Currently on the road for their second reunion tour — the first having taken place in 2005 — singer-songwriters Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina have fueled speculation that a new Loggins & Messina album (and a more permanent reunion) may be in the cards. And as it turns out, Loggins says the current tour could itself prove to be the deciding factor.
"I think part of what builds the potential for a new Loggins & Messina album is how the audience receives the tour," says Loggins. "If the audiences show up, if they really like what they hear, it would help to get that kind of feedback from them so we might approach the prospect of a new album. The last thing we want to do is go and do two years of work to make a record nobody hears. We want to see if there's an audience for it first."
The 2005 reunion tour came nearly 30 years after the duo released Native Sons, in the aftermath of which the two musicians followed different musical paths and barely kept in touch.
In fact, Loggins & Messina were not meant to be a duo to begin with. Messina, who was coming off stints in Poco and Buffalo Springfield, was recruited in 1970 to produce Loggins as a solo artist. But Messina soon began to sense that Loggins wasn't ready to be a solo act, either in the studio or on tour. So he suggested that the two of them both contribute songs and do the first album as a duo.
The idea was that after they toured to promote the album, Messina would retreat fully into the producer role and Loggins would step out as a solo artist.
But that changed after the release of Loggins and Messina's debut album, Sittin' In, which featured the hits "Danny's Song" and "House at Pooh Corner." The duo ended up staying together for six years, six studio albums and sales of 16 million records before going their separate ways.
Loggins says the possibility of making new music is also dependent on whether he and Messina can actually rediscover some common musical ground.
"Honestly we haven't really explored it musically to see where that would be," says the singer, who successfully reinvented himself in the '80s with "Footloose." "But it's not impossible. I think that one of the most important things would be to bring in a third person who would be the producer, so Jimmy wouldn't be in the role of producer this time. In that way, we would have sort of a mediator, a clear voice that we both trust, so that avoids any arguments."
In the meantime, Loggins says he'll enjoy the tour and the process of rebuilding his friendship with Messina on the road. He also notes that the shows will be considerably different from what fans saw in 2005.
"Basically in 2005 we did a three-hour show and we were leaning on the whole career," Loggins says. "Now we're doing an hour and a half, and in a few places maybe two hours. An hour-and-a-half show means you've got to boil it down to the best of the best. In that way, I think an audience is going to get what they came for."