“Mama Told Me” to ride in on a “Horse With No Name” and check out two bands who helped pioneer the jangly-guitar-and-falsetto-harmonies revolution of the ’70s — a sound that’s still recognizable today in the music of indie-pop bands the Lumineers.
If you’re into the above play on song titles, congrats — you are the target audience and will want to scoop up your tickets for the America and Three Dog Night tour, which stops at Hard Rock Live this week. The two bands have joined forces for a dual U.S. headlining tour.
Maybe the younger generation can recognize the music of these groups from times spent leaned back in dentists chairs, but back in their day, these two bands churned out certified hits, like America’s “Ventura Highway” and “Sister Golden Hair” and Three Dog Night’s “One” and “Shambala.”
America, ironically formed in England in 1970, met as progeny of American Air Force personnel living in London. By the mid-’70s, they were famous for working with former Beatles hitmaker George Martin, who helped them write chart-toppers “Tin Man” and “Lonely People.” The band still records new music to this day, when it’s not getting smooth and nostalgic out on tour.
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Three Dog Night, an American group formed in 1967, has the distinction of writing 21 Billboard Top 40 hits, including three number-one songs, all within a six-year span. The five-piece also still records between live appearances. While it’s rare for a band to achieve such long-lasting commercial success playing mostly covers, that’s exactly what Three Dog Night has done — achieving a great deal of market success with Harry Nilsson’s “One” and Elton John’s “Lady Samantha,” among handfuls of other songs.
While the current coheadlining tour is aimed at baby boomers who grew up with the music, there’s plenty of room for newcomers to enjoy some huge songs from rock ’n’ roll’s Golden Age and get a taste of where some of today’s bands have drawn their acoustic-harmony-infused influences. All new music rides in on the backs of a prior generation’s, so rather than just read about it, hear what it was all about at the America and Three Dog Night show. So get your horse, tell your mama you’re on your way, and enjoy.
America and Three Dog Night
8 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $40 to $60 plus fees. Call 866-502-7529, or visit ticketmaster.com.