of Mine, Changes, You Need A Man, Lately My Love & Rock & Roll Medley: My Music / Splish Splash / Boogie Man.

Musicians on the Finale album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merle Brigante, Jon Clarke, Vince Denham, Steve Forman, Larry Sims, Richard Greene, Jack Lenz, Don Roberts, George Hawkins, Doug Livingston & others.

So Fine

Wounded Bird Records 2007

Tracks: Oh Lonesome Me, My Baby Left Me, Wake Up Little Susie, I’m Movin’ On, Hello Mary Lou, Hey Good Lookin’, Splish Splash, A Lover’s Question, You Never Can Tell, I Like It Like That, So Fine, Honky Tonk Pt. II, Angry Eyes (Single Version) (Bonus Track) & I Like It Like That (Single Version) (Bonus Track).

Musicians on the So Fine album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merel Bregante, Jon Clarcke, Vinde Denham, Steve Forman, Richard Greene, Milt Holland, Don Roberts, Michael Rubini, Larry Sims and others.

Their Music

Sony BMG 2006

Tracks: Your Mama Don´t Dance, My Music, Vahevala, Danny´s Song, Angry Eyes, House At Pooh Corner, Hello Mary Lou, Wake Up Little Susie, Rock´N Roll Mood & When I Was A Child.

Musicians on the Their Music album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

Live

Rhino Records 2005

Tracks: Watching The River Run, House At Pooh Corner, Listen To A Country Song / Holiday Hotel, Back To Georgia, Trilogy: Lovin’ Me / Make A Woman Feel Wanted / Peace Of Mind, Your Mama Don’t Dance, A Love Song, Same Old Wine, Changes, Vahevala, Angry Eyes, Nobody But You & Danny’s Song.

Musicians on the Live album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Gabe Dixon, Steve Distanslo, Jeff Nathanson, Steve Nieves, Shem Schroeck & Gabe Witcher.

Sittin´ In Again

Columbia Records 2005

Tracks: Watching the River, Travelin’ Blues, Your Mama Don’t Dance, Be Free, Till the Ends Meet, Nobody But You, House at Pooh Corner, A Love Song, Danny’s Song, Long Tail Cat, Just Before the News, Listen to a Country Song, Good Friend, Same Old Wine, Changes, Angry Eyes, Sailin’ the Wind & Vahevala.

Musicians on the Sittin´In Again album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

Star Box

CBS Records 1989

Tracks: Danny’s Song, House At Pooh Corner, Peace Of Mind, Valhevala, Your Mama Don’t Dance, Thinking Of You, Good Friend, Angry Eyes, Travelin’ Blues, My Music, Watching The River Run, A Love Song, Be Free, Growin’, Peacemaker, Native Son, Wasting Our Time, Splish Splash & A Lover’s Question.

Musicians on the Star Box album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina and others.

The Best Of Loggins & Messina

CBS Records 1980

Tracks: Valhevala, Danny’s Song, Whiskey, House At Pooh Corner, Angry Eyes, Golden Ribbons, My Music, Brighter Days, Keep  Me In Mind, Peacemaker, I’m Movin’ On & Till the Ends Meet.

Musicians on the Best of Loggins & Messina album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Al Garth, Merle  Bregante, Larry Sims & others.

Finale

Columbia Records 1978

Tracks: Introduction, Travelin’ Blues, Medley: Danny’s Song / A Love Song / House At Pooh Corner / Thinking Of You, Keep Me In Mind, Pretty Princess, Brighter Days, Be Free, Peacemaker, Growin’, Motel Cowboy, Country Medley: Listen To A Country Song / Oh, Lonesome Me / I’m Movin’ On / Listen To A Country Song (Reprise), Oklahoma Home Of Mine, Changes, You Need A Man, Lately My Love & Rock & Roll Medley: My Music / Splish Splash / Boogie Man.

Musicians on the Finale album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merle Brigante, Jon Clarke, Vince Denham, Steve Forman, Larry Sims, Richard Greene, Jack Lenz, Don Roberts, George Hawkins, Doug Livingston & others.

The Best Of Friends

Columbia Records 1976

Tracks: Angry Eyes, Be Free, Vahevala, Peace Of Mind, My Music, Thinking Of You, House At Pooh Corner, Watching The River Run, Danny’s Song & Your Mama Don’t Dance.

Musicians on the Best of Friends album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merle Bregante, Jon Clarke, Al Garth, Michael Omartian, Larry Sims, Milt Holland, Victor Feldman and others.

Native Sons

Columbia Records 1976

Tracks: Sweet Marie, Pretty Princess, My Lady My Love, When I Was A Child, Wasting Our Time, Peacemaker, It´s Alright, Boogie Man, Fox Fire & Native Son.

Musicians on the Native Son album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merle Bregante, Jon Clarke, Vince Denham, Steve Forman, Richard Greene,  Milt Holland, Don Roberts, Mike Rubini, Ed Sanford, Larry Sims, John Townshead & Murray MacLeod.

So Fine

Columbia Records 1975

Tracks: Oh Lonesome Me, My Baby Left Me, Wake Up Little Susie, I’m Movin’ On, Hello Mary Lou, Hey Good Lookin’, Splish Splash, A Lover’s Question, You Never Can Tell, I Like It Like That, So Fine & Honky Tonk Pt. II.

Musicians on the So Fine album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Merel Bregante, Jon Clarcke, Vinde Denham, Steve Forman, Richard Greene, Milt Holland, Don Roberts, Michael Rubini, Larry Sims and others.

Mother Lode

Columbia Records 1974

Tracks: Growin’, Be Free, Changes, Brighter Days, Time To Space, Lately My Love, Move On, Get A Hold, Keep Me In Mind & Fever Dream.

Musicians on the Mother Lode album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Jon Clarke, Al Garth, Merle Brigante, Larry Sims, Milt Holland, Victor Feldman, David Paich, Don Roberts & David Wallace.

On Stage

Columbia Records 1974

Tracks: DISC 1: House At Pooh Corner, Danny’s Song, You Could Break My Heart, Lady Of My Heart, Long Tail Cat, Listen To A Country Song, Holiday Hotel, Just Before The News, Angry Eyes, Golden Ribbons & Another Road. DISC 2: Vahevala, Back To Georgia, Trilogy: Lovin’ Me/To Make A Woman Feel Wanted/Peace Of Mind, Your Mama Don’t Dance & Nobody But You.

Musicians on the On Stage album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Larry Sims, Al Garth, Merel Bregante & Jon Clarke.

Full Sail

Columbia Records 1973

Tracks: Lahaina, Travelin´Blues, My Music, A Love Song, You Need A Man/Coming To You, Watching The River Run, Pathway To Glory, Didn´t I Know You When & Sailin´The Wind.

Musicians on the Full Sail album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Al Garth, Jon Clarke, Larry Sims, Merle Bregante, Rusty Young, Vince Charles, Milt Holland & Michael Omartian.

Loggins And Messina

Columbia Records 1972

Tracks: Good Friend, Whiskey, You Mama Don´t Dance, Long Tail Cat, Golden Ribbons, Thinking Of You, Just Before The News, Till The Ends Meets, Holiday Hotel, Lady Of My Heart & Angry Eyes.

Musicians on the Loggins & Messina album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Al Garth, Jon Clarke, Larry Sims, Merle Bregante, Rusty Young, Milt Holland & Michael Omartian.

Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin´In

Columbia Records 1972

Tracks: Nobody But You, Danny´s Song, Vahevale, Trilogy: Lovin´Me/To Make A Woman Feel Wanted/Peace Of Mind, Back To Georgia, House At Pooh Corner, Listen To A Country Song, Same Old Wine & Rock´n Roll Mood.

Musicians on the Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin´In album: Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Al Garth, Jon Clarke, Larry Sims, Merle Bregante, Milt Holland & Michael Omartian.

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