Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Raise a Glass to Steve Smith & The Nakeds

We believe that good beer and good music go hand in hand – that’s why we’re excited to have Steve Smith & The Nakeds providing the entertainment for both the day and evening sessions of the Great International Spring Beer Festival. For our dollar, no band better embodies the spirit of Rhode Island. They’ve been rocking audiences around the state (and the country) since 1973. They’re in the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. They’ve appeared on Family Guy. They’re about as classic Rhode Island as Narragansett Beer – which is probably why they’re the official band of ‘Gansett. Steve Smith & The Nakeds are a familiar sight (and sound) to generations of Rhode Islanders, but just in case you’ve somehow missed them all these years, we want to give you a little primer on one of the Ocean State’s most legendary bands. And if you’re already a fan, just consider this something to get you warmed up for the Beer Fest. The band’s signature song is a Nakeds original, “I’m Huge (and the Babes Go Wild).” Despite the obvious implication, the inspiration for the song was actually a small boat nicknamed The Huge. Here’s a studio recording from their 1984 debut album, Coming to a Theatre Near You:

The song is so iconic, in fact, that Family Guy later paid tribute to it on the show’s volume 6 DVD release, featuring a cartoon cameo by Steve Smith & The Nakeds:

One of the band’s famous fans – other than Peter Griffin, of course – was famed E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons. “The Big Man,” as he was called, played many shows with Steve Smith & The Nakeds over the years, touring extensively with them in the ‘90s, and the band often played benefit shows for Clemons’ philanthropic work. Here’s a clip of them performing a Springsteen classic, “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” at the Clarence Clemons Classic in Florida in 2010, with the Big Man himself sitting in on sax:

The Nakeds also recorded with E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren. Here he is with the band on “Blue Eyes Don't”:

A lot of musicians have passed through the ranks of The Nakeds over the years, but one of the mainstays has been guitarist Ed Vallee. His sizzling guitar work packs a little extra punch into the horn-driven band’s stage show. Here he is showing off his chops on Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”:


There is almost no Rhode Island venue where Steve Smith & The Nakeds haven’t played – including the local TV studios. Here they are in studio for Fox Providence’s morning show, The Rhode Show:

As if there was any further need to establish Steve Smith & The Nakeds as one of Rhode Island’s most iconic bands, we’ll leave you with one last piece of proof that they’re a true institution: a coffee cup salute from Channel 10’s Frank Coletta. We hope you’ll raise a cup of your own to these hall of famers at the Great International Spring Beer Festival: