by John Herdt with Tim & Teri Martin

The difficulties Tommy Bolin was faced with in 1976 have been well documented. In 1975 he had simultaneously launched a solo career and joined Deep Purple as a full member. By November 1976 he had left Deep Purple and was touring with the Tommy Bolin Band to promote his newest solo album Private Eyes. He had to regain the momentum lost when his 1975 album Teaser came out at the same time as Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band and thus was not properly promoted or toured for.

The Tommy Bolin Band had a show scheduled for November 22 in Tommy’s home town of Sioux City, Iowa. Following that show was a rare two week break before traveling to Florida to open for Jeff Beck in Miami, so Tommy decided to stay for Thanksgiving with his family.

Tommy’s brother Johnnie, who had been playing drums on tour with the Tommy Bolin Band until early October, was now back in Sioux City and happened to be playing at the Jet Bar in Sioux City on the evening of November 24.

Tommy and some friends went down and the gig became a super show which featured some of the cream of a very fine Sioux City music scene. Details are scarce, but it is believed that along with Tommy and Johnnie Bolin were John Bartle, Mark Craney, Scott Isaacson, George Larvick, Butch Porter, Roger Rothwell and Archie Shelby. Fantastic performances are turned in by all. Some tracks feature up to three guitarists blending together in outstanding form, but when Tommy steps up you know it.

This CD compiles a mix of material which includes rock, blues, R&B, funk and fusion, resulting in a auditory joyride.

The time at home and the chance to play music in a purely creative setting with excellent musicians and an inspiring crowd proved to be tonic for the pressures that Tommy had been enduring. This material documents some of the finest singing and playing that he did in 1976. It must have been Heaven to be there that night, and Tommy plays like it was.