Restless Heart brings country music to Penn's Peak, Saturday
Special to the TIMES NEWS Restless Heart will be performing at 8 p.m. Saturday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. Opening will be vocalist Nicole Donatone.
Restless Heart, a country music band that in the mid 1980s had six number one hits in a row, is working on a comeback.
The group, whose hits include "The Bluest Eyes in Texas" and "I'll Still Be Loving You," bring their harmony to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Saturday.
Opening will be local country singer Nicole Donatone. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24 and $19.
This is the first appearance at Penn's Peak for Restless Heart.
Larry Stewart, who is lead vocalist and plays rhythm guitar, stressed that all the original members, from when the band formed in 1984, are with the band today. He said in the early 90s the band had split up.
"We went through rocky times in the 90s," said Stewart. "Bands are tough. They can be worse than a marriage."
In 2002, pianist and keyboard player Dave Innis contacted all the members. "Everybody got together and talked. We talked about how lucky we are; how fortunate we are to have had such success. Then we decided to do a few shows."
The few shows led to a tour with Vince Gill and an adhesiveness that shows no sign of cracking. The band is doing a lot of traveling and has been in discussion with other entertainers regarding a possible tour next year.
"The tough times are definitely behind us," laughed Larry during a phone interview.
Among the other number one hits for the band were "That Rock Won't Roll," "Why Does It Have To Be (Wrong or Right)," "Wheels," and "A Tender Lie."
Other top 10 hits include "When She Cries" "Say What's In Your Heart," and "Dancy's Dream."
Stewart said he began singing and playing the piano at an early age - when he was about six. He's a self-taught musician who followed in the footprints of his father.
"My dad had a baritone voice, Bing Crosby style," he recalled, adding that his father died when Larry was a teenager.
The father had a band. Larry began playing piano for his father when he was only 12.
Of his father, Larry remarked, "I learned a lot from him. I learned harmony. As fate would have it, I got involved in a band like Restless Heart which stresses harmony."
Stewart said his biggest influence was gospel music. "I learned a lot from the old gospel music days."
One of the groups he enjoyed most was the Gatlins, although he also enjoyed listening to bands such as The Eagles and America.
"I love to do harmony," Stewart remarked. "I love singing with others."
Other members besides Stewart and Innis are John Dittrich, Paul Gregg, and Greg Jennings.
Stewart said Restless Heart is working on a Christmas album to be released in 2011. "We'll go in the studio in a few weeks," he said. "We never did a Christmas album."
He said he realizes radio stations don't play much Restless Heart music, "but there are new ways to reach out in the world of music," including the internet.
"One thing that hasn't changed is people," he said. "They want to hear music as much as they can."
"We're celebrating our 25 years of music," said Stewart. "When you come to our show at Penn's Peak, you will see five guys having a great time. We know it's a great venue. We heard a lot about it and we look forward to playing here."