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Rock and Roll Hall of Famers performing at Ocotillo

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Tonight two members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Steve Fossen and Mike DeRosier, will be playing with their band, Heart by Heart, at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center.

Fossen and DeRosier, original members of the band Heart, known for songs such as “Barracuda,” “Alone” and “Crazy on You,” have been travelling the country playing these classic hits since 2011, when they reunited.

Fossen spoke with the Daily Press at length regarding his life as a musician, maintaining excellence across many eras, and mostly, his love for the music the ensemble is to play at the OPAC tonight. 

Many artists, especially following tours, tire of their most-requested hits, and the quality of the sound often suffers, but Fossen’s commitment to reaching the highest standard of a song every time he plays was evident as he spoke.

He recounted a time during recording when Mike Flicker, the producer of “Dreamboat Annie,” prompted the band members to play to the best of their ability as they would “be listening to it for the rest of your life.” Fossen took this sentiment to heart and would “dig as deep as I could into my soul” to make the part “so universal and so well executed” that he would be proud to listen to it again and again. 

To Fossen, the timeless popularity of the hits he helped create are simply the “culmination of many years” playing clubs, struggling, and hoping that someday his efforts would be worth the dedication to a childhood promise made to former bandmate Roger Fisher at the age of 15 that they would “not stop until they made it big.”

In his view, his work reaches its pinnacle each time he steps in front of a crowd and creates a memory each audience member can later think back on and enjoy. Fossen said even when he has played for crowds of 30,000 or more he always focuses on creating a sound just one person can enjoy, believing that will translate to all those in attendance.

With Heart by Heart, Fossen’s devotion to quality music is further fueled by the companionship he shares with his bandmates. Lizzy Daymont and Chad Quist are the most recent additions to the group, while DeRosier and Fossen have been playing together since 1975. Lead Singer Somar Macek inspired the creation of Heart by Heart when she and Fossen found some success as a bass and singing duet and later fell in love. 

According to Fossen, this is why he named the group Heart by Heart, because “it was her heart and my heart together.”

Artesians have the opportunity to hear these hearts for themselves tonight when the group performs what is sure to be an incredible set.

The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the OPAC. Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased online at artesiaartscouncil.com or by calling the OPAC box office at 575-746-4212.

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