Out today (May 7th) is You And Me, the debut solo album from Heart‘s Nancy Wilson. The album was recorded at the guitarist’s home studio in California with guests contributing remotely. In addition to new original tunes, Wilson teams up with Sammy Hagar for a new take on Simon & Garfunkel‘s “The Boxer,” along with covers Pearl Jam‘s “Daughter,” Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Rising,” and the Cranberries‘ “Dreams” — featuring Liv Warfield best known from her work with Prince‘s New Power Generation, and Wilson’s side-band, Roadcase Royale.
Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins are featured on the album’s rocker “Party At The Angel Ballroom,” with Wilson paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen on the new original, titled, “4 Edward.”
Wilson spoke to Rolling Stone and gave the backstory to some of the album’s tracks: “I had previously come to Taylor Hawkins’ home studio to sing vocals on his great solo album Get The Money. When I later asked him if he had any jams in his back pocket, he sent me the jam he’d recorded with Duff. Such a great energy. So I rearranged it and finished it. Then Taylor added his great background vocals.”
She went on to explain how her duet with Sammy Hagar on Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘”The Boxer” came about, recalling, “I sang (it) through the last big Heart tour and the response was so big. So when I asked my buddy Sammy to lend his voice to the album, he wisely picked ‘The Boxer.’ Having been a boxer himself, it’s no surprise how he embodies the energy of the character of the song.”
Nancy Wilson has been playing guitar for most of her life. She recalled the moment she knew she would forever be a musician: “I got a guitar in my hands and it was. . . my guy. It was instantly my guy. I’d played piano and ukulele a little up to then, but it was like this rich, um, character of sound that was really responsive to the touch and to the intention of what you wanted it to say. And it had a lot to say on its own, the guitar.”
Nancy Wilson will perform with the Seattle Symphony on July 9th at the city’s Benaroya Hall. Joining Wilson will be collaborator and singer Liv Warfield.