Restless Heart is at it again. With packed days, a new album and a 30-year anniversary tour, the band is busy working, as it makes its way to McKinney for a Sept. 6 concert at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.
The band is finishing a string of shows to celebrate its success in the music industry. And while definitely a reminder of the ballads and melodies that helped rocket the country-inspired group to fame in the 1980s, Restless Heart is still charting out its sound with new songs, a new Christmas album and a new energy.
“It’s totally different,” lead singer Larry Stewart said. “Back in the ’80s when you’re in the firestorm of making records, being on the road, people are tugging and pulling different directions, you’ve got five band members trying to agree and get along; it’s a great time and a tough time. We were trying to figure out who we were. You put that against five guys who have been through a lot and now appreciate where we’ve been and feel so blessed to have made some music and done something that allows us, 30 years later, to celebrate an anniversary and playing together. We know who we are, we know what we are doing.”
As for the members themselves, the road to this point wasn’t always smooth. After a breakup in the ’90s, the group has since reunited and been together again about 10 years. Getting to celebrate 30 years with the original five members, said Stewart, is rare and lucky.
“It was just something that had to happen to get everybody to figure it out, get their feet on the ground and kind of get away from it for a minute,’ he said. “All five of us got together and did a group hug and just really realized how lucky and fortunate we’d been over the years, what a run we had. Almost 10 years later, we’ve been back together, doing some shows under the radar, but then we amped up our energy and our creativity and realized we were moving in on 30 years. Everyone has been healthy enough, cared enough and enjoyed it enough for us to keep singing and playing together.”
While always kind to the band, the country music industry today is not the same as it was when the project started.
“Country music is the most popular music genre in America,” Stewart said. “You can see it with the CMA Awards show; you can see country music artists selling out stadiums. The business from the touring standpoint is just off the charts between then and now. People want to hear great music and people want to go to a concert; people want it as much or more than they ever have.”
Bringing with them more than their most popular hits, the band has released a “Playlist: The Very Best of Restless Heart” album with two previously unreleased songs, “Home” and “Memphis Rain.” These additions, said Stewart, aren’t only special to the album, but also to the tour. While “Memphis Rain” houses all of the elements of Restless Heart sound, it is “Home” that has been transforming the band’s live shows.
“We’ve gone overseas and performed for the military many many times and it’s really got a soft spot in our heart,” Stewart said. “We love doing that. Paul [Gregg] wrote the lyrics down listening to an old girlfriend’s son who has been over there. He was just telling about being over there, about his pals, couldn’t wait to get home to his family and he was just torn, love of country, the whole thing. It just moved Paul to write these lyrics. It’s probably the most powerful moment in our show with a standing ovation and you can see grown men wiping the tears. It’s really really neat.”
Restless Heart is still the “Fast Movin’ Train” from before. After the “30 Years & Still Restless” tour wraps, the band plans on a five- to seven-show Christmas tour to accompany its first Christmas album that was finished just recently. The album is set to release Oct. 29.
Tickets for the Sept. 6 show in McKinney can be purchased through the MPAC ticket office at 214-544-4630 or online at http://www.mckinneyperformingartscenter.org.
View TownSquareBuzz.com‘s previous story on the concert here.