Chris Rea to play Prague's Congress Center

The 'Road to Hell' singer and guitarist is releasing a new album

British singer and guitarist Chris Rea is coming to Prague's Congress Center on Nov. 7. He will be touring to support his upcoming album Road Songs for Lovers, which should be released in September. It is his follow up to 2011's Santo Spirito Blues.

The European tour will start Oct. 7 in Amsterdam and run to Nov. 10 in Kesklinn, Estonia. Then after a short break, Rea goes to the UK and Ireland from Nov. 21 to Dec. 12. He has not released much more information about the album or the tour.

Rea was last in Prague in 2014 at O2 Arena with his Last Open Road tour, and before that he was at the Congress Center (Kongresové Centrum) three times: in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

In his career, Rea has sold more than 30 million albums and released 23 studio albums and one soundtrack, not counting the upcoming Road Songs for Lovers.

Rea is known for his husky voice and his big radio hit “The Road to Hell” from his 1989 album of the same name. The song, despite its demonic imagery, is about the decline of his once-industrial home town of Middlesbrough, England. He also had a big hit in the US with the more laid back and lyrical song “Fool (If You Think It's Over)” from his 1978 debut album Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?

The song and album helped him get a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1979. He competed against Elvis Costello, the Cars and Toto but the winner was the disco act A Taste of Honey, which did not have lasting success.

The Benny Santini mentioned in the album title was a stage name that Rea had considered using at one point. Rea worked with Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon for his first two albums, but was unhappy that the blues influence he liked was toned down in favor of a more pop sound. He changed direction a bit, and his fifth album Watersign put him back on track with the hit “I Can Hear Your Heartbeat.”

He was successful in Europe, but it wasn't until the mid 1980s that he found fame at home in England with “Stainsby Girls” and “Josephine.”

Rea faced numerous health issues in the mid 1990s. As a result has returned to his original blues roots and set up his own label so he can do what he wants without pressure from record companies.

Aside from music, Rea is a fan of historical racing cars, which he owns and restores.

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