Concert offers some easy livin'

Russell Gilbrook figures he's had a 'Heep' of good fortune.

Gilbrook, you see, is the drummer, since 2007, for the hard-rock band Uriah Heep. "It's quite an honor for me," Gilbrook said on the phone from his home in England. "They wanted somebody to bring something fresh to the table."

That, in turn, allowed Gilbrook to have unusual influence on a band that's been around for 40 years. "It enabled me to feel happy as a musician," he said. "It allowed them to free themselves to freshen up a bit."

Gilbrook and Uriah Heep will perform Sunday at Down by the Riverside in Rochester's Mayo Park.

This is the band's second trip to North America this year, with a European concert tour sandwiched in between. "You get accustomed to being on the road all the time," Gilbrook said. "We're thankful so many people want to hear us."


Uriah Heep was formed in the late 1960s, and founding member Mick Box is still with the band. The band's only Top 40 hit was "Easy Livin'" in 1972, but Uriah Heep was a standard on FM radio in the '70s, with songs like "Gypsy," "The Wizard," "July Morning," "Stealin'" and "Sunrise."

Uriah Heep also continues to record new material (the newest album is "Into the Wild"), and that creates a bit of a log jam in concerts. "Everybody has something they want you to play," Gilbrook said.

"When we came to this new album, we took out what we thought would be a nice selection of songs from it," he said. "When you go out there with new material, you're never sure. We mixed it up a bit, playing a new song and a classic song, and people seem to love it. So we're able to play about a half-dozen tracks from the new album, plus the classics."

That's the plan as well for the Down by the Riverside concert, Gilbrook said.

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