After seeing Incognito last fall at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland, I vowed that I would see another show at the venue. Thanks to The Teacher, I was given a birthday gift of a ticket to see Euge Groove in concert this past Friday. She and I were treated to a fantastic show. His five-piece band (featuring smooth jazz guitarist Adam Hawley, who featured on a number of songs with tasty solo work) was definitely ready to play and they did not disappoint.
After kicking things off with his title track to his ninth album, Got 2 Be Groovin’, the hits started to roll from the ensemble. Tracks from almost all of his ten albums, including a few from his latest, Still Euge, were featured, including the title track of that one. Besides that song, other favorites that had the audience clapping along and dancing included “Livin’ Large,” “Sneak A Peek,” “Miss Bane” (written for his wife), and “Slam Dunk.” Another highlight of the show was his medley of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, which featured some audience participation.
Born Steven Eugene Grove in Hagerstown, Maryland, he’s been playing since the 1980s, doing session work for Exposé on their #1 hit “Seasons Change.” Upon moving to California, he joined Tower of Power, replacing smooth jazz star Richard Elliot in the horn section. After leaving that band, he played with numerous other artists, such as Joe Cocker, Huey Lewis & The News, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Marx. By 2000, he released his first eponymous album, and the rest is smooth jazz history.
It was great to go back to Rams Head and see another concert; it’s a marvelous small venue that puts you close to the artists. Since it holds less than 500 seats, there isn’t really a bad seat in the house. The Teacher and I also had dinner before the show (which was excellent), and we were escorted to our seats by the wait staff. She truly enjoyed the event, even as she was unfamiliar with the artist or his music. I thought it was a very enjoyable night as well, and a wonderful birthday gift.
The YouTube version of the setlist:
A version of the setlist can be found on Spotify:
Both versions contain the song “Get ‘Em Goin'” which he did not perform, but a fellow patron and I tried to convince him to play it by yelling it toward the stage.
I may be missing a song or two, but here is the setlist as I remember it:
- “Got 2 Be Groovin'”
- “Still Euge”
- “Livin’ Large”
- “Sneak A Peek”
- “Slam Dunk”
- “Miss Bane”
- “Just My Imagination”
- “Let’s Get It On”
- “Love Passion And Joy”
- “Old.Edu (Old School)”
- “Born 2 Groove”
- “Get ‘Em Goin'” (not included during the show)