Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kallaway on the Rise Interview with Nancy!

Nancy did 8 radio interviews the morning of the 28th! So far this is the only one I've seen air. Will post the others as I get them :)

Big thank you to Matt who ran the interviews for sending me the info! :D

Acoustic Performance for Michelle Obama Fundraiser

Ann, Nancy and Craig Perform at the Michelle Obama/Barbara Boxer Fundraiser on the 27th! :D

Heart Performs on Dancing With the Stars!

Heart was AMAZING on Dancing With the Stars this week. Here are some photos from the show :D

Gorgeous shots by Adam Larkey.

Here's a screencap I took of our beautiful smiley Ann ♥

Check out this Facebook group for more (not taken by me).

And in case you missed the performance :D

Ann and Nancy's "Day In Rock"

On the 18th Ann sat in for Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock:

And Nancy took the reins on the 27th :D

Nancy Interview with Chop Shop Radio!

Short new Nancy interview taped from the road. Aired the week of Oct. 11th :)

New Ann and Nancy Interview

Here is a great interview Ann and Nancy did with Honolulu DJ Dave Lawrence at HPR from earlier this month. :)

Heart Rolls Into Street Date Studios In A “Red Velvet Car”

Say the name Heart to any fan of classic rock and immediately you’ve got a sing-along on your hands. It’s impossible to think of the band without busting into one of rock’s great power ballads. Whether it’s “Alone,” “These Dreams” or “What About Love,” Heart literally wrote the soundtrack to the American love story, and their music has helped define the sound of rock ‘n roll for over a generation. Last month they released a brand new album called Red Velvet Car featuring two hot new singles (“WTF” and “Hey You”).

Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson rode their Red Velvet Car right into the Street Date studios last month to preview songs from the new album, and treat a handful of lucky fans to some all-time hits from their treasured catalog.

There are few things more enjoyable sitting back and listening as Ann and Nancy Wilson swap stories about the good old days (and bad old days) of their lifetime in rock ‘n roll. In our wide-ranging interview presented in the clip below, the two tell tales of sleazy promoters from the 70′s, of encounters with legends like Elton John and Steely Dan, and of near-death experiences halfway around the world (beware the Japanese rock festival!). Click play to hear these classy sisters (they still get along, after all these years) tell the tale in their own words.

Heart began their Street Date session by debuting three songs off their new album. For everyone in the room, this was the first time these new tunes had ever been heard. In typical Wilson Sisters fashion, they shared a charming story about each song before getting down to business. Those stories are captured here – hit play on the videos below to watch Heart perform their new songs and get the full story behind “Hey You,” “Red Velvet Car” and “WTF.

Hey You:

Red Velvet Car:


As thrilling as it was to hear the new material, the real joy of Heart‘s studio session came when they switched gears and asked “anybody want to hear some old stuff?” In unison, the response from the room was “YES!” Without missing a beat, the duo dove into their signature hard rock tune “Barracuda.” For many people the song marks a watershed moment in rock ‘n roll – a lightening-flash revelation that saw women rockers finally lashing out against the male-dominated industry. The song cut right through the sleaze that surrounded so many parts of the business, and remains one of the most anthemic rock songs ever written (that guitar riff is no slouch either, and ranks among the all-time greats). Heart closed out their Street Date appearance with a rare performance of their treasured, but lesser-known classic “Dog & Butterfly.” Hit play below to hear the stories and watch these killer performances.

Dog & Butterfly:


Like what you hear? Check out Red Velvet Car, the new album from Heart, at iTunes and Amazon.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Ann Interview with Rewind 94.9!

Here is a really great new Ann interview! :D

Steve from Rewind 94.9 talked with Ann Wilson, lead singer of Heart, recently about Heart’s new CD “Red Velvet Car”, pro football, Guitar Hero, karaoke, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars and being one of the greatest voices in rock and roll.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ann and Nancy to be Featured in GQ!

From the Twitter stream of Michelle Hynek on September 9th. They look so cute!!! :D

GQ photo shoot today with Heart, Robert Hanewich and photographer Kurt Iswarienko.

Not sure when this will run. Will update when I do :)

Thank you to Kristen for finding this picture!

Ann on 97.1 Charlie Radio in Portland

She got her start singing Led Zeppelin songs in dirty Seattle bars with her sister backing her up on guitar. Then, before they knew it, Ann and Nancy Wilson were superstars. Heart, famous for songs like Barracuda, Crazy On You, Little Queen and a dozen more, has just released a new CD, Red Velvet Car. Ann Wilson took time to talk to Charlie Horse and I about the project. Of course we also talked about aliens. So, you know, it was a pretty normal conversation.


Tacoma Weekly: Red Velvet Car Review

Heart has created a lasting legacy for their work as veritable hard rockers of the late 70s, 80s, 90s and they continue to carry out their musical endeavors today.

Heart keeps their retro hard rocking ways alive on their first studio album in six years “Red Velvet Car.” Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are a little older now, a little wiser, and it shows. They say at this stage in their life they’ve got nothing to prove, which means “Red Velvet Car” is some of their most intimate, heartfelt and honest work to date.

Based almost solely in the sounds of acoustic stringed instruments, the Wilsons (accompanied with producer and musician Ben Mink) created a solid 10-track album that is a far cry from what many associate with “acoustic guitar music.”

Using a variety of instruments from throughout the world (including guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello and autoharp) the artists create a complex layering of sound that doesn’t shy away from Heart’s rocking roots. Classic vocal harmonies carry the Wilsons through their heartfelt perspectives on life and music.

Ann is a little more reserved vocally than in her heyday of piercing vocal riffs, and both women wear their age well – they are not trying to hold on too tightly to the past but aren’t trying to completely re-invent themselves, either.

Starting out big with “There You Go,” “Red Velvet Car” takes off on a ride through what is the culmination of the Wilsons’ personal lives and professional careers as musicians.

At times, Heart is brazen and full of energy, others they are calm and introspective, sometimes even woeful in their interpretations. Always, their musicianship, purpose and delivery are right on.

“Hey You” and “Sunflower” take on the more mellow, folksy sounds of the woman who clearly were influenced by the flowerchild, free loving ways of the 1960s.

“Wheels” has a racing pace that harkens back to Heart’s 1977 hit “Barracuda” as Ann’s husky, raspy vocals belt out lyrics about taking off on the road. “We’ll run together/We’ll run forever / Out of here/ Riding the wheels.”

Closing song "Sand" is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy's 1990s acoustic side project.

As the 13th studio album for the band, its successful debut in August 2010 makes “Red Velvet Car” the most successful chart debut for a Heart album in their career. Heart is currently on tour in support of the album.


Performing Songwriter: Hi-Res PDFs

Performing Songwriter is offering two Hi-Res PDF files from past interviews with Ann and Nancy :D

The indomitable Ann and Nancy Wilson speak about maintaining the integrity of their sound. (From Sept/Oct 2004, Issue 80)

Hi-Res PDF Price: $0.49

Heart’s guitar slinger recalls her early days with sister Ann as a folk-rock act and revisiting the classic songs from Dreamboat Annie. (From Jul/Aug 2008, Issue 111)

Hi-Res PDF Price: $0.99

Venus Zine: The Greatest Female Guitarists of All-Time

This is a cool feature on Nancy from Venus Zine. :)

 A born guitarist: Nancy Wilson, most famous for her guitar prowess in the band Heart, started playing at age 8. Born in 1954, she grew up in Southern California and Taiwan before her Marine Corps father retired to the Seattle suburbs. “I fell in love with the guitar immediately,” she says from her Los Angeles home in February 2008. In the same way that her sister Ann Wilson was born to sing, Nancy Wilson says she’s definitely a born guitar player.

The self-taught guitarist says she has a good ear for picking things up and imitating what she’d heard on vinyl records. She mastered guitar by playing songs by Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, and Pete Townsend. “Before Heart, I played nonstop and way into the night, and I just couldn’t put the guitar down,” Wilson says. “I didn’t mind that my fingers hurt. I had to know every song that I loved.”

Favorite guitars: Wilson has a soft spot for classic guitars because they have the most character and soul. She has a Gibson Les Paul Special that she’s played since the ‘70s and continues to play now. She also loves the Martin guitar and has worked with the company on a new design. “I designed it in the style of the Martins that Crosby Stills Nash and Young used to play because that’s the sound I grew up with and learned,” she says.

Expert advice: Wilson’s primary advice for aspiring guitarists is to have fun. She recommends learning to play by ear instead of concentrating on reading music. “Learn every three-chord song first,” she says. “You know, ‘Gloria’ or ‘Wild Thing,’ and ‘Louie Louie.’ Play with other musicians and bang on the piano and have a party.” She thinks it’s best for aspiring musicians to make stuff up and not take themselves so seriously. “Sometimes they think, ‘I must educate myself in the ways of music.’ But if you’re going to play rock in particular, it’s really about having a good time and getting off.”

A different kind of sexy back: Wilson says she has mixed feelings about the music industry right now. On the one hand, she feels that MTV has created a manufacturing process for sexualizing popular music. She feels that the late ’60s and ’70s was a time of cultural exploration, expression, and groove; whereas today, mainstream music tends to involve image perfection and being sexy. “The ’70s was definitely a sexy time in music,” Wilson says. “It just wasn’t sexy in the way that sexy is today. Today’s sexy is pre-fab, and there’s a very narrow definition about what’s supposed to be sexy, which to me is largely unsexy compared to the more natural look of sexiness. I think [Heart] always had a lot of sexual prowess with our music and on stage and in our early videos before MTV but it was way more of a natural idea.”

On the other hand, Wilson is excited about music that’s coming from underground sources. She says she’s glad there are sites such as YouTube that allow people to access music on their own. “When you create a groundswell inside culture that’s outside of the box, you have something great happening in music,” Wilson says. “It feels much more like the ’70s again to me — before everything got so corporatized. I’m really hopeful for music right now. The business itself is dying on the vine because a lot of the corporate mentality has choked itself to death. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s gonna be more about what people love and what people want now.”

Keeping score: Wilson composes music for a number of  films, including Elizabethtown and Vanilla Sky. She most recently scored music for a CNN program called Heroes in 2008. “I’ve got a lot of crazy instruments like the Japanese koto and mandocello that I use for scoring — I have no idea how to play them, but I just play them anyway,” Wilson says. “There’s all kinds of fun to be had.”


Get Into Heart's Red Velvet Car

VH1 News Piece that ran the week of 8/30-9/6

Heart to Perform at Brian Boitano's Skating Spectacular

Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano has announced that the hard rock group Heart will perform as part of his skating spectacular show in Sioux City.

"This is the first time I've featured a top female rock group," he said during a teleconference interview at City Hall. "I've been a fan for years. They impressed me so much."

Boitano and other international figure skaters will perform Dec. 16 at the Tyson Events Center. He noted the show will be broadcast nationwide Dec. 26 on NBC.

One of the draws to performing in Sioux City, he noted, is that his sister, Jill Kolegraff, lives in Okoboji. He said she will bring her children to the show.

"It's sort of impossible to chose just 10 of their songs," Boitano said of Heart. "Everyone wants to skate to 'Barracuda,' " a song that became Heart's second million-seller. "It's sort of hard to chose just 10 songs."

Heart features sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, who stormed the charts since the late 1970s with such hits like "Crazy On You," "Magic Man," "These Dreams" and "If Looks Could Kill." They have sold more than 30 million records and have had 21 Top 40 hits.

He explained having Heart perform will impact the skaters' choreography and costumes. Even the stage will be different, he said, in order to showcase the singers.

If You Go

Dec. 16

Tyson Events Center


AOL's Top 10 Heart Songs

A few of our top 10 Heart songs -- which span over three of the band's first four albums -- made sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson the queens of '70s hard rock. After a slight career slump, the group returned in the mid-'80s with a more mainstream pop rock sound, scoring them some of their biggest hits, ever. This list counts down the best Heart songs throughout the band's four-decade career.

10. 'Who Will You Run To'
Penned by Diane Warren, one of the era's most successful songwriters, this Heart song warned an ex-lover that he would never find a love as good as the one he was leaving behind. "Who's gonna love you baby as good as I," protests Ann Wilson. The second single from Heart's 1987 album 'Bad Animals,' the track reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 chart.

9. 'Straight On'
Like every song on the double-platinum 1978 album 'Dog & Butterfly,' 'Straight On' was written by the Wilson sisters with their childhood friend Sue Ennis. The track utilized gambling metaphors like "Now I know I gotta play my hand" and "Got the feel of fortune / Deal me in" to describe a romantic pursuit, highlighted by the aggressive lyric, "I'm comin' straight on for you."

8. 'Never'
The second single from Heart's self-titled 1985 album, 'Never' was one of the band's few '80s hits that Ann and Nancy Wilson had a hand in writing. They co-wrote the track with Holly Knight, who had written hits for female rockers like Pat Benatar and Tina Turner. 'Never' was Heart's first Top 5 hit.

7. 'Barracuda'
Heart's 1977 hit 'Barracuda' has become one of the most recognizable classic rock songs, thanks to its distinctive chugging guitar riff. The song has received numerous references in films and in TV shows -- and was even used during Sarah Palin's 2008 vice presidential campaign. The sisters were not pleased and fired off a cease-and-desist letter, though McCain's campaign continued to use the song.

6. 'All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You'
Written by "Mutt" Lange, the No. 2 hit 'All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You' weaved a soap opera-style tale about meeting a stranger for a one-night stand and having his child. Some time later the two characters met again, leading to the dramatic line, "You can imagine his surprise / When he saw his own eyes."

5. 'Crazy on You'
'Crazy on You' was the group's first single and remains one of the most popular Heart songs. Appearing on the 1976 album 'Dreamboat Annie,' the song peaked with an explosive chorus led by Ann's strong voice. Heart performed 'Crazy on You' during the 2007 VH1 Rock Honors, and the song appeared on the video game 'Guitar Hero II.'

4. 'Magic Man'
'Magic Man' was an autobiographical song Ann wrote about her boyfriend and Heart manager, Mike Fisher, and a conversation she had with her mother about leaving home. "Try to understand," Ann sang, "He's a magic man, mama." The song was Heart's first Top 10 hit, peaking at No. 9 in 1976.

3. 'Alone'
In his search for a power ballad, Heart producer Ron Nevison found 'Alone,' a song written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, whose past credits include 'True Colors,' and 'Like a Virgin.' Although the demo presented to the band had no guitars, the completed version mixed piano-driven verses with a soaring rock chorus, and became Heart's second No. 1 single.

2. 'What About Love?'
By 1985, Heart had only scored two Top 10 hits in their career. Then the band signed with Capitol Records and released a self-titled record with a more commercial sound. The album's first single, 'What About Love?,' re-established the group as a force, peaking at No. 10 on the pop chart.

1. 'These Dreams'
After Stevie Nicks passed on recording 'These Dreams,' the mid-tempo pop song found its way to Heart, and gave Nancy Wilson a rare chance to sing lead. Much of her recording session was spent trying to recreate the raspsy tone in her first take, which had been recorded when she was sick. 'These Dreams' became the group's first No. 1 hit, and our top Heart song.


Ann and Nancy on The Today Show

In case you missed it, here is Ann and Nancy's interview from the Today Show 8/31. :)

And the web-only backstage video. :)

Heart's Red Velvet Car, the First New Studio Album in Six Years From Ann & Nancy Wilson, Drives Straight Into the Top 10 of the Billboard 200

Press release 9/10 -

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Red Velvet Car, the first new studio album in six years from the groundbreaking Seattle-based band Heart, is entering the Billboard 200 best-selling album charts at #10, becoming the seventh Top 10 album of the group's career. Heart's first album for Legacy Recordings, the critically-acclaimed Red Velvet Car marks the return of the group to the Sony Music Entertainment family. The album reached #1 in sales on on Sunday, September 5.

"We are thrilled and a little in disbelief," said Ann Wilson. "(Our producer) Ben Mink's amazing artistry and vision, along with the hard work and dedication of the people of Sony/Legacy made this a stunning first week. The Car is running fine, thank you! "

"After 3 plus decades, to have loyal fans, old and new, and to be acknowledged for our work as performers and songwriters is really quite beautiful," said Nancy Wilson.

Currently in the midst of a summer-fall tour supporting the release of Red Velvet Car, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson will perform on the star-studded Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) primetime roadblock television fundraising event (September 10, 2010, at 8PM ET & PT / 7PM CT). The Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast will raise funds that will accelerate innovative cancer research. The live, one-hour fundraising event will be simulcast commercial-free on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Bio, Current TV, Discovery Health, E!, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, MLB Network, mun2, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, The Style Network, TV One and VH1 and hosted by network news anchors Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams. The broadcast will air in 195 countries, as well as on the Armed Forces Network.

Heart will be heard on NPR's "World Cafe" on September 17 to perform songs from Red Velvet Car. Both "Hey You" and "WTF," the first two singles from Red Velvet Car, are multi-format smashes, garnering airplay on the nation's AC, Triple A and Classic Rock radio stations.

The critical response to Red Velvet Car has been universally ecstatic. "The barracudas are back and at the top of their game," wrote Rolling Stone (September 2, 2010) while USA Today (August 25, 2010) called the album "Intimate, intense and anchored by Ann's powerhouse vocals and Nancy's aggressive acoustic guitar...." The New York Times (August 4, 2010) found Red Velvet Car "aggressive, delicate and enduring" while the Los Angeles Times noted that "Thirty-four years after the band's debut, Heart's dreamboat sails on."

For their first new album since 2004's Jupiter's Darling, the first ladies of arena rock took an acoustic approach to a collection of songs inspired by the world around them, arranged for an assortment of strings including guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello and autoharp, all played by Nancy Wilson and the album's producer, multiple Grammy nominee Ben Mink.

Nine of the album's songs were written for, and appear for the first time on Red Velvet Car. The album's closer, "Sand," is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy's 1990's acoustic side project.

Heart performed songs from Red Velvet Car, as well as classics from the band's repertoire, at selected Lilith Fair dates and in headline concerts across the U.S. and Canada from July through September.


Heart's Rocking Return

Heart's Red Velvet Car is their great new album by original members Nancy and Ann Wilson. Haven't heard the title track to the new album? They performed it on NPR's World Cafe along with "Barracuda." And if you're mad about missing it live, I did as well. Toni told me about it after the fact so I streamed online.

And this is the opening to Christina Fuoco'-Karasinski's must read article for the Flint Journal (September 2nd):

With a new generation being introduced to Heart annually, thanks to the inevitable performance of “Alone” by “American Idol” contestants, the Wilson sisters are enjoying their popularity. Selling out theaters and amphitheaters around the United States, Heart is now introducing fans to new music courtesy of “Red Velvet Car,” a collection of songs that hit stores Tuesday. It is its first new studio album in six years.

“We’re real excited,” guitarist/singer Nancy Wilson said during an interview with The Flint Journal. “We’ve been setting it up since we finished it, really. It’s getting close to the time — as they say — it’ll ‘drop.’ (Laughs) It’ll drop. It sounds like somebody comes out of the sky and crashed into the Earth.

“In many ways, we’re so happy and proud of the album. In some ways, we don’t want it to drop. It’s almost like having a baby: ‘OK, then the real scary stuff starts.’ The baby comes into the world and some people don’t think it’s adorable. Hopefully most people will.”

It is more than adorable. It's muscular, steamy and rocking. It is a great album. I downloaded it (via iTunes) and you can hear snippets of songs. I think any song stands on its own -- even in a thirty second snippet -- however, the album's conclusion is "Sand" and that is so well done. (Most downloads come with bonus tracks but the album is ten tracks proper.)

If you go to iTunes or Amazon and just listen to a nsippet of "Sand," you'll be downloading it. It's an amazing track and I just love the whole album.

If I was writing my review today, I'd probably note that the key is they're not trying.

I don't know if you play an instrument or not. I play a little piano. It can apply to sports as well. I play a little tennis.

If I'm at the piano and thinking, "I will play this A flat with my right hand while playing B flat with my left and . . ." of if I've got a tennis ball flying at me and I'm thinking, "I will return this with a backhanded serve as I turn three-quarters . . ." then I'm not worth listening to or watching play.

And if I'm trying, I'm forcing it.

The Wilson sisters are just doing it. It's natural, they're in the zone and that's why it all works so well and their album is so amazing. They already 'tried' while they were writing songs. By the time they got to the studio, they were just doing it. And Red Velvet Car is proof of just how great they can be.


Heart on the Chart!

After returning to the Adult Contemporary chart for the first time since 1994 (with "Hey You"), Heart celebrated its first top 10 on the Billboard 200 since 1990.

The veteran Seattle rockers, led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, bow at No. 10 "Red Velvet Car." The album is the band's first top 10 since "Brigade" reached No. 3 in May 1990 on the strength of lead single "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You," which reached No. 2 on the Hot 100.

The new album is Heart's seventh top 10 dating to its first, "Dreamboat Annie," in 1976. Here is a recap of the group's Billboard 200 top 10s:

Peak, Title, Debut Year
No. 7, "Dreamboat Annie," 1976
No. 9, "Little Queen," 1977
No. 5, "Bebe Le Strange," 1980
No. 1, "Heart," 1985
No. 2, "Bad Animals," 1987
No. 3, "Brigade," 1990
No. 10 (to-date), "Red Velvet Car," 2010

Beyond chart positions, "Red Velvet Car" affords another link to 1990. The album's closing cut, "Sand," is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, the Wilsons' 1990 acoustic side project.


Ann and Nancy on The Look!

Nancy Wilson and Ann Wilson of HEART showed up in true rocker style to the “Stand Up To Cancer” event in Los Angeles.

Parts 3 and 4 of the Red Velvet Car Podcast!

Part 3 and Part 4 of the Red Velvet Car Legacy Podcast are up. In case you missed them, here's Part 1 and Part 2. :)

Heart Enjoying Return to the Top 10

Catching up on some of these older things again. Here's a little piece on the Top 10 Debut :)

Proving that age has nothing to do with topping the charts these days, Heart -- featuring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson -- are back with their first Top Ten album in 20 years. Their new studio set, Red Velvet Car, debuted at Number Ten on the Billboard Top 200 chart, marking the band's highest charting album since 1990's Brigade peaked at Number Three.

We asked lead singer Ann Wilson how she and sister Nancy first got the news about Red Velvet Car charting high: "We were all sort of waiting around for the announcement of the numbers. And when it came, out manager Carol decided not to tell anybody (laughs)! I think she was going to spring it on us the next day or something, but we reached out and asked. And so, she had to tell us the night before."

Wilson said that having enjoyed both Heart's original success and then its runaway '80s comeback, the band is far more grounded with the new interest in Heart's music: "It's been many a year since we've had an album in the Top Ten -- it's been since the '80s. But I remember, since this isn't our first rodeo, I remember the first time around, back then what it was like to have a Number One album. And suddenly all these people come and say 'Wow! You deserve it! Wow! I knew this would happen!' The same people who, y'know, wouldn't take your calls like two weeks before (laughs). That's not to put any darkness on anything, but, it's just that people do suddenly relate to you a little differently."


Ann and Nancy on KATU Portland

This is a bit old now but it's too cute not to share. :)