We are honored to be asked to review this next artist. Canadian & Nashville-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, mentor, and overall musical troubadour & living legend, Linda McRae, has worked for decades as a wildly successful performance and recording artist, playing shows in historic venues across North America and Europe.
Linda also works with at risk youth and adults in her Express Yourself Writing Workshops, a project which provides a safe musical space for artists to come alive with their creative potentials.
Of course she also makes time for her own recorded work, which includes projects such as, Flying Jenny, Fifty Shades Of Red, Shadow Trails, and more. Her latest body of work, Going To The Well, is a perfectly titled piece of veteran folk music, which sees Linda covering the likes of David Bowie, Willie P. Bennett, Richard Thompson, Don Williams and Bill Kirchen. What comes out the other side is a magical expression of an old-school master at the peak of her skill.
A minimalist intention, banjo, a touch of digital delay, and Linda’s veteran made-for-the genre vocals open the album with a lovely acoustic rendition of David Bowie’s, Ashes To Ashes. To answer your next question—yes, it just works, well.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
A deliciously haunting rendition of Richard Thompson’s, Dimming Of The Day, confirms not only McRae’s ability to intuit new directions for old classics, but also her musical character for choosing which songs to cover in the first place. Well done.
Double Star finger picks its way across a tale of one couple’s love, through the fires and rain…
“Her key in the door and the creak of the floor
He looked up from his chair as she passed
Through all the pain he knew that she loved him
Next day they’d start over again…”
The melancholy, Empty, is laced with just enough sweet harmony and subtle flat-picking to make it our second favorite track.
Acoustic tenderness juxtaposes with electric ambiance in another Bowie cover. This time, it’s the all-time classic, Heroes. I’m certain David would approve.
A tale of becoming lost in the limelight of all the things life offers, and finding the way back home, Singing River, feels like Cash was whispering into McRae’s ear during the writing process. Its subtle intensity has a mystical feel.
Pure substance. Unbridled and fully realized talent. Sincere and stirring. The eleven tracks which comprise Linda McRae’s latest album, Going to the Well, are like a trip back home to that safe space you knew once as a kid. Minimalist melodies—which generally consist of little more than either a guitar or banjo along side of McRae’s tenured vocal timbre—connect immediately with the listener; emote, soften, and leave some kind of warm feeling behind after they finish. It’s an instant 2019 Top 10 candidate.
(Going To The Well is available 10/1/19)
The yin iteration of Orbison meets Dylan…
BELOW: Listen to Linda McRae’s album, Going to the Well, and connect with her website and social media platforms. Please support Linda McRae by visiting her online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing her music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!