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Ex-Foreigner Singer Exercises His Faith

Of the Oakland Press

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Lou Gramm's still "Hot Blooded" -- just not necessarily in the way he was when he was lead singer of Foreigner.

Gramm and his band, which includes his younger brothers Ben and Richard Grammatico, recently finished recording a new album that will be out this fall. It is, he acknowledges, a Christian rock album, which has drawn "mixed" reactions from decades of fans used to hearing him sing Foreigner hits.

"I'm not sure what people think -- that by doing a Christian rock album you suddenly become a completely different person or your creative self changes?" says Gramm, 58, who's been concentrating on his solo career since recovering from a brain tumor in the late '90s and leaving Foreigner for a second time in 2003.

"It really just means that a lot of the subject matter changes. A lot more thought goes into the lyrics. But I can tell you that it rocks from one end to the next -- that kind of attitude but with a different subject matter."

Fans won't be hearing that new material this summer, however; Gramm explains that "the record company has asked us not to start doing that until we get a little closer." So his shows are focusing on songs from the Foreigner catalog and from his two solo albums, even if "a few of them don't work for me, but I will perform any and all of them for the time being."

"I can look back on (his previous music) with a lot of pride," Gramm notes, "and I can see how my path has led me to where I am now. But I am much more in charge of where this band goes and what the music is than I ever had a chance to be in Foreigner.

"So for better or for worse, it's [i]my[/i] direction."

Lou Gramm and Patty Smyth & Scandal perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 12) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Tickets from the original July 9 date will be honored. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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