Posts Tagged ‘Magic Man’


It was a night with the sisterhood of the traveling guitars, a Gold Dust Woman, and a lady hailing from Port Arthur, TX Friday night at the Flamingo Room in Houston, TX with Spare Heart – a Tribute to Heart, Nightbird: Stevie NicksTribute, & Kozmic Pearl – a tribute to Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin., and opener Black Roze.

BlackRozeHouston kicked off the evening with a nice rendition of Your Love by the Outfield. However, that was nothing compared to the sultry vocals of the excellent Pat Benatar classic Invincible by Claudia Valenzuela. Their set was like a nice iPod playlist. They were a pretty good warmup for what was to come.

Spare Heart kicked off their set with a nice rendition of the 1978 hit Straight On from the Dog & Butterfly album. They even added a few bars to the song in a sort of jam-like session virtue, which gave the song a strong, welcome-to-the-show-like quality. However, the definitive showstopper was none other than Heart’s 1985 single Never in which bass player Sean Harrold brought the house down with his mad bass-playing skills.

In the style of the original Heart, Spare Heart changed the pace of the show with a slow, yet beautiful rendition of Love Alive. However, lead singer Linda Lambert kicks it back into high gear with Crazy On You and the ever-enchanting Magic Man. One of the more interesting things about their performance of Magic Man is that guitarist Staci Butler stays true to the Dreamboat Annie Live version rather than the actual recording of Dreamboat Annie.

However, what performance of a Heart tribute band would not be complete with a rousing performance of Heart’s most recognizable hit, Barracuda, which is the [literal] high note that Spare Heart used to close their set.

Kozmic Pearl was essentially like a little glimpse into what it may have been like to see the late legendary Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band in 1969 at Woodstock in . However, the highlight was when lead singer Myrna Sanders launched into a sultry rendition of Summertime and Cry Baby. According to one event attendee, Sanders was pretty close in her interpretation of Janis Joplin in both voice and even her bohemian-like style.

The main headliner was Nightbird – a Stevie Nicks tribute band. Lead vocalist Brooke Alyson portrays “Stevie Nicks” with much finesse as she launched into the ever-popular Stand Back – complete with twirls and sashays much like the real Stevie Nicks. One of the interesting things is that Alyson consistently takes cues from Nicks’ live shows – such as Nicks recent live show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion.

One of the best things about Nightbird is that, like Stevie herself, Alyson adds quite extensively to the performance version of the songs – much like she did on the classic 1985 single Talk To Me. Alyson’s version sounds more like the Live At Red Rocks version rather than the actual recording. One of the best moments is when she semi-quietly sings the line though we lay face to face and cheek to cheek/ Our voices stray from the common ground where they could meet/ The walls run high, to veil a swelling tear” and then bursts into the rest of this beautiful song, giving it a majestic bang.

Nightbird pleases both new and dire-hard fans of Stevie Nicks

However one of the major surprises is that Alyson performed some of the deeper tracks of Nicks’ career such as songs from her latest album In Your Dreams where she did an a capella version of Moonlight (A Vampires Delight) as a lead-in to Sorcerer. Sorcerer is a Buckingham Nicks song  that was meant for (but didn’t make the final cut) of the album of the same title that was released prior to Nicks and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham’s union with Fleetwood Mac.

Another major albeit nice surprise was the fact that keyboard player Kelli Thompson sang the Fleetwood Mac hit You Make Lovin’ Fun from 1977’s Rumours album as well as guitarist Adam Walton’s interpretation of I’m So Afraid.

It was a great night that celebrated the three most influential women in rock and roll.

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In 1976, there were very few well-known women in hard rock. Enter two sisters named Ann and Nancy Wilson from Seattle, WA and their outlaw boyfriends  Mike and Roger Fisher. When those women came across the border, magic and Dreamboat Annie was born!

Dreamboat Annie is the 1st album that was released by Heart. Normally with legendary bands, when they release their first album, it takes a bit of maturing on the part of the band to find their voice. Not so with Heart. Heart knows that the audience wants 100% unbridled creativity from their artists and that is exactly what shows on such songs as the hauntingly beautiful Magic Man where Wilson exclaims “‘come on home girl’ he said with a smile/ ‘you don’t have to love me and let’s get high awhile’/ ‘but try to understand’/ ‘try to understand’/ ‘try try try to understand I’m a magic man.'” On other tracks such as Crazy on You and Sing Child show that the Wilson sisters can rock with the best of their peers. They even get a bit raunchy like their male counterparts with White Lightning and Wine – a tribute to the effect that happens when you mix cocaine and booze.

However, the Wilsons are not all hard-rock, no ballad. There are plenty of beautiful ballads such as the three (count ’em), three different versions of Dreamboat Annie – all of which are amazing.

Unfortunately for Heart, their fortune was put in trouble with their own record company, Mushroom Records, decided to launch a poorly-done campaign resulting in a tabloid-style ad placed in such magazines as Rolling Stone that showed band leaders and sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson as sister lesbian lovers. The ad campaign showed the sisters from the shoulders up with the headline “it was only our first time.” This led to a host of legal problems involving both the band and Mushroom records – which went out of business in 1980.

Legal problems aside, the album itself is a great album. The Wilson sisters made history with this album and that is what makes it great.