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The Heart of Heart: Ann Wilson Pay Tribute to Her Departed Heroes at Britt

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Ann Wilson. Photo Credit: Drew Patterson

Singing is like breathing for Ann Wilson. When she belts out lyrics to The Who’s “Don’t Get Fooled Again” or Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” or Heart’s “Barracuda” there is power, courage and passion exhaled.

“The stage is where I have always lived; where I’ve expressed my deepest emotions and supreme joys,” Wilson stated in an interview with the Messenger. “I suppose I am addicted to it. I’ve never been much good at talking, but I can sing, and when I sing I connect with people in a much deeper, higher way.”

Although the band, Heart, went on hiatus in August, Wilson has been on the road with a familiar lineup of musicians, and as a quasi-solo act. She has an appearance at the Elsinore Theatre in Salem on July 9 and arrives in the Rogue Valley at the Britt Pavilion on July 11.

“Ann Wilson of Heart is what I have been preparing for all my life. The time is right, and I’m ready.”

Wilson promises “a beautiful, classy set with an elegant, artistic production. The music will be a mix of songs that have powered my life; iconic soul stirring covers, songs from my years of solo work and the unforgettable songs of Heart.”

Musicians on board for the Ann Wilson of Heart tour include Craig Bartock on guitar from San Francisco. He was a Heart member for a dozen years, who also performed in the Ann Wilson Thing for two years. Also playing, Andy Stoller on bass from Seattle who was an Ann Wilson Thing member for two years. Finally, Denny Fongheiser, a Heart member in the 90s, on drums and percussion from Los Angeles.

Wilson’s new album, Immortal, is due out in September. In a press release from the Mitch Schneider Organization, Wilson explains the reason for making the album and its final title, “As my understanding of what I had undertaken grew and clarified, I realized a larger truth; that the souls may have departed but the songs will forever be their resonances. These are the poets of our time and their expressions must be handed down. Poetry is lasting and elemental like carvings in rock.” The album pays tribute to musicians, like Tom Petty, Amy Winehouse and David Bowie who have passed in the last few years.

And there is no shortage of fans panting for Wilson’s heartfelt interpretations of other artists. After hearing Wilson’s 2017 performance of “I put a Spell on You,” an online fan praises: “Her voice still makes me shudder. The best voice of the universe.”

Another fan raves about her performance of “Ring Them Bells” with Emmylou Harris and Wynonna Judd in 2016: “I used to be a casual Ann Wilson fan but a few years back a friend showed me the Stairway to Heaven Cover at the Kennedy Center. After I heard that I became completely addicted to that voice. I’ve searched the edges of YouTube and hunted down anything Ann Wilson sings, and I have yet to find a performance that disappoints me or turns me away. This performance is no exception.”


An Evening with Ann Wilson of Heart

8 pm, Wednesday, July 11

Britt Pavilion, 350 First Street, Jacksonville

$32 – $276


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