Ann wilson of heart

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Ann Wilson of Heart at the Charleston Music Hall — A Show Review


It has been more than 40 years since sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart broke into the famously misogynistic boys’ club that is rock and roll and achieved commercial success with their debut album Dreamboat Annie. At a time when women in music had the option to be—as Ann Wilson has put it—“folk singers or cheesecake,” Heart wrote their own rules and served as their own role models. Early on the sisters were met with sexist gossip and a patronizing music industry, which they didn’t take lying down but absorbed as furious songwriting fuel for what became their signature song “Barracuda.” Unlike many of their contemporaries, Ann and Nancy Wilson have emerged from decades of stardom not only unscathed but reinvigorated. In 2015 and 2016 vocalist Ann Wilson released two EPs, insouciantly dubbed The Ann Wilson Thing!, consisting of new material and reinvented covers. Last year Heart released Beautiful Broken, a hodge-podge of new and old Heart songs, many reinterpreted sans synthesizers. Not wanting to tire herself or the world of the umpteenth rendition of Heart’s greatest hits, in 2017 we find Ann Wilson at a peculiar crossroads and in a state of creative upheaval. For reasons rumoured to be related to personal rifts, which might be expected of siblings and longtime professional partners, the sisters are taking a break from Heart to embark on their solo projects. On Wednesday, March 22, Ann Wilson treated fans at the Charleston Music Hall to an evening of covers and solo songwriting projects peppered, of course, with a few obligatory but no less enjoyable selections from Heart. Though solo side-projects for the sisters are nothing new, Ann Wilson’s current tour “Ann Wilson of Heart” seems to mark a distinct shift in perspective, a sort of celebratory arrival. Indeed early on the show she declared the theme of the evening to be mindfulness—mindfulness of the present moment, of love, of creativity.

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