Heart’s new projects touch on both its future and its past. The group is in the midst of making a new album — its first since “Jupiter’s Darling” in 2004 — with Detroit-born producer Ben Mink (k.d. lang, Barenaked Ladies, Rush). Guitarist Nancy Wilson says recording has taken place in Los Angeles and in various hotel rooms, and she expects to log some studio time in Heart’s home base of Seattle, too.
“We’ve done a lot of writing and we’ve been in the studio a couple times so far between some of the touring stuff we’re doing,” says Wilson, 55, who formed Heart in 1973 with her older sister, vocalist Ann Wilson. “We’ve got about eight songs that we really like, and we’ve recorded three basic (tracks) that work so far.
“I know it will be out this coming year, but I can’t give you any more specific time frame than that.”
Wilson, who is married to screenwriter and film director Cameron Crowe, is similarly vague about Heart’s other major project — a children’s storybook based on the group’s 1978 album “Dog & Butterfly.” She expects it to be out before year’s end, too, and she and her sister are recording new versions of the album’s title track and their 1976 hit “Dreamboat Annie” for a CD that will be included in copies of the book.
“We always wanted to do a children’s book of some form or another,” Wilson says. “Ann pretty much did the writing, and I kind of was her editor. She made the initial drawings of the dog and I did the butterfly. She drew the characters, mostly, and I painted them.
“We did have an artist come in and kind of fill in some of the other designs ’cause we’re kind of busy right now. It looks really good. It’s really simple.”
Heart and Michael Grimm perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (June 30) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $42 and $25 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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