Steve Kelly’s favorite Bad Company song is “Silver, Blue & Gold.”
So it’s no surprise that the owner of Tribute Kings named his Bad Company tribute band after the popular rock ballad.
“‘Silver, Blue & Gold’ is such a beautiful song,” said frontman Kelly in a phone call with The Daily Herald from his home in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Kelly moved from Everett to Georgia 16 years ago. “The harmonies in it just make you take a deep breath and go ‘Ahh.’”
Silver Blue and Gold is scheduled to headline a May 14 show at the Historic Everett Theatre that pays tribute to England’s rock supergroup.
With Kelly in the tribute band, which formed in 2000, are Dan Canyon on bass, Dean Babbitt and Dan Ellsworth on guitar, Jeff Mills on drums and Bob Kelly on keys.
Bad Company’s albums “Bad Company,” “Straight Shooter” and “Run with the Pack” reached the top five in the album charts in both the U.K. and the U.S. in the 1970s.
Many of the band’s songs, most notably “Bad Company,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Ready For Love,” “Shooting Star” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy,” are in the regular rotation on classic rock radio stations, including Seattle’s KZOK-FM.
Silver Blue and Gold plays all those hits and more.
Now 61, Kelly has been in a number of tribute bands since forming Shades of Purple, which played Deep Purple hits, in 1999.
After performing at the Darrington Classic Rock Festival with Shades of Purple, Kelly went from playing Jimmy Z’s, Casbah Restaurant & Lounge and Club Broadway in Everett to sharing the stage in the U.S. and Canada with the likes of Ted Nugent, Joan Jett and Pat Benatar.
“I was working for the same booking agent for Pat Benatar and Loverboy,” said Kelly, who worked as a roofer when he lived in Everett. “What a treat because they elevated me from the bar scene right to the concert scene, and before I knew it we were going all over the country. It was an amazing ride, all out of Everett.”
Kelly launched Tribute Kings in 2005, the same year he moved to Georgia. The umbrella company offers tribute shows for Neil Diamond (Cherry Cherry), Bad Company (Silver Blue and Gold) and Bob Seger (Main Street), as well as country legends (Cascade Range) and jazz legends (Steve Kelly’s Little Big Band) tributes.
“Music is like medicine,” he said. “Anywhere I go, no matter what show I go do, music really brings people together. I’ve watched it happen in front of me.
“When you’re giving your living, life becomes magical. There’s magic out there — look for it, it’s there.”
Dan Ellsworth plays guitar in all Tribute Kings’ bands, including Silver Blue and Gold. A Seattle native, Ellsworth has been with Kelly’s company for the last year and a half.
He also loves the song “Silver, Blue & Gold”: “It’s a great song,” Ellsworth said. “It’s a beautiful rock ballad.”
Ellsworth, 53, is looking forward to a live show at Historic Everett Theatre. Without shows to play, he’s been working on his 5-acre farm and establishing a recording studio in Burley, Idaho.
“Everybody needs to come to the Historic Everett Theatre for a spectacular show,” Ellsworth said. “We’re going to perform all of the classic hits of one of the greatest bands that ever came out of the ’70s — Bad Company. “We do them justice. It’s going to be a great way to shake off your COVID blues. Everybody needs to come out and rejoice in live music again.”
Kelly also is excited to perform in Everett, which was his home for 15 years. When he lived on Oakes Avenue, Kelly loved to take his 19-foot Sabre-Craft out in Possession Sound from Everett’s 10th Street Boat Launch.
“It’s fantastic. It was so great,” he said. “I loved boating around Hat Island and Camano Head. It’s the best boating and fishing that I’ve ever had.”
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; email@example.com; @sarabruestle.