Continuing to entertain fans with a career in music that has spanned decades, Rita Coolidge has released a new album this year called “Safe in the Arms of Time” and will be bringing it live to audiences in Northern California along with her other top hits. She will be performing at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on Friday, July 6 at 8 p.m.
Although her parents lived in Northern California, Coolidge has not performed at the Gallo in Modesto but is looking forward to this first time appearance.
The two-time Grammy award winner has worked with several legendary artists throughout five decades including Don Henley, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and ex-husband Kris Kristofferson. Some of her signature hits are “We’re All Alone,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “All Time High,” and “(Your Love has lifted me) Higher and Higher.”
After living in Southern California for many years, Coolidge moved to Tallahassee, Florida earlier this year. There, she was able to reconnect with friends Stan Lynch, the former drummer for Tom Petty, and Joe Hutto, which led to the trio writing a song together. That song, “You Can Fall in Love”, is featured on the new album and is about rekindling an old flame. It is just one of many that Coolidge said makes the new release a special one for her.
“We took three years writing and getting songs together for the album,” stated Coolidge. “This is my ‘Dream Come True’ record. I have listened to this record more than any other record I have ever made.”
She also made her way to Nashville and spent some time with four-time Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo, an American Blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist that she did a duet with on the new album. At the studio in Nashville Coolidge wrote “Walking on Water” and “Naked All Night.” The other tracks on the album were selected after going through thousands of songs and collaborating with other writers in Nashville.
“It was real important to me to have the right 12 songs that actually tell a story and have a voice,” added Coolidge. “The fact that I have been able to record and to perform music and the audience is still there and people love the music is the greatest motivation of all. If that were not in place there would be no reason for me to continue.”
The solo album was released in May and Coolidge explained that it could be categorized as Americana music that has a little Indie, a little pop, and some blues.
At the July 6 show, fans can expect to hear former hits from Coolidge along with songs from the new album. She travels with a four piece rhythm section including piano, drums, guitar and bass and likes to share some insight on where the songs came from with the audience.
“I think it is important to have communication with the audience,” Coolidge said. “I learned that a long time ago. If you go to a concert and the artist that you go to see just plays the songs you might as well have stayed home and played the record.”
Inspired in her early years by artists like Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Kris Kristofferson, she has always had a love for music. She has been performing since she was a little girl singing in church with her two sisters and in college at Florida State, where she majored in Art. She always knew, though, that her path was destined for music.
“I love music,” expressed Coolidge. “Again the reason that I am inspired to be out there is not only that I am with a group of musicians that are like my family but the main reason that I am still doing it is that there are people that still want to hear the music. As long as there is an audience of people who are buying the new record or still listening to the old records and still want to come to a Rita concert, then I am going to be there.”