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Heart still beats for new music

of the Oakland Press

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It's been six years since Heart put out a new studio album. But guitarist Nancy Wilson says the sister duo's just-released "Red Velvet Car" is the result of both pragmatic and creative ambitions.

"Maybe it's a fear of the bank -- a fear of working in the bank, a fear of the real world," Wilson, 56, the younger of the two Heart sisters, explains with a laugh. "We're pretty well versed in now to do OK in the real world, but you're not necessarily prepared to live in the real world, either, when you've done this all your life.

"So I think continuing to do it is a pretty good idea."

"Red Velvet Car" finds Wilson and her sister Ann, who co-founded Heart during 1974 in Vancouver, working with producer Ben Mink, whose credits include k.d. lang and Barenaked Ladies as well as Ann Wilson's 2007 solo album, "Hope & Glory." "We've always wanted to work with Ben Mink, and we've actually been sort of romancing him for a couple of years, just trying to get him in our corner to agree to do something," Nancy Wilson says.

"After they worked together, it was like, 'Come on! Please! We've gotta do a Heart album with him.' It wasn't going to be right until we did."

Wilson, who's married to filmmaker Cameron Crowe and has 10-year-old twin boys, says the collaboration with Mink was "a natural fit" that yielded an album that sounds like vintage Heart -- much to the sisters' delight.

"It reminds me a lot of when we were first starting out because it's really exciting," she explains. "It's a lot like it was at the beginning, except with more experience to know how to survive it. It's just way more fun, which is a great way to feel about it this far along."

Heart and the Auctioneers perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, 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.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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