‘Jessie’s Girl’ and more summer tunes in store at Summerfest

Rick Springfield, who is supporting his 18th studio album, ‘Rocket Science,’ headlines Mix 107.7 Summerfest 18 at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, July 2. CONTRIBUTED
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Rick Springfield, who is supporting his 18th studio album, ‘Rocket Science,’ headlines Mix 107.7 Summerfest 18 at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, July 2. CONTRIBUTED

WANT TO GO?

What: Mix 107.7 SummerFest 18 with Rick Springfield, Night Ranger and the Romantics

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2

Cost: $40 lawn & terrace, $50 side orchestra (sections A & D)

More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com

Artist info: www.rickspringfield.com

​”Rocket Science,” the latest studio album from Rick Springfield, totally epitomizes the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” With the album’s title, Springfield’s name printed by a label maker and the fact the cover image features two child scientists and what is obviously a very smart, handsomely dressed chimp holding a pen and notebook, it looks more like a collection of new wave songs. That simply is not the case.

“Rocket Science,” Springfield’s 18th studio album, has all the indelible hooks and big guitar moments fans expect from his albums, but it has more of a roots rock vibe with tasteful flourishes of banjo, Dobro and fiddle.

Rick Springfield, headlining Mix 107.7 Summerfest 18 at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Saturday, July 2, recently answered some questions via email. Night Ranger and the Romantics will also perform.

Q: The title and artwork of “Rocket Science” was a little misleading. What’s up with that?

A: I wanted there to be some humor in the cover. The line "Rocket Science" is from the song "Pay it Forward" and I liked the sound of it. Hey, my shoes don't fit everybody else. You can come up with the next album title.

Q: You’ve covered quite a bit of musical ground in your career but never had anything that relied so much on country music embellishments. What inspired that approach for this album?

A: I think '80s pop has gone to Nashville. That's where you need to be able to play your instrument. I've been listening to a lot of the new country and have always loved pedal steel, banjo and fiddle so I thought I'd try it. The songs still have ringing guitars but the country stuff adds some subtle colors I like. It makes it interesting and challenging to try new things and the next album will probably be quite different again.

Q: What can audiences expect to hear during this summer’s Rick Springfield tour?

A: All the oldies, a bunch of the new stuff, some covers I like and my thundering band. We have a great time playing on stage and I think it shows. They are an amazing bunch of musicians — the best I've ever played with — hot and sweaty.

Q: How long have you had this band together?

A: My band has changed quite a bit. This new band has been together for about a year, a lot of the players for much longer, but about a year in this configuration. They're awesome. Did I say that yet? Maybe so.