John Ford Coley brings 70’s hits to Fairfield

John Ford Coley, part of the Grammy nominated duo with England Dan, will bring hit songs of the 70’s to the Fairfield Community Arts Center Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. as part of the new Fairfield Signature Sessions concert series. Tickets are $30 for orchestra seating and $25 for stadium seating.

We caught up with John Ford Coley in a recent phone interview from Charleston, South Carolina to find out more about what he’s been up to and what audiences can expect from the show.

“I will be playing a lot of songs they’ve heard before, especially those they might be really familiar with,” Coley said. “Sometimes, I might go a bit little deeper into some of the older things. I play a couple of new songs, because I’m in the process of recording a new record. I also might play a couple of covers that people might recognize from other artists, people that I’ve respected over the years and really like the songs.”

England Dan (Dan Seals) and John Ford Coley reached multi-gold and platinum status with hits like “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” and “Nights Are Forever Without You.” Their debut album in 1976, “Nights Are Forever,” catapulted the duo to stardom. The pair later released “Some Things Don’t Come” and “Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive,” generating more hits, including “Love is the Answer,” “Westward Wind,” “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye,” and “Gone Too Far.”

Incorporating bits of humor and behind-the-scenes stories in the show, Coley said he will perform an acoustic concert, backed by a piano and a guitar throughout the evening.

“We just come in and go down memory lane, laugh and joke, and play music,” he said. “I play the songs in the original style as much as I can. There aren’t going to be any surprises as far as changing up the song. They will recognize the song immediately.”

Splitting his time in Charleston and in Nashville when he’s not touring, Coley balances his career as a singer/songwriter/musician, actor and author. He’s also co-produced with other artists like Eddie Money and shared the studio with Vince Gill, among others.

“You know what, having done films, having written books and having played music, it’s kind of like when someone says, ‘Which one do you like the best – your mommy or your daddy? I love all of them. To me, it’s creative expression and the opportunity to explore new avenues. It’s always exciting to me. I like to be able to branch out and not be confined to one form of the creative arts.”

A string of top 40 singles, triple-platinum album sales and a Grammy nomination are only a few of his countless awards and accolades. Although Seals passed away from cancer in 2009, Coley remains active, musically, writing his own original songs and collaborating with other artists. His work has also been featured in films and on television.

Coley has shared the stage with a number of artists including Elton John, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Carole King, Bread, Loggins and Messina, Led Zepplin, Carly Simon, Bill Cosby, Steve Miller Band, Lou Gramm and Gordon Lightfoot, to name a few.

This is the first time Coley has performed at the Fairfield Community Arts Center, he said.

“This is like traveling back in time. It’s going to be an unforgettable night with a classic rock legend,” said David Sheldrick, marketing specialist for the City of Fairfield Parks and Recreation. “It’s a very intimate stage. You’re going to hear the hits, and he’s still playing them.”

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