ANN WILSON (Heart) – The Ann Wilson Thing! #1, #2 & Live At The Belly Up

ANN WILSON (Heart) - The Ann Wilson Thing! #1, #2 & Live At The Belly Up - full

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, founding member of Heart and all around amazing vocalist ANN WILSON has been releasing solo material under the “The Ann Wilson Thing!” moniker. She’s in the wagon of many artists with EP between few months. Here you have The Ann Wilson Thing # 2, but let’s take a look at #1 and Live At The Belly Up as well, both appeared before.

Ann Wilson is leading a double life these days and she’s enjoying it immensely. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is still touring with Heart (and composing a new album), but for about a year has also been performing solo in support of her EP’s The Ann Wilson Thing!
In fact, Live At The Belly Up was taped during these shows, including songs not appeared into the EP’s.

The interpretive genius of Ann Wilson was writ large during her billowing Kennedy Center rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, this moment so transcendent that it moved Robert Plant to tears.

The Ann Wilson Thing #1 & #2, traces more deeply into their influence, deeper even than more straight-forward tributes away from Heart that include the Lovemongers’ “Battle of Evermore” and her solo debut’s take on “Immigrant Song.”
No, with The Ann Wilson Thing she follows Led Zeppelin’s original path all the way back to the blues — a primordial gut-check.
Along the way, she builds something revelatory into her legacy, something which shows us more than a cover song ever could.

The Ann Wilson Thing!, in fact, would seem to have little (at least at first) to do with her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame work alongside sister Nancy Wilson in Heart.
But when in #1 she excavates three covers initially associated with Buffalo Springfield, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin — they’re coupled here with a searing original called “Fool No More” that lays bear the cost of addiction — it becomes clear how much the blues always worked just beneath the surface of her craft.
It is in these rootsy moments, as with Ann Wilson’s musical heroes, when you get closest to the bone.

On #2 there’s two new, original songs written by Ann and guitarist Craig Bartok. My fav “Fighten Fer Life” harkens back to those early acoustic Heart tunes we all know and love. It has some tasty slide and some awesome soulful vocals from Ms. Wilson.
“Anguish” has that bluesy Led Zep feel to it that we all know flows through Ann’s veins. This is a great tune that features a slow moving and sexy groove. Ann even throws-in some “baby baby baby” and some groans ala Mr. Plant.

ANN WILSON (Heart) - The Ann Wilson Thing! #1, #2 & Live At The Belly Up - inside

The two other songs are covers: classic Jimi Hendrix’s classic “Manic Depression” – I never thought I’d get to sing a Jimi Hendrix song, said Ann – but she does a terrific job here, very sleek and cool.
“Don’t Give Up” is Ann’s take on Peter Gabriel’s famous songs, and one very difficult to perform. I really like the more intimate feel provided by Wilson and the production.
Both EP’s have been ripped from physical CD, the live album only was digitally released.

It’s hard to know how long this particular solo incarnation will last, with so much history at play as a member of Heart. But the Ann Wilson Thing! – far more than her 2007 guest-packed solo album – represents the rare solo thing that feels nothing like a vanity project.
No, this particular thing clearly underscores an important part of who Ann Wilson was all along. It’s raw honesty music, something unvarnished and true.
Strongly Recommended

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox


01 – Manic Depression
02 – Fighten Fer Life
03 – Don t Give Up
04 – Anguish
05 – For What It’s Worth
06 – Fool No More
07 – Ain’t No Way
08 – Danger Zone
09 – I Put A Spell On You (Live)
10 – Every Grain Of Sand (Live)
11 – Isolation (Live)
12 – Permission (Live)
13 – Danger Zone (Live)
14 – Ain’t No Way (Live)

Ann Wilson – vocals, guitar
Craig Bartock – guitars
Andy Stoller – bass
Chris Joyner – keys
Ben Smith – drums, percussion



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