2017 is literally a year of change for famed vocalist Cindy Wilson. The blonde frontwoman of The B-52’s has a new band, new tour and new album — appropriately titled “Change.”
The longtime LGBT ally is bringing the performance to Venkman’s this month.
“I’ve been working with a couple of friends for maybe about three years on music, just for experimenting and getting new sound,” Wilson said. “We’ve written many songs now and decided to make a show of it to make the songs come alive.”
Coming back to the music scene after being part of a hit band made Wilson feel both vulnerable and empowered.
“I can’t believe it’s been 40 years [since The B-52’s started], so that’s a totally different animal. This is just starting, like a little sprout coming from the ground,” she said.
Wilson knew bandmate Ryan Monahan — whose talents include bass, guitar, synthesizer and vocals — for years before combining their talents in the studio.
“He introduced me to Suny Lyons. He was the producer/engineer and I love his style. It became really obvious that he was going to be part of the band,” Wilson said. “Then we had Lemuel Hayes, who’s our drummer, and Marie Davon. … She’s a violinist and adds — I love having a violinist onstage. It has a beautiful quality to it.”
Rhiannon Klee, talent buyer for Venkman’s described the new music as “psychedelic pop.” The restaurant will feature a few themed drink specials as part of the show, and concert-goers will be able to eat dinner beforehand as well as enjoy food throughout.
The Venkman’s crew are “huge fans” of The B-52’s and Wilson, Klee said.
“When they decided to put on this show here in her hometown, they just immediately reached out to me and luckily we had the date available,” Klee said. “Some artists, especially when they’re part of a huge band, when they go off and do their solo stuff, sometimes it’s not as revered as the tried-and-true sort of hits they’ve had with the band. I can say with Cindy’s it really is something special and it’s her own. I think it’s just as good as The B-52’s material.”
The five-song EP is available online, and physical albums that feature “Frenzy,” “Twice Shy,” “Time,” “Ballistic” and title track “Supernatural” will begin shipping this week.
“It’s like stretching new muscles vocally and creatively and I really have fun working with kind of a fresh bunch of people,” Wilson said. “I do a lot of harmonies, but kind of male voices, which adds a kind of new harmony thing which is really a lot of fun to do. It’s got kind of a blend of B-52’s-style me and new melodies. It’s very modern to me. It’s kind of thrilling.”
Cindy Wilson at Venkman’s
Friday, March 10 at 9:30 p.m.
740 Ralph McGill Blvd, Atlanta
Tickets: $20 to $35, available at http://venkmans.com/event/cindy-wilson-of-the-b-52s-album-release/