The well-known progressive soft rock band Ambrosia will perform Saturday, April 8, at the Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. with opening performances by local musicians Bob Shawgo and Brandon Shick.
In 1970, four young musicians from the South Bay of Los Angeles came together to create a new, invigorating style of music, exploring the possibilities of progressive, classical and world influences, while rooted in the soul of the blues and rhythm and blues.
It is said that they chose the name Ambrosia to represent a vision of their music: all shades, textures, colors and styles.
Those founding band members included guitarist and vocalist David Pack, bassist and vocalist Joe Puerta, keyboardist Christopher North and drummer Burleigh Drummond. A year later, the group was discovered by Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor, Zubin Mehta, who featured them in an event titled “All-American Dream Concert.”
Between 1975 and 1980, the group released five hit singles on Warner Bros. Records including “How Much I Feel,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Cash Box Top 100, “You’re the Only Woman (You & I),” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Biggest Part of Me,” which reached No. 3 for three straight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and crossed over to the soul chart, where it peaked at No. 35.
In its brief recording history, the group garnered five Grammy nominations, including Best Pop Vocal Group, and attracted collaborations with such cultural icons as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Alan Parsons.
The group continues to sell out concerts around the world, with the additions of Doug Jackson on electric guitar, Mary Harris on keyboards, and the powerful and contemporary lead vocals and acoustic guitar of Ken Stacey.
Two local artists will open the Barrow-Civic concert. Bob Shawgo is a guitarist, bassist and vocalist who is currently a member of the band “Nine in Dog Years” and the duo “Lonesome Bob and Steve.” He frequently performs at the Red Bandana Winery in Leeper and other regional breweries and venues. Brandon Shick is a guitarist and vocalist who started playing guitar at the age of 11 and played lead guitar in Franklin High School’s jazz band. He is a member of the group Hanna- Williamson-Shick along with his father and grandfather.
Concert ticket holders will be entered into a drawing. One audience member will win an autographed Alvarez guitar and two passes to meet the band.
Tickets are $50 for orchestra seating and $40 for main or upper seating.
For reservations, people may visit the Barrow box office at 1223 Liberty St., Franklin, call 437-3440, or visit barrowtheatre.com.