King Calaway on Steve Miller Band’s Influence

King Calaway will share the stage with Steve Miller Band’s Steve Miller Saturday night (Dec. 31), during New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash on CBS. Ahead of the festivities, King Calaway sat down with American Songwriter to share the band’s influence, discuss their latest track—fittingly titled “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band)”—and detail what it’s like working with Zac Brown as producer.

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Honored to perform “Take the Money and Run” with Miller tonight, King Calaway singer and guitarist Chad Michael Jervis recalls first hearing Steve Miller Band as a child. He was around age 11 when he heard the band’s No. 1 song, “The Joker,” while playing Guitar Hero. He’d go on to catch the band live, pick up the guitar himself and eventually pay homage to the group with “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band).”

“I’ve seen him multiple times as well and he still kicks it,” Jervis tells American Songwriter. “He’s had such a big influence for his time. When we first heard ‘I’m Feelin’ Good’ when it was pitched to us, I immediately was just like, ‘Yeah!’ because I can relate to that really hard.

“To play with him tonight is such an honor and to share a stage with him. It’ll be a really cool moment.”

[RELATED: 5 Deep Cuts From Steve Miller Band That You Should Be Listening To]

King Calaway pay tribute to Steve Miller Band’s iconic anthems in their feel-good track “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band),” written by Chris Stevens, Neil Thrasher, and Wendell Mobley, and produced by Brown.

I’m feelin’ good / Ain’t got no plans / Only place I wanna be is right where I am / Rockin’ my baby with a drink in my hand / To rockin’ me baby, Steve Miller Band, King Calaway sings on “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band).”

Steve Miller has heard the song and “he’s super into it,” shares guitarist Caleb Miller (no relation).

“We look up to him like crazy so to have that stamp of approval, it’s really cool,” Caleb adds.

King Calaway admire Miller as a songwriter and musician. They’ll perform Steve Miller Band’s 1976 hit “Take the Money and Run” with Miller during the CBS New Year’s Eve broadcast. King Calaway singer and guitarist Simon Dumas likens “Take the Money and Run” to a love story and a story song with entertaining lyrics.

“It’s not this really deep love story, but it’s a really entertaining lyric,” Dumas notes. “I think that was really refreshing to remember and to go into songwriting rooms and not always have to do the deep message. You can also have some fun with the lyrics, but still, tell a story about Bobbie Sue and Billy Joe.”

The quartet says “Take the Money and Run” has changed in meaning now that they’ll be performing it with Miller. “It’s a little more nerve-wracking,” drummer Chris Deaton admits.

Adds Jervis, “We’ve heard that song so much growing up. To actually sit down and break it down because when you listen to the recording, there’s so many different hits and so many different accents in the lyrics that you just want to make sure it’s all precise and all together.

“It’s really kind of brilliant, breaking it down and seeing it all together,” Jervis notes. “He made really interesting creative choices that are really fun to play in a live setting.”

King Calaway has another hit singer/songwriter in their corner with Zac Brown Band’s frontman. Brown signed on to produce the band’s “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band).” King Calaway previously teamed up with Brown for “When I Get Home,” a song he co-wrote and produced. King Calaway debuted the track at the 2022 CMA Fest during Zac Brown Band’s Nissan Stadium set in Nashville.

Deaton credits Brown for urging the band to record the song live with their instruments and harmonies. “We even cut everything how we do it together [live],” Deaton says. “It’s not like I go lay down my drums and Caleb stacks on top. We play everything live and we like to be super band-y. So, for Zac to come in and have somebody produce that is the best at that, it really helped.”

King Calaway, Steve Miller, Zac Brown Band, and more perform tonight during New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash on CBS (8 p.m.–1:30 a.m. ET).

Photo Credit: Ben Smallbone/BBR Music Group

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