Joe Cocker & Huey Lewis and the News

AVA Amphitheater
This event was held 07/15/2012.

This is one Summer Concert show you don’t want to miss! Join Joe Cocker and Huey Lewis and the News as they perform their greatest hits live at AVA Amphitheater.

With his gritty voice and charismatic persona, Joe Cocker is known for hits such as “Up Where We Belong” and his popular cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “The Letter”.

Huey Lewis and the News has scored a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100 and gained worldwide fame from their song “The Power of Love”. They are also known for “Hip to Be Square” and “If This Is It”.


British soul singer Joe Cocker parlayed Ray Charles-type vocals and an eccentric stage presence into a string of late-’60s hits, suffered in the mid-’70s, and went from tragic figure to well-respected interpreter in the ’80s and ’90s. His gritty, powerful voice remains one of the most distinctive in rock & roll today.

After leaving school early to become an apprentice gas fitter in Sheffield, England, Cocker joined his first group in 1959, the Cavaliers, playing drums and harmonica. When he moved to lead vocals in 1961 the band changed its name to Vance Arnold (Cocker‚Äôs stage name) and the Avengers. They released regional singles and toured locally in England with the Hollies and the Rolling Stones during the early 60s. Decca offered Cocker a contract in 1964, and he took a six- month leave of absence from the gas company. Cocker released his first single, a cover of The Beatles’ “I’ll Cry Instead” with a new band, Joe Cocker Big Blues, that ventured as far as France where they played on American air bases.

After a lull, the raspy crooner teamed up with keyboardist Chris Stainton, guitarists Henry McCullough and Alan Spenner and two other musicians to form The Grease Band in 1966. They played Motown covers in northern England pubs until 1967, when producer Denny Cordell became Cocker’s manager and persuaded him to move the band to London. After minor success with the single “Marjorine,” he entered the big time with a groundbreaking rearrangement of “With a Little Help from My Friends,” another Beatles cover, this time from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, featuring lead guitar from Jimmy Page. His explosive performance of the song at Woodstock in 1969 was a festival highlight.

Throughout 1969 he was featured on variety TV shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and “This Is Tom Jones.” Onstage, he exhibited a physical intensity, flailing his arms and playing air guitar, occasionally giving superfluous cues to his band. Cocker later performed “Feelin’ Alright” on Saturday Night Live where John Belushi joined him on stage doing his famous impersonation of Cocker’s stage movements.

During a U.S. tour, Cocker met Leon Russell, who penned his next big hit, “Delta Lady.” Russell also pulled together a crew for the boisterous Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour Cocker made in 1970, resulting in a #2 live double album that yielded a pair of hits – “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and “Cry Me a River” (#11, 1970) ‚Äì and a film. A few years later, Cocker had one of the biggest hits of his career; the achingly tender modern standard “You Are So Beautiful” (#5, 1975), written by Billy Preston.

Cocker’s career took a big upward turn in 1982 when a duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong,” from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, hit #1. Since then, several other Cocker songs have graced films, including his version of Randy Newman’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (91/2 Weeks, 1986) and “When the Night Comes” (An Innocent Man, 1990). The latter, a dramatic hard-rock ballad co-written by Bryan Adams, hit #11 in 1990.

The ‚ÄúSheffield Soul Shouter” performed the opening set at Woodstock ’94 as one of the few alumni who played at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 and was very well received. His 1994 album, Have a Little Faith, hit the U.K. Top 10, and at the request of his German label he revisited several songs from his own catalogue, including “You Are So Beautiful” and “Delta Lady,” on 1996’s Organic album.

Cocker was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for services to music. To celebrate receiving his award, Cocker played two concerts in London and in his home town of Sheffield in mid- December. In 2007 Cocker also appeared in the Revolution Studios/Columbia Pictures film, Across the Universe, with a cameo as the lead singer on another Beatles hit, “Come Together.”

Cocker‚Äôs last CD to be released in America, “Hymn for My Soul,” was released on May 13, 2008 in the States, and in 2011 his latest work will be released.

“Hard Knocks” was recorded in LA and produced by Matt Serletic, which entered the German music chart at number one in the fall of 2010.

Cocker continues to record and tour and currently lives on the Mad Dog Ranch in Crawford, Colorado, with his wife, Pam. Joe Cocker releases his Sony Music debut “Hard Knocks“ in October.

After more than 40 years in the music business, Joe Cocker is still one of the most successful and popular artists worldwide. Many of his 21 studio albums and 4 live albums have achieved multiplatinum status around the world. His releases have received Grammy Awards, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards. In 2007 he was handed the “Order of the British Empire (OBE).” In short: he’s a legend.

October 2010 sees the long awaited release of Joe Cocker’s first album for the Sony Music label Columbia Records entitled “Hard Knocks“. Last year he signed a deal with the German Columbia affiliate (respectively the Sony Music joint venture with TV network ProSiebenSat.1 called Columbia SevenOne Music). The album was produced by Matt Serletic (Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Collective Soul, Carlos Santana) and also includes nine brand new songs plus Cocker’s version of the Dixie Chicks song “I Hope” produced by Nashville legend Tony Brown. During his recent visit to Germany, Cocker played a sold out show in Bonn, where he premiered some of his new tracks. He opened his set with the album’s title track and forthcoming first single “Hard Knocks”. A major European Arena tour, his first since 2007, will start on the 9th of October at Oberhausen’s Arena. Whilst in Germany this month, Cocker met with the German Columbia Records / Columbia SevenOne Music team.

Willy Ehmann, Senior Vice President Sony Music Domestic GSA: “Joe Cocker is back with an impressive album ‘Hard Knocks’. We are looking forward to the collaboration with one of the greatest voices of the past four decades.”

Markus Hartmann, Content / A&R Consultant Starwatch: “Joe Cocker has one of the most distinctive voices in the business. The countless gold and platinum awards are testament to his worldwide success. I am convinced that the millions of his fans will embrace his new album. It‚Äôs fantastic and a great honour for us to have a living legend like Joe on our young label Columbia SevenOne Music.‚Äù


HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS ‚ÄúHeart and Soul‚Äù, the title of one of their hit songs, also explains the enduring appeal of Huey Lewis & The News. For over thirty years they have been making and performing music that resonates with people at their core. Whether it is their singing about the daily grind in ‚ÄúWorkin’ For A Livin’‚Äù or lamenting a troubled relationship in ‚ÄúIf This Is It‚Äù, this is a band that connects with people on a gut level.

In addition to commiserating over life’s rough spots, they have also given their millions of worldwide fans a soundtrack for the celebration of life’s great moments. The driving rhythm of ‚ÄúHeart of Rock & Roll‚Äù sings the praises of the great music being made across the US, while ‚ÄúStuck With You‚Äù offers a love song with a tongue-in-cheek turn of phrase and amazing harmonies. Meanwhile ‚ÄúThe Power of Love‚Äù, which the band wrote for the hit film ‚ÄúBack To The Future‚Äù, not only went to #1 on the Billboard singles chart, but also was nominated for an Academy Award.

As great as their recordings are, there is something extra special about the Huey Lewis & The News live shows. Frontman Huey Lewis’ voice has a rich, textured quality that lends itself well to not just their hits but also to the Memphis soul tunes they covered on their most recent album, ‚ÄúSoulsville‚Äù. And Lewis brings some bluesy tones to the performance when he breaks out into his harmonica solos.

Completing the rock, rhythm and blues feel of the band’s sound are founding members Johnny Colla (saxophone, guitar and vocals), Bill Gibson (drums, percussion and vocals), and Sean Hopper (keyboards and vocals) as well as Stef Burns (guitars and vocals) and John Pierce (bass). The extra bit of coolness you feel comes from their horn section, consisting of San Francisco Bay Area luminaries: Marvin McFadden (trumpet), Rob Sudduth (tenor saxophone) and Johnnie Bamont (baritone saxophone).

Their playing is tight, effortlessly moving from an up front, power rock song to a smooth, laid back, soulful ballad. They even walk the musical high wire, leaving their instruments behind mid-show to perform some A Capella selections of early rock ‘n‚Äô roll classics, such as ‚ÄúSixty Minute Man‚Äù, ‚ÄúUnder The Boardwalk‚Äù and ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs Alright‚Äù.

Huey Lewis & The News have a love of music that comes through in everything they do. Be it their albums, their live performances, or the way they interact with their fans, they are a band with heart and soul.

“masterful practitioners of an eclectic pop-rock that blends the rich harmonies of California rock and the metronomically plucked beat of new wave, with strong rhythm-and-blues influences into an ingratiating brew. ”New York Times