Ann wilson of heart

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Ann Wilson finding liberation in solo shows: ‘There’s not 40 years of Heart baggage there’


Heart vocalist Ann Wilson is playing back-to-back shows in Utah next week, at the Kenley Amphitheater in Layton on Monday night, then at the Sandy Amphitheater on Tuesday.

Not Heart the band. Just "Ann Wilson of Heart."

After an incident this past August in which Ann Wilson's husband, Dean Wetter, was arrested for assaulting the teenage sons of Nancy Wilson (Ann's sister and Heart's guitarist) and ultimately pleaded guilty to two nonfelony charges, Heart is on indefinite hiatus, and the sisters are doing their own thing.

"We have played in Utah a bunch, and people always receive Heart well there," Ann Wilson said in a phone interview with The Tribune. "I guess we'll just see in the moment how they respond to me without Nancy."

While the circumstances behind the split are obviously troublesome, Wilson has maintained that episode was also simply the most visible flashpoint in a relationship already fraught by the sisters' disagreements over the band's future.

As a result, going out on tour by herself has afforded her a certain level of creative freedom she said is simply not there in the confines of the band.

"Fundamentally, it's different in that we don't have the same expectations put on us. I can do basically whatever I want. There's not 40 years of Heart baggage there," Wilson said. "Nothing against Heart, but it just feels really good to stretch out and wander free for a while."

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The ultimate woman of rock Ann Wilson explores Heart, samples solo and takes chances on covers


Whether she’s fronting Heart or stretching out on her own, Ann Wilson is one of the most distinctive and celebrated women in all of rock. No, make that one of the genre’s ultimate voices of any gender, a fact she repeatedly hammered home alongside four supporting musicians at a comfortably crowded House Of Blues.

Wilson wet everyone’s appetite with The Who’s “The Real Me,” but then wasted no time consecutively tackling a trio of Heart mega-hits. The snarling “Barracuda” and the buzzing “Crazy On You” found the rugged end of Wilson’s voice coming across as if little time had passed since the 1970s, though she was equally at home with the more sensitive side of a deconstructed “What About Love.”

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Ann Wilson goes it alone, picking up the pieces of a broken Heart


One day this week, just before I was to interview Ann Wilson, the hall of fame rock singer from Heart who opens the Marin County Fair next week, I noticed that it just happened to be her 67th birthday.

When she came on the phone, she seemed pleasantly surprised when I wished her a happy birthday, not that she was making a big deal of it.

“When you’ve been alive for as long as I have, after a while it doesn’t make that much difference anymore,” she sighed. “Birthdays are just a mark that you’re still here. Imagine the alternative.”

She was speaking from her customized tour bus, nicknamed Sylvia, as it rolled through the Midwest, heading for a gig at Kansas City’s Uptown Theater that night on her recently extended “Ann Wilson of Heart Tour.” It arrives in Marin on June 30.

I asked her if she’d be doing anything special for her birthday.

“We’re just going to drive into Kansas City and do the gig tonight,” she said matter-of-factly. “There isn’t really time for anything else.”

Oh, the glamorous life of a rock star on the road.

In years past, she would be touring and celebrating birthdays with her singer-songwriter-guitarist sister, Nancy. (An aside about glamorous Nancy: she married music executive Geoff Bywater in 2012 at El Paseo, Sammy Hagar’s restaurant in Mill Valley. She had previously been married for 24 years to filmmaker and former Rolling Stone editor Cameron Crowe.)

As the front women of Heart, the Wilson sisters have sold something like 35 million records with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” “Magic Man,” “Dog & Butterfly,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up” and “Mistral Wind,” among other great songs.

But Heart is broken, and Wilson says it will never be put back together again the way it was when the band rose to fame in the mid-’70s with its unlikely combination of folk influences and hard rock powered by Wilson’s stunning lead vocals. In 2006, Hit Parader magazine called her one of the top heavy metal vocalists of all time.

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Ann Wilson Talks Upcoming Solo Work & Heart Hiatus: 'It Will Never Be the Way It Was Before'


Wilson released her first solo album, the guest-laden Hope & Glory, in 2007. She's also released a pair of EPs as the Ann Wilson Thing, in 2015 and 2016. Her new music will likely speak to today's social and political climate, as evidenced by the covers she's been playing on her tour.


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Ann Wilson’s Voice Still A Force of Nature in Chicago Solo Stop


The greatest voices in music history have, by and large, aged gracefully, and on Friday night, Ann Wilson of legendary rock band Heart showed yet again that she is among that number of artists.

Entering to a stage simply decorated with rows of flowers, Wilson had the capacity crowd going in a matter of seconds with a rollicking cover of The Who’s “The Real Me,” followed by two of Heart’s biggest hits, “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You,” the latter of which was reworked to a stripped down, almost fully-acoustic arrangement (as was Heart anthem “Alone” later in the set, which, while affecting, would have been more effective with it’s original bombast intact). Covers were largely the order of the evening, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind, and the broad, unpredictable array of tunes proved the most exciting way for Wilson to show off a voice that is still as powerful as you’re likely to hear.

Backed by an excellent, no-frills band including bassist Andy Stoller, guitarist Craig Bartock, former Heart drummer Denny Fongheiser, the well-chosen covers offered a unique glimpse into songs that Wilson cites as influences and inspiration to her decades-long career. Buffalo Springfield classic “For What It’s Worth” was turned into a grooving funk jam, Yes’s “I’ve Seen All Good People” segued seamlessly into a lovely rendition of The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels,” and a stunning version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic “I Put A Spell On You” brought a collective gasp from the room, a song that’s been covered by many artists but never to this kind of effect. “Ain’t No Way” and “Danger Zone” were also highlights; Wilson’s voice has always had a soulful, timeless quality that made it perfect for the brief forays into classic R&B. And while it might have been nice to hear a couple of additional Heart tunes (“Dog and Butterfly” would have fit nicely into the set), it wasn’t necessary – the two-hour set was more than enough to prove that a voice as great as Wilson’s never goes out of style.

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Wilson’s voice still can wow crowds


WARREN — It took the audience and Ann Wilson awhile to warm up to each other Saturday at Packard Music Hall.

It has to be disheartening as a performer to look out on a less than half-full theater, which is what greeted the lead singer of Heart on this date of her solo tour. And the response from the audience seemed muted early on, even as Wilson was delivering her take on Heart hits like “Baracuda,” “Crazy on You” and “What About Love.”

But as the show continued, those ovations lengthened and swelled, and Wilson was beaming. Only the promoter left unhappy.

Saturday’s concert was wholly satisfying … as long as audience members knew what to expect or were willing to abandon their expectations.

This wasn’t a Heart tour without sister Nancy or even a tour that heavily pushed the solo material Wilson has recorded as The Ann Wilson Thing.

There was some of that, but most of the set was one of the most magnificent voices in rock exploring songs that are special to her and seem special for today.

“We’re going to be fellow explorers,” Wilson said.

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ROCK LEGEND ANN WILSON Pours Out Heart and Soul in Nashville


The last time we saw Ann Wilson on stage we had no idea she was in the midst of a crisis that could potentially jeopardize the future of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee band Heart. In hindsight, there was some quantifiable tension on stage between the two sisters that would only be explained months later in published reports that detailed a family squabble that occurred on the 2016 summer trek with Cheap Trick and Joan Jett in tow. The fallout from that issue has resulted in both Ann and Nancy taking some time away from each other while engaging in their own solo projects. With that in mind the "Ann Wilson of Heart" tour rolled into the Shermerhorn Symphony Center on June 13, 2017 for a highly anticipated night of music.

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Ann Wilson Brings A Little Heart to Warren


I attended eighty-two concerts last year. You name it I saw it; across each genre there were both definite highlights and a few letdowns. On the rare occasion did I see a show that sparked my wit, causing my writing to go into a hyberbolic overdrive. I hate to use such big words to describe a show, especially when it tends to make me look like a gushing teenager seeing his first nudie flick.

But Kathy Mattea at Akron’s Tangier last October was one of those experiences. Her voice, a concealed WMD if there was one, lit up the old dinner theater accompanied only by a backup guitar and a single white spotlight. There were no theatrics to speak of; her voice was the only weapon she needed. And it brought down the house.

The same thing went for Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. His Rocksino show was a tad more theatrical; the lighting package complemented the glitz of the Jazz ensemble he had collected onstage.

Well, for the first time in this calendar year a performance gave me goosebumps and an unfettered desire to devolve into unchecked hyperbole.

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