Ann Wilson, of Heart, performs at Ridgefield Playhouse
Ann Wilson, the lead singer and songwriter of Heart, was home in Florida, “just kind of hangin’ out with my husband,” when we reached her to chat about her upcoming show at the Ridgefield Playhouse.
Wilson, 67, will be there Tuesday, Aug. 22, with a mix of tunes from Heart and her solo projects, as well as songs that have influenced her life. Performing since the early 1970s, she knows what kind of music she wants to share, and how she wants to project herself. Relaxed and down-to-earth, she even had a hand in the multicolored hairdo in her publicity shot.
“Yeah, it was my idea,” Wilson said. When we asked what kind of look she was going for, she laughed, and said, “Elizabeth Taylor on Molly.”
Wilson’s two-hour show will include “three or four Heart songs that have been reworked, a few new originals and some really fun covers.” She’ll be backed by guitarist Craig Bartock, bassist Andy Stoller, drummer Denny Fongheiser and Dan Walker on keyboards.
“I’ll chat quite a bit, but it’s not like a full-on storyteller show because we have a lot of music,” she said. “We do about 20 songs in all. There’s a full video for each song that has been designed for each song like a mini movie. It’s a really cool show.”
Fans of Heart (which also includes her sister, Nancy Wilson) can expect to hear “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” “What About Love?” and “A Million Miles,” the latter is a deep cut from the group’s “Fanatic” album (2012).
“Crazy on You” is about wanting to forget all the problems of the world during a night of passion. Wilson said it was written during the Vietnam War era when she was in her early 20s. Heart was in Canada because a guy in the band didn’t believe in the war.
“His choice was to go to jail or Canada, and we followed him. ... When I wanted to go back to Seattle to visit my family ... I got pulled over because I was known by the FBI as the girlfriend of a draft evader.”
Wilson said, “They were scary times. ... It was a coping mechanism to be in love and go into the house and close the door, and be with somebody who really understood.”
“Anguish,” “Fighten Fer Life” and “Fool No More” are among the tunes she’ll do from her solo projects. Aside from her set list, Wilson has planned out the entire evening’s music, including what’s heard as concertgoers enter the venue, during intermission and when they leave.
“So you’re listening to me all night long, whether I’m on stage or not,” she said, with a laugh. The mood she aims to set is “dramatic and rockin,’ all the way down to very soft, delicate ... thought-provoking.”
Though not sure what the future holds, Wilson said lots of things are in the works. For now she’s enjoying her solo tour, where she gets to “climb out of the box and do what I want to do.”
LKoonz@newstimes.com; Twitter: @LindaTKoonz