Singer-Song­writer Rita Coolidge Per­forms July 6 At Gallo Cen­ter

The Oakdale Leader - - NEWS - BY VIR­GINIA STILL vstill@oak­dale­leader.com

Con­tin­u­ing to en­ter­tain fans with a ca­reer in mu­sic that has spanned decades, Rita Coolidge has re­leased a new al­bum this year called “Safe in the Arms of Time” and will be bring­ing it live to au­di­ences in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia along with her other top hits. She will be per­form­ing at the Gallo Cen­ter for the Arts in Modesto on Fri­day, July 6 at 8 p.m.

Although her par­ents lived in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Coolidge has not per­formed at the Gallo in Modesto but is look­ing for­ward to this first time ap­pear­ance.

The two-time Grammy award win­ner has worked with sev­eral leg­endary artists through­out five decades in­clud­ing Don Hen­ley, Joe Cocker, Bob Dy­lan, Jimi Hen­drix, Eric Clap­ton and ex-hus­band Kris Kristof­fer­son. Some of her sig­na­ture hits are “We’re All Alone,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “All Time High,” and “(Your Love has lifted me) Higher and Higher.”

Af­ter liv­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia for many years, Coolidge moved to Tal­la­has­see, Florida ear­lier this year. There, she was able to re­con­nect with friends Stan Lynch, the for­mer drum­mer for Tom Petty, and Joe Hutto, which led to the trio writ­ing a song to­gether. That song, “You Can Fall in Love”, is fea­tured on the new al­bum and is about rekin­dling an old flame. It is just one of many that Coolidge said makes the new re­lease a spe­cial one for her.

“We took three years writ­ing and get­ting songs to­gether for the al­bum,” stated Coolidge. “This is my ‘Dream Come True’ record. I have lis­tened to this record more than any other record I have ever made.”

She also made her way to Nashville and spent some time with four-time Grammy Award win­ner Keb’ Mo, an Amer­i­can Blues mu­si­cian, singer, song­writer, and gui­tarist that she did a duet with on the new al­bum. At the stu­dio in Nashville Coolidge wrote “Walk­ing on Wa­ter” and “Naked All Night.” The other tracks on the al­bum were se­lected af­ter go­ing through thou­sands of songs and col­lab­o­rat­ing with other writ­ers in Nashville.

“It was real im­por­tant to me to have the right 12 songs that ac­tu­ally tell a story and have a voice,” added Coolidge. “The fact that I have been able to record and to per­form mu­sic and the au­di­ence is still there and peo­ple love the mu­sic is the great­est mo­ti­va­tion of all. If that were not in place there would be no rea­son for me to con­tinue.”

The solo al­bum was re­leased in May and Coolidge ex­plained that it could be cat­e­go­rized as Amer­i­cana mu­sic that has a lit­tle In­die, a lit­tle pop, and some blues.

At the July 6 show, fans can ex­pect to hear for­mer hits from Coolidge along with songs from the new al­bum. She trav­els with a four piece rhythm sec­tion in­clud­ing pi­ano, drums, gui­tar and bass and likes to share some in­sight on where the songs came from with the au­di­ence.

“I think it is im­por­tant to have com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the au­di­ence,” Coolidge said. “I learned that a long time ago. If you go to a con­cert and the artist that you go to see just plays the songs you might as well have stayed home and played the record.”

In­spired in her early years by artists like Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dy­lan, Leonard Co­hen, and Kris Kristof­fer­son, she has al­ways had a love for mu­sic. She has been per­form­ing since she was a lit­tle girl singing in church with her two sis­ters and in col­lege at Florida State, where she ma­jored in Art. She al­ways knew, though, that her path was des­tined for mu­sic.

“I love mu­sic,” ex­pressed Coolidge. “Again the rea­son that I am in­spired to be out there is not only that I am with a group of mu­si­cians that are like my fam­ily but the main rea­son that I am still do­ing it is that there are peo­ple that still want to hear the mu­sic. As long as there is an au­di­ence of peo­ple who are buy­ing the new record or still lis­ten­ing to the old records and still want to come to a Rita con­cert, then I am go­ing to be there.”

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

Per­form­ing at the Gallo Cen­ter for the Arts in Modesto, Rita Coolidge will take the stage on Fri­day, July 6 at 8 p.m.

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