The moment was orchestrated to celebrate the pair’s newly announced summer tour which kicks off in July. Train vocalist Pat Monahan led things off by singing the opening lines of their 2001 Top 5 hit “Drops of Jupiter.” REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin eventually chimed in with the familiar chorus of their 1980 smash “Keep On Loving You,” joined by his band mate Dave Amato on guitar.
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Leading up to the Kimmel appearance, Cronin told UCR about the planned collaboration as it was taking shape. “It was a great idea — and I wish I could say that it was mine,” he laughed. “But it wasn’t. You know, that came from Patrick — and their musical director and keyboard player, Jerry Becker.”
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“The mashup of ‘Drops of Jupiter’ and ‘Keep On Loving You,’ at first, you’d go, ‘Wait, how’s that going to work?’,” he continues. “But luckily, they’re both in the same key and they’re both piano-based. I’m going to stay away from the piano and leave it to the professionals. Jerry’s going to play the whole thing on piano and Patrick and I are going to pass the baton back and forth on the lead vocal. We’ll get together before the performance and just sit around the piano to smooth out the transitions.”
The veteran songwriter has also been working on his own craft in recent years, enlisting the services of a vocal coach — and he said that he’s well-primed and excited about the upcoming tour, thanks to the progress he’s made. “It feels good, that I feel confident to be able to walk on stage and hold my own — with security and confidence that I kind of know what I’m doing now,” he laughs. “I’m not just walking out on stage hoping for the best.”
“I’m sharing the stage with Patrick, who’s just such an amazing singer,” he added. “His phrasing, texture and his whole trip, I’ve always really been drawn to it. I think the tour’s gonna be a kick, man. I think it’s gonna be awesome.”
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Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin