Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
It’s one thing to hear world-class singers and songwriters perform their hits. It’s another altogether to also hear them discuss the meanings behind their hit songs. “The Heart Behind the Music” tour will treat the audience to both, bringing some of the industry’s best to the MSU Riley Center as it showcases the talents of Kim Carnes, John Ford Coley, Gene Cotton, and Lenny LeBlanc, along with special guest Greg Barnhill. The performance takes place Tuesday at 7:30 pm.
If the names aren’t familiar, perhaps the songs they’ve penned or sung will jog your memory. Kim Carnes won a Grammy for her 1982 song of the year “Bette Davis Eyes.” She has written for, recorded with, or sung backup for numerous renowned singers, including Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, Reba McIntire, Vince Gill, and Tim McGraw.
As half the Grammy-nominated duo with England Dan, John Ford Coley is heard in the 1976 hit song “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” Songwriter Gene Cotton plays well in several genres, including folk, rock, and pop, but is probably best known for his 1978 hit “Before My Heart Finds Out.” His career got off to a fast start with the 1978 hit “Falling,” but Lenny LeBlanc is best known now for his popular contemporary Christian songs.
Special guest Greg Barnhill, a distant relative of “Singing Brakeman” Jimmie Rodgers, has penned such hits as “House of Love” for Amy Grant and Vince Gill as well as “Walkaway Joe,” a duet by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley.
For Fans of: country, rock, blue-eyed soul
What Critics Say: [Gene Cotton is] one of the best writers in the business. — Hollywood Reporter
No question about the voice [of Kim Carnes]: it’s worn, aged, soulful, defiant, utterly lacking smooth edges—an enormously compelling instrument to anyone enamored of blue-eyed soul. — David McGee, Rolling Stone Record Guide