EVERETT — Heart by Heart isn’t really a cover band. It’s a spin off from Heart, one of the Northwest’s most famous stadium rock bands. Bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Mike Derosier were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 along with other members of Heart. And now they lead this spin-off, which has fast become one of Snohomish County’s favorite bands.
Heart by Heart plays Saturday evening at the Historic Everett Theatre and on Jan. 31 at “A Taste of the Taste” at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
The rest of the band includes well-known Hendrix-style guitarist Randy Hansen, keyboards and guitar player Lizzy Daymont and lead vocalist Somar Macek, who by the way is Fossen’s fiancé. Keyboardist Bob Rivers had to retire from the group in November following some medical issues.
Fossen, 66, often talks about how his band honors the legacy of Heart. What matters most, however, is that he still loves the music from the 1970s and ’80s. “I appreciate the nostalgic experience shared by our fans and the history we bring to the stage when we play,” he said. “Heart did something that translated to a lot of people, and we still play the same way we did then.” Fossen and Derosier have known Hansen for decades. They met Macek in 2008, and she and Fossen formed a duet that played for dinner parties. “Word was getting out that some of us were performing together. We got a call asking Mike, Randy, Somar and me to open for Dwight Yoakam in Anchorage back in 2009,” Fossen said. “We rehearsed and relearned a bunch of Heart material. Well, Yoakam canceled, but, hey, we had a band. It was fun, so we kept rehearsing.”
After a benefit concert at the Everett Station transit center, the word about the band kept spreading. A gig at the Canoes Cabaret at the Tulalip Resort Casino led to the group’s meeting with Daymont. “Lizzy opened for us and then stayed to sing with us. We enjoyed it and then found out she was interested in joining the band,” Fossen said. “Good thing, because my vocals were not what they needed to be. The first time Lizzy and Somar sang together, I thought I was going to cry. Oh, that was cool.” Rivers also joined the band about the same time. “We miss Bob, but you can’t mess around with health.”
Heart by Heart has perfected the hit Heart singles that remain standards of rock radio including “Magic Man,” “Crazy on You,” “Heartless” and “Barracuda.” For a time, original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, who lives in Monroe and still performs, sat in with the band, too. “But Rog had other things he wanted to do, and we started to get on a regular schedule,” Fossen said. Fisher and Fossen are longtime friends. They, along with Fisher’s brother Mike, were the founding members of the band (while they were students at Inglemoor High School) that eventually became Heart, including Derosier, Ann and Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese.
“During the past five years, Heart by Heart has gained new fans, played on the East Coast and we have gigs booked in California,” Fossen said. “It just keeps going and we are riding the wave.”
The band is looking forward to playing at the old Everett theater, which is managed by one of Fossen’s former Kenmore Junior High School mates*, Curt Shriner. “It’s a neat venue with a lot of history. I love history,” said Fossen, who is a member of the Monte Cristo Preservation Association. “I grew up in Lake Forest Park, but I spent a lot of time in Snohomish County and I still do. It’s a great community for us right now.”
By Gale Fiege