Wilson Phillips to bring unique musical blend to area

2012-11-09T00:00:00Z Wilson Phillips to bring unique musical blend to areaEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

When it comes to the art of musical harmony, the members of Wilson Phillips learned from the best.

The female trio, starring Wendy Wilson, Carnie Wilson, and Chynna Phillips, have the geniuses behind the Beach Boys and The Mamas and the Papas to thank for their flair with a song.

With Carnie and Wendy being the daughters of Beach Boys' great Brian Wilson and Chynna the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, the combined vocals of the singers proved to be a winning mix. Wilson Phillips captured public attention in 1990 with their self-titled album featuring the chart-climbing hits "Hold On," "You're in Love" and "Release Me.

The group dropped out of the public eye in the late '90s and for much of the 'last decade save for a few projects.

They're back in the limelight once again. In the spring, the group released the album "Dedicated," featuring classic tunes of the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas and starred in "Still Holding On," a reality series on the TV Guide Network. In 2011, the group also appeared in the film "Bridesmaids" which heightened their recent popularity.

"Things are going swimmingly," said Wendy Wilson, by phone, last week. She said the group had just gotten back from concert dates in the Philippines where they were well received.

"The audience was very responsive and they seemed to know every word of every song," she said.

The group has additional concerts planned in the U.S. throughout the next few weeks with one of them being an 8 p.m. show Saturday at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.

Their touring schedule, these days, Wilson said, is not as fast-paced and frenetic as it was when they first started out two decades ago.

"We go out and do one, two or three shows in a row. We all have children now and don't want to be away from home too long. We have nine kids between us. It's important that my children and family come first," said Wilson, who is the mother of four boys. She said she enjoys being a mother and finds motherhood has many rewards.

Wilson said she's looking forward to performing in the Region. The Chicagoland area, she added, was home to both her husband Danny Knutson and her mother Marilyn.

During the Blue Chip concert, Wilson said the group will not only delve into their hits but perform a great deal of music from "Dedicated."

The album, which, she said, was a joy to do because it was a tribute to two supergroups, was also a challenge.

"It was challenging at various points to do these songs because you walk a fine line and you don't want to change it too much from the original and you don't want to replicate it. You have to find a good balance. We stuck to the original arrangements and put our spin on it with our vocals," she said.

"Dedicated" includes a variety of biggies including "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "California Dreamin,' " "Dedicated to the One I Love," "Monday, Monday," "Don't Worry Baby," God Only Knows," and more.

Wilson said they'd like to do a follow-up to the album.

"There's so much music that we can explore," she said. Also, the group would like to pursue working on an album of originals soon. Wilson Phillip's last original album debuted in the early '90s.

This past summer saw The Beach Boys celebrating their 50th anniversary with a monumental tour and Wilson said it was a great thing to witness.

"I got to see two of the shows at The Hollywood Bowl," she said, adding her father is "doing well."

"I'm proud of him that he's still doing this at 70 years old."

Wilson and her sister Carnie, recently put together a band called California Saga, featuring some of the Beach Boys' offspring.

"We're all the sons and daughters of the Beach Boys," she said, adding the group opened for the legendary band on various dates during their 50th anniversary tour. Wilson said she wouldn't mind doing that again because it was fun being together.

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