By: Jeff Perlman Editor in Chief
The songs are so familiar they feel like part of your DNA.
For music fans who came of age in the 70s and 80s, Ambrosia was a radio staple with a melodic sound that produced 5 chart topping hits including “Biggest Part of Me,” “How Much I Feel” and “You’re the Only Woman.”
The band chose the name Ambrosia because the word represented all colors, textures, shades and styles capturing their eclectic influences ranging from “prog rock” and country rock harmonies to blue-eyed soul and pop. Influences ranged from King Crimson and Crosby Stills & Nash to The Beatles, Ravi Shankar and blue eyed soul.
Their music—sometimes referred to as “melodic prog”—remains a radio staple nearly 48 years after first forming in Los Angeles.
Ambrosia will be visiting Boca Raton’s Funky Biscuit Nov. 9 for two shows at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Fans will be seeing the original line-up which has managed to stay together for half a century thanks to musical kinship and personal friendship—a rarity in the business.
We recently had a chance to catch up with drummer Burleigh Drummond who told us that he loves Boca Raton and has dreams of one day living here. Drummond is a generous and kind interview, sharing insights with humor and a deep love for his bandmates Joseph Puerta, Christopher North, David Pack, and Burleigh’s wife Mary Harris, who is now a permanent band member after a long stint with Jimmy Buffett among others.
“Our longevity is amazing,” says Drummond. “It’s a godsend and really special. It’s also wonderful to have my wife with me. I don’t do well alone in hotel rooms. She’s my closest friend and I’m extremely grateful that’s she’s part of Ambrosia.”
Drummond says a band is very much like a relationship.
“Being in a band is like being in marriage,” he says. “You have to know what’s important and what’s not…what to hold on to and what to let go.”
But while other bands from the era split up acrimoniously, Ambrosia stayed the course and now they are reaping the rewards of longevity.
“There is such a great feeling at our shows,” he says. “You can feel the warmth from the audience and we thrive on that. I think it’s better now than in our heyday. And as musicians we can go deeper as a result. We discover new layers to the songs and new heights to our performance. We see three generations at our shows now—I’m a grandfather now—and I see people our age, their children and their grandchildren at our shows.It’s fantastic to see the multiple generations enjoying music together.”
Music has been a passion for Drummond for his entire life. He has studied with an interesting and eclectic mix of percussionists with jazz, Indian, rock, blues and country backgrounds.
He says he can spend hours talking about the musicians he admires but his go to inspiration is Elvin Jones, the drummer for the great John Coltrane.
“I have many wells that I go back to,” he says. “But Elvin is always one I turn to.”
Drummond says fans can expect to hear all the hits at the Funky Biscuit. When asked if he has some personal favorites, he laughs.
“I have an affinity for all of our songs,” he says. “They all bring back memories and thoughts and ideas. I wish we could play for 3-4 hours, because I’d love to play them all.”
Drummond says he feels the band is as good as or better than ever.
“We approach some songs differently these days,” he says. “We are always finding new things in the music which keeps it fun and interesting. We can’t wait to play Boca.”
For ticket information and packages visit www.funkybiscuit.com