The Ohio Players
Courtesy of WLA Talent Agency

The Ohio Players lineup has changed somewhat since the band’s early 1960s formation, but the group have remained a strong live act that knows how to deliver its funky 1970s hits. While guitarist and vocalist Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner, who led the band for 30-some years, died in 2013, his Dayton, Ohio-formed unit still has three longtime members that make “Love Rollercoaster” work with its earworm chorus, thumping bass, rhythmic guitar lines, and horn bursts. Similarly, “Fire,” with its blend of catchy high- and low-pitched vocals, and body-moving low-end sonics, also holds up. There’s more to the band, though, than just their pop hits. “Funky Worm,” with its squiggly keyboard lines and cartoon-like vocals, did well on the R&B chart and it later influenced a string of Dr. Dre’s “G-Funk” hip-hop hits (and, more recently, some of Kendrick Lamar’s sound too). The Players issued some jazzy cuts like “Pride and Vanity” that grooved in a way that arguably impressed Prince. Other Ohio Players 1970s efforts, such as the soulful “Sweet Sticky Thing,” with its mix of polish and grit, likely impacted D’Angelo’s songwriting. Whether you know the Ohio Players from their hits or those who learned from their songbook, expect their music to resonate in the intimate confines of the Birchmere. The Ohio Players play at 7:30 p.m. on April 28 at the Birchmere. $69.50.