Steve Miller Band

Your Saving Grace

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Your Saving Grace is a much more earthy collection of tunes when compared to the band's previous three long-players. While there are distinct psychedelic remnants of the Boz Scaggs (guitar/vocals) and Jim Peterman (keyboards) era, the addition of keyboardists Ben Sidran and Nicky Hopkins -- which began on the Steve Miller Band's previous effort, Brave New World -- adds a jazzier facet to this second incarnation of the group. Harking back to the band's blues roots, Your Saving Grace includes a couple of distinct blues originals -- such as the up-tempo and gospel-doused "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around" and a somewhat uninspired arrangement of "Motherless Children," which sounds more synchronous with the Sailor or Brave New World albums. The funky "Little Girl," the elegantly pensive "Baby's House," and the title track -- which is oddly programmed as the LP's final cut -- are among the highlights of this disc. Once again, the production is handled by Glyn Johns, whose contributions here are more subdued, yet no less noticeable. This is especially true of Miller's crystalline slide guitar licks on Lonnie Turner's cryptically titled "The Last Wombat in Mecca." The same upfront clean sound holds true on the laid-back and bluesy "Feel So Glad" -- which is punctuated by some inspired and unmistakable ivory tickling by studio wunderkind Nicky Hopkins. Although the album is not as thoroughly solid as earlier efforts, Your Saving Grace and the follow-up, Number 5, are definite bridges between the early trippy montages prevalent on Children of the Future and the direction that Miller would take on his much more successful mid-'70s discs.

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