Soul Like Seger

Hailing from Detriot, Bob Seger set out to share his blend of “heartland rock” with the world by using his blue-collar roots to connect with his audience about life and love.

Although it took several band changes and a decade in the business, Seger did find his stride after forming Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band in 1974. His career exploded after the release of their 1976 album “Night Moves,” which eventually went six times platinum and is the band’s best-selling album.

Starting with “Night Moves,” Seger racked up several hit singles, including “Still the Same,” “Hollywood Nights,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Against the Wind.” One of his most notable recordings is “Old Time Rock and Roll,” which was featured in the 1983 movie “Risky Business.”

Over his lengthy career, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

While Seger has retired, his music lives on and is celebrated in a tribute show called Turn the Page, performed by the Sam Morrison Band.

“We started the band in 2000 as a Southern rock band,” said Sam Morrison, band founder and lead vocalist. “And, at times, we still are. We do two different shows — one full of Southern rock and the other, the Bob Seger tribute.

“We’d been doing just the rock thing for a long time, but one night we played a couple of Bob Seger songs and people really kept wanting us to do more and more Bob Seger. We said to ourselves, ‘let’s try it (a tribute) to see if it works.’ It just went crazy.”

Seger was not touring at the time, so the desire to hear his music live only bolstered the success of Morrison’s tribute. Fans were dying to hear his songs and be taken back to the good ol’ days.

“People were starving for his music played live,” Morrison said. “So we started playing it and people were like, ‘oh, yeah!’”

Morrison is a huge Seger fan and has seen him play live many times, so he already knew most of the music.

“It wasn’t really difficult to learn the songs. I mean I had been listening to this music my entire life, so I already knew the stuff,” Morrison said. “The challenge for us was getting it to be perfect. When we very first started working on the songs, we kind of had bar band versions of a lot of these tunes and we thought that was going to work, but when you’re doing a tribute, it’s got to be perfect.”

They had an opportunity to record Seger’s music in a studio, which forced them to relearn the songs to match the originals perfectly.

“We got signed to a record label called Titan Tribute Media and he had us come in and record a bunch of the Bob Seger songs,” Morrison said. “We went in to do the recordings and he pretty much told us, ‘Yeah, those are bar band versions. You guys need to go back and actually learn these songs.’ So we went back and note for note put them all together. At the time we were only a four piece, but in order to really cover all of the Bob Seger material, we had to add a sax player and we had to get another keyboard player to make sure that we could play all of the songs the way they were on the recordings.”

While Turn the Page will play the songs to perfection, their tribute does not try to play a role and impersonate Seger.

“We’re a little bit different than a lot of the tribute bands. We don’t wear costumes and we don’t go up there pretending to be Bob Seger,” Morrison said. “When we introduce it, it’s the Sam Morrison Band presents Turn the Page. I’ve got my own band, it’s exactly the same band, but we have other shows that we do, we have original material, we’ve got albums out, kind of more in a Southern rock vein. So in that respect, we don’t go out there and try to mimic all of his moves, but we do make sure that the music is perfect.

“It’s really an interactive kind of a thing, we kind of give some of the history and talk about Bob Seger trivia kind of stuff. We really make it a show, not just a concert where it’s just a bunch of guys up there jamming.”

The current lineup for both his original band and the tribute, includes Morrison on guitar and vocals, Bart Robley on drums, Greg Kasparian on bass, Karl Sanger on sax, David Kurtz on guitar and Walt Thompson on keyboards.

They have been busy on the road as Turn the Page, yet they also continue working on original music. The Sam Morrison Band released a new album this year called “Unfinished Business.” It is available everywhere you can get music — Spotify, Amazon,  Apple Music and physical copies of the CD can be purchased at SamMorrisonBandStore.com. They will also have copies of the album for sale at the Turn the Page show Sept. 28-Oct. 2 (8 p.m.) at Don’s Celebrity Theatre within the Riverside Resort.

“We are very, very excited to come back to Laughlin,” Morrison said. “Playing the Riverside is probably my favorite venue, out of every place that we’ve been. The people out there are always great and we’re really looking forward to coming back and bringing them another show.”

Morrison said they have been making some additions to the setlist to change up the show over their five-night stay in Laughlin.

“I make it a point after every show to ask the crowd what song we missed and they wished I’d played. This year I’ve done my best to incorporate everyone’s favorites! We even had to learn some new ones to pull this off. Every night is going to be a different show as we go through and pull from Seger’s long career to bring all the songs that we get requests for. I wish we could play them all every night but we only have so much time per show, so if you don’t hear your favorite the first night, keep coming back and chances are you’ll hear it by the end of the week!”

Of course, they will keep in the classics that always bring the crowd to their feet.

“Probably ‘Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser’ is my favorite one to play,” Morrison said. “But ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ and ‘Turn the Page’ are great too, because every time you do it, everybody goes nuts.”

Get your fix of some real, good old rock n’ roll and remember the “days of old” with this fantastic tribute.