You may know them as the rocking sisters of the veteran rock act Heart, but sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are set to make a name for themselves as authors as well. They are in the process of finishing up work on a children’s book that is based on their 1978 album Dog & Butterfly. Admittedly not one of my favorite Heart albums, but it does sound like a great inspiration for a children’s book.
Ann and Nancy Wilson may be writing a book, but that does not mean they have any career-changing plans. They are also in the process of working on a new album, although they are uncertain about its completion date.
“We’re recording with just a real woodshed, small acoustic element, people playing together at the same time and (in) the same room — like what they used to call a hootenanny,” Nancy Wilson says. “There’s no ProTools feel to it at all. We’re just sitting around playing guitars together and going for a performance that is on the spot.”
That’s the kind of talk I lake to hear coming from Heart, since I think that is the kind of environment where they really shine. Their 1976 album, Dreamboat Annie, which remains one of my favorite albums of all time, was recorded on a 16-track Ampex tape machine coupled with a used tube-driven console that was purchased from United Studios who was in the process of upgrading their own consoles to the newer solid-state versions at the time.
The sound they coaxed out of that old set-up over thirty years ago amazes me to this day. One of the best-sounding albums I have ever heard. That’s what makes Wilson’s comments about keeping the process of recording the new album simple so intriguing.
Returning to the present day and getting back to the new album, Nancy Wilson reports that they have about eight songs that they are really pleased with and that three basic tracks have been recorded so far. It’s interesting to note that in addition to recording in Los Angeles, some recording has been done in various hotel rooms during the course of the group’s tours. I’m very interested to find out what a new Heart album will sound like.
Some of the material from the new album may be debuted live this summer. Heart is scheduled for a number of dates into September, including nine shows they are opening for Journey.
Thanks to Billboard for the news.