There is a calm and serene spirituality to Ann Wilson in 2022 that instantly draws you to her. She feels like a warm, wise person who’s seen enough bullshit to know how to calmly avoid it, and someone who’s at peace with everything she needs to be at peace. Perhaps that’s why the soul (and, indeed, the title) of his latest album, Fierce Bliss (scheduled for release April 29 via Silver Lining Music) provides a universally entertaining, engaging, honest and sure in these unpredictable times.
Take “Greed,” the powerful lead single… “’Greed’ is that thing in our animal nature that makes us crave MORE,” Wilson says. “Whether it’s money, sex, power or ecstasy, it excites our desires! It happens with all of us. When you turn around and catch yourself making decisions because you want money or because you’re caught in the headlights of fame, well, those are greedy times.
Wilson continues, “I think people who claim to have made all their decisions from a root of pure idealism, and never done anything dark or greedy, are lying. I think anyone who ventures into the music industry in particular hoping for a career with great success, ends up doing these Faustian bargains at some point, even if only briefly. It’s an aggressive song and I think I write better when I’m angry.
Watch a music video for “Greed” below.
One of the premier hard rock singers of all time, Wilson broke boundaries with her band Heart, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame pioneers, 8 times platinum and over 35 million in sales, who formed in 1973. Over a decades-long career, Wilson rode the roller coaster of fame, fortune and madness, learning both joyful and hard, tough lessons along the way. Fast forward to the summer of 2020, and a meeting with legendary veteran “artist lawyer” Brian Rohan served as the catalyst for the creation of Fierce Bliss.
“Brian recommended people to me who knew people in Nashville, so I met these guys like [famed Nashville session guitarist] Tom Bukovac and Tony Lucido at these Muscle Shoals Sound Studio sessions. I had never met them before and they really inspired me. It was like a big door opening. »
With musical chemistry organically established, Fierce Bliss quickly came together. “I originally intended to come in, record a few songs and see what I had, but it just took this lifetime,” Wilson remarks. “At the Sound Stage in Nashville, Kenny Wayne Shepherd came in and played on a few songs. He was a whole different influence coming in. He just played his butt, and with the gospel singers and everything else that got together, the whole project started to grow.
Wilson continues, “I had known Warren Haynes from Gov’t Mule for some time. We had written a few songs with Gov’t Mule, and those completed the record. So all of a sudden, where there was no record before, I suddenly had eleven cool songs that I really liked.
Fierce Bliss is a classic rock comfort food made with the finest ingredients, carrying a richness and lightness that lets you escape into timeless nostalgia. 11 perfectly weighted and curated songs, ranging from Wilson co-written originals to jaw-dropping covers and collaborations. “A Moment in Heaven” could easily apply to anyone who saw their career suddenly bathed in a ray of glory before the spotlight was abruptly shifted elsewhere. There’s a deeply spiritual air about Ann Wilson 2022, and “Black Wing” and “Angel’s Blues” show different sides of that soul and ethos. Additionally, Wilson brings new life and verve to classic songs, such as Queen’s “Love of My Life” and Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs,” and has helped create definitive versions of each that stand up. neck and neck with the originals.
To top it off, the album cover comes from the mind and hands of famous fantasy artist Roger Dean, who apart from his work in fantasy art is also renowned for his YES cover art.
Fierce Bliss is available for pre-order here in CD Casebound Book (deluxe package), Vinyl and Digital formats.
Fierce Bliss Tracklist:
“Bridge of Sighs”
“Fight for Life”
“Love of My Life” (with Vince Gill)
“The Missionary Man”
“A moment in paradise”
“The Angel’s Blues” *
“As the World Turns”
*Only available on CD and digital formats
Ann Wilson – Vocals
Tom Bukovac – Guitar
Tony Lucido – Bass
Sean T Lane – drums, percussion and bicycle
Gordon Mote – Keyboards
Tim Lauer – Keyboards
– Produced by Ann Wilson and Tom Bukovac
– “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues” produced by Ann Wilson and Warren Haynes
– Mixed by Chuck Ainlay
– Recorded by Chuck Ainlay at Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals, AL and Soundstage, Nashville, TN
– “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues” recorded by Joe Paterno at Power Station, Waterford, CT
– “Black Wing” recorded by Sean Walker at Uberbeatz, Lynnwood, WA
– Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, Edgewater, NJ
– Executive Producer Jim Zumwalt
Musicians who appear on Fierce Bliss:
Voice – Vince Gill on “Love of My Life”
Lead Guitar – Kenny Wayne Shepherd on “Bridge of Sighs” and “Missionary Man”
Guitar – Warren Haynes on “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues”
Guitar – Tyler Boley on “Black Wing”
Keyboards – Danny Louis on “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues”
Keyboards – Dan Walker on “Black Wing”
Bass – Jorgen Carlsson on “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues”
Bass – Andy Stoller on “Black Wing”
Drums – Matt Abts on “Gladiator” and “Angel’s Blues”
Chorus – The Rev Nathan Young Singers on “Missionary Man”
Wilson will soon be hitting the road with her new band, and make no mistake, she’s a performer at heart so her enthusiasm is palpable. Ann Wilson seems to be more at home with herself (and her art) than ever with Fierce Bliss and the band she’ll be touring with. “I think for someone who’s been through as much as I have and lived to tell stories, it’s good to share my experiences,” Wilson says wisely. “I also heard from a lot of young musicians and listeners who thanked me for sticking around and staying up, for being successful, for making the concessions once but not twice, and for being able to live it all with dignity.”
The tour will kick off February 19 at Family Gras in Metairie, LA, with more dates to be announced soon.
19 – Metairie, LA – Gras Family
4 – San Francisco, CA – Great American
5 – Napa, CA – The Uptown Theater
7 – Pala, CA – Pala Casino
9 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater
10 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater
13 – Los Cabos, MEX – Hard Rock
11 – Peachtree City, GA – Fred Amphitheater
13/14 – Nashville, TN – East Basement
16 – Tampa, Florida – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
17 – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – The Parker
Tickets can be purchased here.