The heart of rock ’n’ roll is still beating
Pop musician Huey Lewis started his career more than 40 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area and in 1979 formed Huey Lewis and The News. The sound was perfect for the burgeoning video era of MTV. (Lewis & Co. won a Grammy for their “Heart of Rock ’n’ Roll” video.) The News has had multiple hits, such as “I Want a New Drug” and “The Power of Love,” and plays Green Valley Ranch on Aug. 24. Lewis took a few minutes to talk to Nina King.
Q: What can fans expect for the Vegas show?
A: We do mix it around quite a bit, but they’ll definitely get a healthy dose of hits; we’ll probably do some new stuff, throw in some from our latest album, Soulsville; a little stuff from all of our records, pretty much.
Q: You released Soulsville in 2010. Is a follow-up in the works?
A: We actually recorded an extra eight things. But I don’t think it’s appropriate to do another one of those right now, ’cause we just did that. We’re working on a new thing. It’ll be a while but I think that will be the next move; it’ll be some original stuff.
Q: You’ve done some acting in movies, onstage and in Hot in Cleveland. Are there plans for more of that type of work?
A: I do those things when they come my way, if they’re creative. Right now I’m trying to stay alive in 110-degree heat when we play outdoors, which is not easy at my age. I think there’s a warning we’re not we’re supposed to be out in this stuff, let alone do a 75-minute rock and roll show. … It’s tough, but we make it.
Q: Thinking back on what you’ve done musically, was there any one thing or project that you were most proud of?
A: Stan Getz, when he played on Small World. That was a thing I’ll never forget. And let’s see, when Dr. John sang on Four Chords & Several Years Ago … that was a treat. And this latest record, Soulsville, is among our best work. We did it in Memphis right amidst what’s left of the Stax Record hierarchy; they were the keepers of the flame: John Fry, Deanie Parker, Nicole Hayes, Wayne Jackson, Al Bell. They had a playback party for us at Stax. It was a neat thing; we really got embraced by the community.
Q: Anything you want to tell your fans?
A: We’re very happy to be alive and well, to be honest. The object of this whole exercise is to play and have people show up. Amazingly, at this ripe old age, of this 33rd year of our band, or the 35th probably, we’re still improving. We’re happy to see everybody and we still love what we do. Go figure. Even in 110-degree heat.