As part of Headliners Music Hall’s “Cover Up Concert Series,” the local ensemble behind the “I Heart Heart” tribute show is gathering once again on Friday, Feb. 1, to perform the emotionally charged vocals of Heart’s greatest hits.
It marks the fourth time the women and their backing band have put on the highly entertaining evening of music, camaraderie and showmanship.
The tribute band was created by the Louisville musician Carly Johnson, who invited some of her fellow female cohorts from the Louisville music scene to help honor Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson and also raise funds for various charities. In fact, that very first show they performed in 2015, they raised more than $4,000 for Kosair Children’s Hospital.
On Friday, the charity of choice is the Salvation Army.
While the ensemble of performers changes slightly each time, Louisville musician Natalie Felker has been with “I Heart Heart” from the beginning. Felker is the lead vocalist and keyboardist in The Fervor, a band she helped form with her husband, Ben Felker, in 2005.
Felker tells Insider she was first approached by Johnson to be a part of the show, which she immediately gave an all-caps “YES” to. And she continues to say yes each time Johnson calls, because not only does she get to perform some kick-ass music, but she also enjoys catching up with fellow musicians.
“Heart has decades of iconic songs, and it’s really fun material to learn and relive with the audience,” says Felker. “The band and singers over the last three shows have been phenomenal, and getting to work with so many women has been energizing.”
Johnson tells us having Felker in the show is pertinent to its success.
“Between the warm, rich tone of her voice, putting everything she has into whatever song she sings and owning the stage when she’s up there, having Natalie on ‘I️ Heart Heart’ is a no-brainer,” she says. “She also goes above and beyond in lending her vocals to backups wherever needed and getting the word out when we do these charity shows. She’s a true teammate all around.”
Felker will sing lead on “Heartless,” “Straight On” and “Love Alive,” and she’ll help with backing vocals on most of the other songs. Joining her and Johnson on Friday will be Cheyenne Mize, Gina C., Christy O’Connell and Sheryl Rouse, and the opening act will feature a throwback set of ’70s and ’80s tunes by Kiana & The Sun Kings.
Asked if she were to put together her own tribute band, who would she choose to honor, Felker answered so quickly and specifically that we wonder if this might really happen.
“I’d love to do an all-female Queen cover band called King,” she says.
“I Heart Heart” starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door, and if you bring a new full-sized towel to be donated to the Salvation Army, you will get in free (if it’s not sold out).
Also worth mentioning, the “Cover Up Concert Series” continues on Saturday, Feb. 2, with “Louisville Loves Emo,” featuring more than 20 local musicians paying tribute to emo bands from the 2000s like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Paramore and others. Headliners is located at 1386 Lexington Road.
Before Felker channels her inner Ann Wilson, we asked her some very important questions …
What was your first concert?
Robert Plant at Riverbend in Cincinnati, 1990. Alannah Myles opened. I was 13 and only allowed to go because my older brother was going.
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
A list of my cat’s grievances. But I’d probably need the full hour for that.
What job would you be terrible at?
I’d be terrible at washing skyscraper windows. It seems like the kind of thing that’d be hard to do once you’ve lost consciousness from the terror.
What is your favorite restaurant or bar?
I have a lot of local favorites, depending on my mood and budget. Decca, Pizza LUPO and Dragon King’s Daughter are a few.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once?
Visit a national park before they’re destroyed.
Where would you direct a newcomer of Louisville to get a feel for the city?
I’d start with some of our museums, theaters and music venues, like the Muhammad Ali Center, the Speed Art Museum, the Kentucky Science Center, the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Actors Theater, the Palace, Headliners Music Hall, and Zanzabar, to name a few.
The Olmsted Parks are really beautiful. Too many wonderful restaurants and bars to name, depending on what area of town you’re visiting.
What keeps you here?
Being close to loved ones, the people, the vibrant arts and music culture, and the relative affordability.