Linda McRae returns to the Sooke stage

Spirit of the West alumni, Linda McRae in concert

An intriguing sepia post card from the past describes musician

This month’s concert in the Sooke Folk Music Society’s Concert Series sees the long anticipated return of award- winning and gifted artist, Linda McRae.

It happens this Saturday, April 7 and please note, for this occasion only it is taking place at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Road.

Linda is a Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who earned two platinum and three gold records during her eight-year tenure as bassist/accordionist with former Canadian Celtic/Roots group Spirit of the West from 1988 to1996.

Linda left the band to resume her solo career and has since released three critically acclaimed recordings. Flying Jenny, produced by Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Emmy Lou Harris), which included guest performances from members of Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip and The Band, as well as Syd Staw and Gurf Morlix and showcasing the songs

Linda had written while with SOTW, Cryin’ Out Loud, and Linda’s current release Carve It To The Heart. All have received the highest praise from reviewers world-wide.

Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts Linda McRae’s highly anticipated fourth solo release doesn’t describe the gold and platinum polish enhancing a musical career spanning 25 years. Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts features performances by Gurf Morlix, Ray Bonneville, Doug Cox, Samantha Parton (formerly of The Be Good Tanyas), The Sojourners and The McRaezie Choir (a 50-piece choir assembled specifically for this project) and will affirm Linda’s maturing distinction as a quality songwriter and unique performer.

In 2007 Linda met and married her manager and co-writer James Whitmire.He urged Linda to go to Nashville to work on her music. Their time there lead her to the study of traditional roots music, studying clawhammer banjo, Appalachian vocal styles and finger style guitar with Juno winner Ken Hamm. She has also studied songwriting with Grammy winner Jon Vezner.

Performing on clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar, accordion and porchboard stompbox, Linda combines old-time sounds with universal themes of heartbreak and redemption offering an intriguing sepia postcard from the past that is vibrant and alive in the present. Recordings and performances with musical luminaries include Bruce Cockburn, Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, Gurf Morlix, and Ray Waylie Hubbard.

A recent highlight includes The New Folsom Prison, California’s infamous maximum-security prison where she performed in concert and facilitated songwriter workshops for the inmates. Her workshops and concerts were so well received, she’ll return to participate in the program in 2012. The concert and workshops permitted inmates freedom of expression while giving Linda a rare opportunity to assist in that expression.

Linda also writes a column for BC Musician’s Magazine entitled “This Winding Road.”

Colin Linden had this to say about Linda, “When all the trends fade and become dated, and all the music from the cutting edge becomes dull, Linda McRae will continue to stand tall, singing and playing music with honest soul and humility, cutting through the fog with her timeless clarity. Linda is one of the true, soulful pioneers of honest roots music. Her singing and playing brings honour to her heroes and to her friends and fans.”

Linda is a compelling entertainer and her personality and storytelling add an intimacy to her shows regardless of the size of venue. Her busy tour schedule reflects her love for performing having completed 200 shows last year alone.

Please join us for an exciting evening of finely crafted music from this delightful and engaging artist. It happens Saturday, April 7 at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Road in Sooke.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the concert commencing at 8.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Shoppers Drug Mart in Sooke.