The Story of Heart By Heart
The original rhythm section for Heart - one of classic rock’s most successful and revered bands - is still locked in and delivering those iconic songs as faithfully as possible, says bassist and co-founding member Steve Fossen (a member of Heart from 1969 to 1982), of his band Heart By Heart. Along with former Heart drummer Michael Derosier (1975-1982), vocalist Somar Macek, Lizzy Daymont on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and guitarist Chad Quist, Fossen says Heart By Heart is committed to playing the music with as much reverence and respect as possible.
“Our mission is to perform the classic Heart music as faithfully as we can,” according to Fossen.
Heart By Heart began organically as a duo when Fossen met vocalist Somar Macek in 2008. “We started out playing dinner parties, bistros and jam nights around town,” Fossen said of the musical pairing. By 2009, Fossen and Macek were a couple and have since married. “We were so in love, we decided to call the project Heart by Heart,” Fossen says. When booking agents began requesting a full band, Fossen welcomed the opportunity to once again play professionally with Derosier while sharing the stage with his new love, Somar.
Heart By Heart presents a powerful, dynamic show that includes all the favorite Heart hits such as Barracuda, Straight On, Crazy On You and Magic Man, as well as deep album cuts that Heart fans will love. “We take the music very seriously,” said Fossen. “Ann and Nancy Wilson are rock’s premiere sisters, and with Heart By Heart, we respect and honor that music we made together.”
Aside from regular repeat appearances around their Pacific Northwest home base, Heart By Heart has been touring the US since 2014, taking their show on the road to Performing Arts Centers, indoor and outdoor theaters, casinos, fairs and festivals.
Fossen says that one of the most rewarding aspects of Heart By Heart is meeting with fans, who are encouraged to bring Heart memorabilia to shows for the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers to sign afterwards. “We have people coming up to us after shows with tears in their eyes,” he said. “They thank us for bringing back memories of those days. Somar and I started singing these songs out a pure love for the material, and now that we’ve branched out and are touring around the country, it’s really rewarding to talk to fans and hear their stories and memories.”
On the history of Heart:
Beginning with 1975’s “Crazy on You” from Heart’s debut album “Dreamboat Annie,” the music of Heart has always had a home on the radio, a fact for which Fossen says he is grateful.
“I’m very appreciative of classic rock and classic hits radio for keeping our music alive for so many years,” he said. “It’s really cool to listen to the radio and hear a Pink Floyd song followed by a Led Zeppelin song and The Beatles and then a song by Heart will come on. It’s just a great feeling. I sit there and think ‘How did that ever happen?’”
Heart’s origins can be traced back to 1967 when Fossen formed The Army – a band that eventually morphed into Heart in 1969 after a series of different names and personnel changes, key among them being the addition of Ann Wilson in 1972 followed by sister Nancy in 1974. Heart went on to release six top-10 albums and landed 20 hit singles on the Billboard top 40 chart, including “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Heartless” and “Even it Up.”
Fossen and Derosier left Heart in 1982 following the recording of “Private Audition” and were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the classic Heart lineup in 2013.
“That was an amazing night,” Fossen said of Heart’s induction. “I had a conversation with Ann and it was good to reminisce a little bit. We have such high regard for our rock and roll heroes that it was a little surreal when we joined them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s a part of you that says ‘You’re not worthy’ but then you remember how big Heart was - and still is - such a big part of classic rock, that it was a no-brainer for us to be in there.”
(author: Mike Dow)
Heart Classic Catalog - Albums featuring Steve Fossen & Michael Derosier
Dreamboat Annie (1975) Mushroom/Capitol Records | #7 US Album Chart | US: Platinum, CAN: 2x Platinum
Singles: Magic Man | Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child) | Crazy On You
Little Queen (1977) Portrait Records | #9 US Album Chart | US: 3x Platinum, CAN: 2x Platinum
Singles: Barracuda | Kick It Out | Little Queen
Magazine (1977) Mushroom/Capitol Records | #17 US Album Chart | US: Platinum, CAN: Platinum
Dog & Butterfly (1978) Portrait/Epic Records | #17 US Album Chart | US: 2x Platinum, CAN: Platinum
Singles: Straight On | Dog & Butterfly
Bebe Le Strange (1980) Epic Records | #5 US Album Chart | US: Gold, CAN: Platinum
Singles: Even It Up | Bebe Le Strange
Private Audition (1982) Sony/BMG | #25 US Album Chart
Singles: This Man Is Mine | City’s Burning
Greatest Hits/Live (1980) Sony/BMG | #13 US Album Chart | US: 2x Platinum
Singles: Tell It Like It Is | Unchained Melody
The Essential Heart (2002) Legacy | US: Platinum
Steve Fossen is a founding member and original bassist for Heart. His work on the albums “Dreamboat Annie,” “Little Queen,” “Magazine,” “Dog & Butterfly,” “Bebe le Strange,” as well as several greatest hits and compilations, has been a staple of radio since their releases, selling tens of millions of copies. Heart was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Michael Derosier joined Heart during the recording of Heart’s first album, “Dreamboat Annie”, and is known for having one of the heaviest, most distinctive sounds and quickest feet behind the drums. Derosier is celebrated for his work on classic Heart hits such as Barracuda, Mistral Wind, and Straight On, among many others. Heart has over 20 Top 40 singles, sold over 30 million albums, and is one of the first MTV video bands, having been one of the first to shoot videos as early as 1980, in which Derosier appears. Heart was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Somar Macek, renowned, classically-trained Northwest vocalist, has gained a reputation for delivering powerful, moving renditions of every song she sings. Somar began singing at the age of 2 and has sung in various music groups throughout her adolescent years. She and Fossen joined forces in 2009 to become what they call “Heart By Heart,” captivating audiences every time they perform.
Lizzy Daymont hails from the Chicago area and is a lifelong musician having started piano studies at age 6. A few years later she picked up a guitar, followed by the bass. She attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music and later relocated to Seattle where she has been active for nearly two decades playing the Pacific Northwest club, festival and casino circuit with a variety of original and cover bands. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to any musical situation. More about Lizzy…
Chad Quist, from the Bay Area, long time Seattleite and more recently residing in LA, Chad Quist is a thirty year full time professional of the west coast music scene. Touring guy, session guitar player, producer, engineer, mixer, vocalist and transcriber are some of the gigs Chad might have in a given week. His travels with Big Brother & The Holding Company and other acts have brought him to Europe numerous times as well as Thailand, Beijing, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Mexico and throughout the continental U.S. More about Chad…