05.31.2019

HUB EXCLUSIVE! The Iconic Dionne Warwick Talks New Album, Upcoming Show At The Gallo Center For The Arts In Modesto

HUB EXCLUSIVE!  The Iconic Dionne Warwick Talks New Album, Upcoming Show At The Gallo Center For The Arts In Modesto

by Michael P Coleman

The Gallo Center for the Arts has a reputation for bringing the very best of a variety of genres to  Modesto.  They also are known for kicking off each season with a world-class performer.  Past season openers have included Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Jay Leno, and Bill Cosby. 

That rich tradition will continue this fall:  the legendary Dionne Warwick is getting the Gallo Center’s 2019-2020 season started on September 27. 

Warwick just released her latest album, She’s Back, and has sold over 100 million records during her six decade career.  Do any of these titles ring a bell?  “That’s What Friends Are For”  “Walk On By”  “I’ll Never Love This Way Again”  “I Say A Little Prayer”  “Deja Vu” “A House Is Not A Home”

You remember her stunning duets, including “Friends In Love” with Mathis, “Love Power” with Jeffrey Osborne, “Then Came You” with The Spinners, and “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” with Luther Vandross. 

You recall the two international smashes that the six time Grammy winner never liked and didn’t want to record: “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” and “Heartbreaker.” 

And then there’s my all-time favorite: “Message To Michael”. Can you guess why that one’s my favorite?  As a teenager, I used to imagine she was singing it to and about me!  (I won’t front: I still do!)  Her live version from a 22-minute hit-filled medley on her 1981 live album is absolutely magical. 

At 78 years old, Warwick is still going strong with a brand new album, She’s Back.  As the icon has been recording and touring since 1963, I found the album’s title to be a curiosity, so I had to ask her about it. 

“Believe it or not, I hadn’t recorded anything in well over five years,” Warwick EXCLUSIVELY told me by phone. “I’d been genuinely accosted by people — at the supermarket, at the airport, just walking down the street — with ‘When are you going to record something?’ or “We need new music from you.’ It just got to be repetitive.”

“Finally, my son Damon Elliot, who produced the new CD for me, convinced me that it was time to get back into the studio,” Warwick continued.  “I hope I’ve quelled all of the “when-are-you-going-to-do-something” questions with She’s Back!”

Warwick is indeed back, with one of the smoothest, most contemporary albums of her six decade career.  She’s Back includes collaborations with artists including Brian McKnight, Musiq Soulchild, and Krayzie Bone.  The lady’s message is clear:  she is not only “back,” but she’s back with a vengeance. 

There are very few vocalists still around like Warwick, with a unique vocal sound, an unerring ear for a great song, and virtually unmatched interpretive storytelling skills.  She got into a bit of a dust-up earlier this spring regarding her take on today’s music makers, but I think if anyone has a right to chime in on what an “icon” is, it’s Miss Dionne Warwick! 

Warwick told me that she’ll perform selections from the new album, along with those hits we all want to hear, at the Gallo Center in September.  I’m sure that the house will be full, that her fans will love the show, and that Warwick’s concert will be the first of many memorable performances during the Gallo Center’s 2019-2020 season.  Season subscriptions are available now, and you can select any five shows.  Tickets to individual performances are available June 17. 

Look to sacculturalhub.com in the coming weeks for more of MPC’s EXCLUSIVE interview with the incomparable Dionne Warwick.  She goes into detail about the new album, and she gave him a peak into her song selection process.

Go to galloarts.org to check out the Gallo Center’s 2019-2020 schedule. 

Dionne Warwick’s new album She’s Back is available on all major digital outlets and at Target. 

Click here to keep up to date with all things Dionne! 

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.