ANN WILSON OF HEART
TODAY RELEASES “I AM THE HIGHWAY”
AS FIRST TRACK FROM HER NEW ALBUM
‘IMMORTAL’
DUE OUT SEPTEMBER 14 ON BMG
 
ANN’S HEADLINING DATES START TONIGHT,
AFTER WHICH SHE JOINS THE SUMMER-LONG 
STARS ALIGN TOUR”
WITH JEFF BECK AND PAUL RODGERS BEGINNING JULY 18
ANN WILSON of HEART, one of rock’s most distinctive and powerful vocalists, has released I Am the Highway” as the first track from her new album that’s due out September 14 on BMG. Fittingly titled IMMORTAL, the album features 10 musically diverse tracks that pay tribute to some of ANN‘s influences and friends who’ve recently passed and whose music poignantly lives on.
 
“I Am The Highway”–originally an Audioslave song that was sung by the late Chris Cornell and written with his bandmates–was released today (July 6) across all digital platformsafter its premiere yesterday at RollingStone.com. The song is also available as an instant-grat track with album pre-orders, starting today; click here to access.
 
“The song is strong, confident, spiritual,” says the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee of “I Am The Highway.” “It’s about a person who refuses to be tied down to the mundane, who is constantly looking for freedom and independence on a more universal scale, not just ordinary everyday reality. It was the cry of a soul, and it’s a beautiful song. Chris and I were friends; we had a lot in common, we were both outsiders in a way. He left us with amazing music.”
For IMMORTAL, which marks her debut for BMG, ANN has teamed with original Heart producer Mike Flicker (Dreamboat Annie, Magazine, Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange, among others). “Mike was the first producer to believe in me,” ANN says. “He was my first teacher in the studio and knows how to provide that special support needed to bring out my soul in the recording process. It is exciting to work with him for the first time since 1980. I have traveled many, many miles since then but the old feeling is still there and fresh on Immortal. He has fearlessly helped me bring my ideas to life once again and it’s been a great collaboration.”
 
ANN chose the album title IMMORTAL after revealing some working titles early on in the project. “The original working titles evolved as the concept for the album evolved; a little bit at a time,” explains ANN. “As my understanding of what I had undertaken grew and clarified, I realized a larger truth; that the souls may have departed but the songs will forever be their resonances. These are the poets of our time and their expressions must be handed down. Poetry is lasting and elemental like carvings in rock.
The finely etched tracks that comprise IMMORTAL cover a lot of musical ground, with many highlights including songs by Leonard Cohen (“A Thousand Kisses Deep”), Amy Winehouse (“Back to Black”), David Bowie (“I’m Afraid of Americans”), Lesley Gore (“You Don’t Own Me”) and Tom Petty (“Luna”). ANN says the criteria for choosing this collection of songs was easy. “First of all, I had to LOVE them! They had to be songs I could get inside of authentically as a singer. Lyrics are important to me but the most important thing is always the marriage of words and melody that makes the song magic!”
 
With sexism at the forefront of the national conversation, ANN says this did factor into the inclusion of “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore. “‘You Don’t Own Me’ was originally an early feminist anthem in the 1960’s and ’70’s. Since then the idea of self possession has grown to be more universal…This song is about refusing to be objectified and owned. By anyone.”
 
IMMORTAL includes some very special guests as well. “Warren Haynes plays on Tom Petty’s ‘Luna’ and ‘You Don’t Own Me,'” ANN reveals. “Ben Mink is featured on Leonard Cohen’s ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black.’ They are both musicians and great people whom I admire. It’s always a pleasure and an honor to work with them. Their souls shine through on these songs!”
 
The full IMMORTAL track listing is as follows:
 
“You Don’t Own Me” (Lesley Gore)
“I Am the Highway” (Chris Cornell, Audioslave)
“Luna” (Tom Petty)
“I’m Afraid of Americans” (David Bowie)
“Politician” (Cream) in honor of Jack Bruce
“A Thousand Kisses Deep” (Leonard Cohen)
“Life in the Fast Lane” (Joe Walsh, The Eagles) in honor of Glenn Frey
“Back to Black” (Amy Winehouse)
“A Different Corner” (George Michael)
“Baker Street” (Gerry Rafferty)
 
ANN‘s headlining solo dates start tonight (July 6) in Snoqualmie, WA and run through July 15 in Aspen, CO. Then, she joins the much-anticipated “Stars Align Tourwith Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers, which kicks off July 18 in West Valley City, Utah and stops in over 20 cities across the U.S. and Canada including Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Toronto and Nashville, before wrapping August 26 in Tampa. ANN‘s set list this summer will include songs from IMMORTAL. The songs will also be featured in ANN‘s first-ever solo television special (details TBA), taped this past April at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL, to coincide with the album’s release.
 
ANN WILSON‘s upcoming tour dates are as follows:
 
DATE
CITY
VENUE
Headlining Dates:
Fri
7/6
Snoqualmie, WA
Snoqualmie Casino
Sat
7/7
Bremerton, WA
Admiral Theatre
Mon
7/9
Salem, OR
Elsinore Theatre
Wed
7/11
Jacksonville, OR
Britt Pavilion
Thu
7/12
Lemoore, CA
Tachi Palace
Sat
7/14
Albuquerque, NM
Route 66 Casino
Sun
7/15
Aspen, CO
Belly Up
Stars Align Tour with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers:
Wed
7/18
West Valley City, UT
USANA Amphitheatre
Fri
7/20
Irvine, CA
Five Point Amphitheatre
Sun
7/22
Chula Vista, CA
Mattress Firm Amphitheatre

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.