It's hard to imagine now, but back in the mid-1970s it was widely assumed that women couldn't rock. Heart was one of the bands that proved that they could.
The band's debut album, "Dreamboat Annie," which came out on Valentine's Day, 1976, had some gorgeous, lyrical folk-flavored songs. But it was such rockers as "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You" that caught everyone's attention.
Nearly 40 years later, Ann and Nancy Wilson and their constantly changing lineup of bandmates -- Wikipedia lists 30 former members of Heart, in addition to the current six -- are still putting forth some really strong, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll.
They'll be at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Tuesday doing exactly that.
Over the decades Heart has had some lean years commercially, and some years when they scored a huge hits with saccharine power-pop ballads ("Alone," "These Dreams," etc.). But lately they seem to be back to concentrating on the blues-based rock, punctuated by lilting folk songs, that made them a big deal to begin with. Ann Wilson's voice and Nancy Wilson's guitar work are both as powerful as ever.
They've always shown an affinity for Led Zeppelin, and at their Tampa show they're sharing the stage with Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, a tribute band headed by the son of Zeppelin's late drummer John Bonham.
Heart plays Led Zeppelin songs often, and well, in concert, and they'll reportedly be ending this show with a 30-minutes set of Zeppelin tunes, with Bonham on drums.
Details: 7:30 p.m. June 18, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301, Tampa. Tickets: $33-$69. Information: 813-740-2446, www.livenation.com.
-- Marty Clear