The Voice



Fresh on the heels of the release of her latest recording, CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE, Linda boarded a plane and headed for San Francisco and three performances at Feinstein's at the Nikko followed by a "close-to-home" show at Mohegan Sun Casino's Wolf Den. Some very enthusiastic fans have shared their experiences through words and photos.

Linda Eder
(photo courtesy Cathy Burtis)

Linda traveled across the country for her first appearances after the release of CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. Everyone in the rest of the country was so jealous of those “West Coasters” who were the first ones to have the opportunity to greet Linda and purchase her latest Christmas CD. For three nights, she entertained wildly enthusiastic audiences at Feinstein’s At The Nikko. The crowds were such fun and their enthusiasm was greatly appreciated by Linda and the band.


Markcurtis Otani from California writes…

Christmas came early for Linda Eder fans. I was most fortunate to attend Linda’s first concert tour in San Francisco to promote the release of her second Christmas CD, CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. This CD is a labor of love (and hard work), requested by her fans, and is available only on her website and at her concert venues.

My first exposure to Linda’s talent came at a pre-Broadway tour of JEKYLL & HYDE in Seattle, Washington. Since then, I had seen that show as a work in progress in various cities and then again when it premiered on Broadway. From attending countless concerts around the country to having my license plate personalized (EDERFAN), I am honored to share my latest Linda Eder concert experience. 

Linda has a close relationship with Michael Feinstein, as she has toured with him in the past and has performed at his cabaret, appropriately named Feinstein’s At The Regency, in New York City. This was her first appearance at the relatively new Feinstein’s At The Nikko on the West Coast. (Linda must have “left her heart in San Francisco,” however, as this was her second appearance in the City by the Bay this year).

Those attending this tour expecting to hear a montage of all her hits may have been disappointed, but how can one be disappointed after hearing Linda sing anything? Her repertoire is so extensive now with her numerous recordings. This tour does contain many fan favorites, but she also entranced the audience by performing numbers she had done in the early part of her career.

She began her set with “Ice Castles,” a song she performed on the show “Star Search,” which launched her career, followed by a “sing-a-long” to ABBA’s “Fernando.” She then followed up with her interpretation of “Stormy Weather,” “Mad Hatter” from Frank Wildhorn’s WONDERLAND,  and several lesser-known numbers, including “I’m Not Lisa” and “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long.”

Markcurtis Otani, Linda Eder, Jimmy Short

Her emotional “More Than Heaven” is dedicated to comfort those affected by the disasters the world faces. Someone in the audience brought to her attention that today was the anniversary of the disastrous 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Francisco. Known for her ties to the Broadway community, she sang a selection of tunes from musicals such as EVITA and THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and, of course, “Someone Like You,” from JEKYLL & HYDE, which many claim is her signature song. Linda was accompanied by her pianist and musical director, Billy Stein, bass player David Finck, and guitarist Peter Calo, all of whom have contributed to the music on the holiday CD.

Linda was given a “heads up” that there was a newlywed couple in the audience, and she asked the couple (Gregg and Lawrence) why they got married on the anniversary of the earthquake. They explained it was 10 years since they had met and saw Linda’s first concert, and she promptly dedicated “Someone Like You” to the pair and gave them the first copy of her new CD as a wedding gift. To promote the CD, she graciously met with each person who bought a copy and autographed it after the show.

Though she did not sing any selections from the Christmas CD, Linda ended the evening with “Chasing Rainbows/Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Here’s hoping she will be chasing rainbows close to a venue where new and old fans can hear her illustrious voice for many years to come.


Cathy Burtis from California writes…

Cathy Burtis and Linda Eder

A CASE OF YOU

It is six thirty p.m. on Thursday evening, October 17, 2013 in San Francisco at the Nikko Hotel, in the small showroom, Feinstein's, an intimate place, a cabaret where Linda Eder will perform at eight p.m. tonight. My table is up front just behind the piano with the keyboard in full view. 

I have seen Linda Eder perform live before. I have met her. I have written for The Voice. I am not unlike so many people who are devoted fans of Linda. We belong to that special family who follow her every song. If it were possible, I think she would reach out to all of us individually to include us in her world.

From her website and her Facebook timeline, she reached out to her fans when she was choosing Christmas songs for her current Christmas CD, CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. She responds to fans who ask for her friendship on Facebook. She recognizes those who wait for her at stage door, and she invites many people backstage, among those who write for The Voice and want to take her photo.

She listens to us, she talks to us, she poses with us for a picture together; she writes to us in her blog and on her Facebook timeline and sends us notifications. She writes beautifully. She shares some of her life and thoughts and feelings with us. From her Linda Eder website, we purchase her uniquely imagined pins and her new Christmas CD, all of which she personally packages and sends to us. As someone close to me said of Linda, “She is real.” As I tried to describe Linda, my friend put everything I was trying to say into that one word, REAL.

Linda is like all of us, living a life, sometimes ordinary, day to day. But she is extra-ordinary. Her portrait is a grand tapestry all together, but finitely there is a place in it where if found and seen, she is that kid she feels like in the summertime. When she wrote that in her most recent blog, I understood something so simple: she has many faces. Like all of us. But God gave Linda a voice.
She fills in the portrait with personal stories of her life, most relating to her individual songs. So, the background story illuminates her song choices and broadens what we know about her. THERE is the connection we experience with Linda. In that connection, we can appreciate and know the Linda who sings for us. We feel close to her. Yet her incomparable voice elevates her and sets her beyond our reach. While she is that person we have come to know, she is that glorious singer. Matched with her beauty and kindness she is unique in all of the world.

Five minutes to go. The showroom is full. Listening to various conversations, some people have not seen Linda perform. In fact, some have never heard her sing.

It is eight o'clock. Soon. Here she is. She walks through the audience to the stage. The thrill of seeing her continues with her first song from the film, ICE CASTLES, “Through The Eyes Of Love.” She is the young woman singing this song at “Star Search” on TV twenty-five years ago. As she modulates through the melody from whispers to holding high notes for an unbelievable time, I can say, no one can do this! Linda does. She creates a chorus of one.

“Mad Hatter,” is a song from the short-lived musical, WONDERLAND, by Frank Wildhorn. Linda really likes this song. She embellishes it, and because it is so obvious she is having fun, the audience responds to being so well entertained by sustained applause.

Her next background story takes her and us back to the Blue Goose Inn in Garrison, Minnesota where she is sixteen. She is washing dishes in her dad's restaurant. She takes off her apron when the opportunity arises. She sings, “I'm not Lisa… my name is Julie.” With full, reverberating, soulful tones, the young girl returns. She slips into that role, that memory, that place.

When she has to work her way down five keys to sing, “Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long,” the story to this song includes Linda dancing in place, the feet never leaving the floor. She says that it’s safer that way. Linda hams it up. She swings, she clowns, she really moves to the beat in her head. She is having fun. It seems she can really dance. It's all an illusion to be sure but so sweet. She IS the entertainer.

Continuing the walk down memory lane, way, way off-Broadway--in Minnesota, she starts singing, “Don't Cry For Me Argentina.” This time it is Saturday, her third performance. Tonight her story segues into this song's first few notes accompanied by incipient applause. Linda stops singing to the response. “Good?!?” Then she easily slips into this song and delivers it beyond all belief. She becomes the song. Billy Stein's piano ripples and soars in the bass register. Linda again holds her high notes. She is the chorus modulating tones, soft to loud and soft again. It is a big sound backed by the piano. Full band accompaniment ends the song. Linda reaches toward and looks at Billy and says, “One man orchestra.” I think she said to him, “I love you.” She sings this song big. She makes this moment last.

Saturday night is the last night. It will prove to be very special. I am again sitting in front close to the piano and Linda. I can write and think while I wait for the moment when Linda appears. I feel I could keep doing this. The first night I got to see Billy's hands wonderfully move over the piano keyboard. What a treat that was. Tonight I watch his face and his gestures. On Friday night, I sat in front at a table with John Burns whom I had met the first night. We enjoyed Linda together. This is also why I could keep doing this. We are not alone.

But to see Linda every night… it's like seeing a good friend every night because I look forward to it just as I would seeing that friend. At the same time, her music plays in my head. Waiting for her the third night is just as exciting as the first and the second; and even as I know what is to come, Linda changes the flavor of her stories. She responds to the audience with her quick wit and makes the performance new every time. But the songs… she goes into them like into her own dream. It's another world for her. They are perfect and perfectly repeated, sung again. I am full of anticipation. Seeing her never loses its first time glow.

Saturday night we learn something new about her. She is sitting on a stool on stage next to the piano. She lived in New York City for awhile in an apartment with a terrace. She built a garden--with power tools. She owns every power tool there is! Something like that. She builds things. She is very talented!

She sings “More Than Heaven,” commemorating the Japanese tsunami and earthquake, and all the other world tragedies of the last couple of years. She becomes the chorus again with her sustained high notes. Her next story begins with the allusion to her only Broadway show and the song from it. Then she deviates from the broader script and begins with a second story, the one from her young life in high school when she wanted to play Maria in SOUND OF MUSIC, but she was too tall. She interweaves both stories and jumps ahead in the set, but the band stalls. Peter Calo on guitar won't begin. She looks at Billy Stein. She gets the message. Then she says she would need a beer even if she doesn't drink much. It's the third night jitters, and the audience helps out.

This is the human side of Linda, the real side, the endearing side, another beautiful side gleaning through. She just rolls with it. Then she sings, “Someone Like You.” On a previous night she had said if she didn't sing this song she would hear about it on the internet. Now, she doesn't disappoint. She really belts it, and the audience loves it. She is that woman who finds love at last.

When she sings, “Climb Every Mountain,” she prefaces the song by saying, “Remember what I said before.” So, we know she got to sing the best song in the whole play. Linda starts slowly with the guitar backing, then the bass. Building, the piano chimes in. All together they build the sound. Then David Fink on bass plays solo. The song winds up and up, soaring. The piano comes in with force, surging, notes rippling all over the keyboard creating the chills behind the power of Linda's voice: voice and words full of meaning and intelligence. Every word and every note embellishes the story. The interpretation and sound is operatic.

Her last song on the program is “Man of La Mancha,” which is always a crowd pleaser. Attending this song, Linda gently pokes David Fink's cheek, “He smiles!” (David Fink is always serious.) Then to Billy, “He smiles all the time.”  In response to this song, the audience doesn't stop applauding as Linda leaves the stage and showroom. She would return to sing an encore. The first two nights her encore is, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” When she sings this song, you can really tell she is remembering Judy Garland. As always, she gives it a different beauty.

But tonight, her last night, she walks back into the crowd to great applause and cries for “Vienna.” Clearly this group of fans will not be happy unless she sings this beautiful and iconic song, which most consider her signature song. It was written for her by Frank Wildhorn. It has its own story Linda has told often in the past, present, and will tell in the future. She says something to the band, they do know this song… I'm wondering whether she was going to sing “Vienna” all along as a surprise. This was the only night the whole audience calls for it in unison.

Lisa Mackay and Cathy Burtis

Beside me is Lisa Mackay, who is with her husband. She has been a fan of Linda's for a long time but has never seen her perform live. She was the recipient of Linda's Christmas CD, bestowed upon her earlier. (Linda gave one to someone in the audience each night.) So now she too is calling for “Vienna.” (I am too.)

Linda will sing “Vienna.” It is the biggest gift to all of us. I can't even describe or explain what happens when she sings this beloved song. It is just so beautiful, and it showcases Linda's voice. It also showcases Billy Stein's accompaniment and his solo. It has always showcased all accompaniment. I imagine she will never escape singing this song.

I see Linda after the performance as she waits to sign her Christmas CD. For a moment she is alone. I am so happy to have seen her and that she sang “Vienna.” I had to thank her. What would I have said could I have had another moment? Oh, a million things.
Or not…. But the moment doesn't come. Linda has to leave.

I will miss her. She will fade like a dream, even as I try to hold on. Her music will not. I have her new Christmas CD. I will listen to her songs over and over and wait to see her again. I will always think what I could say in a fleeting moment, and I will never stop being amazed that I know her.


Alexis Kent from California writes…

On October 19th, we saw Linda perform her third and final show at the new Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco.  For those of you who haven’t spent time in San Francisco, the Rrazz Room used to be at this location. Pegah and I saw many shows at the Rrazz, including Lorna Luft, Keely Smith, Chita Rivera, and Linda Carter. The venue is fantastic. It’s intimate and is what I imagine the old cabarets were like. Just my style. Now that Michael Feinstein has taken it over, it’s even better! We saw Michael (who, as fans will recall, has recorded and performed with Linda) there for my birthday in September. He was wonderful, and his club is really tops! So, of course, we were very excited to see Linda at this venue for our sixth time seeing her perform.

Alexis Kent, Linda Eder and Pegah Shetabi

As always, Linda did not disappoint. She sang songs we’d never heard her sing, including “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and “Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long.” My favorite “new” song that Linda performed, however, was “Fernando.” It is such a beautiful song, one of Abba’s best in my opinion, and Linda did such a lovely rendition with the boys and the crowd. I think my favorite part of this show was the stories Linda told about living in an apartment in New York and building planter boxes on her terrace, as well as the stories she told to introduce songs. I was particularly intrigued when she spoke about her deftness in using all manner of power tools. I can’t really think of anything sexier than a beautiful woman who knows how to handle a power drill. But, I digress… you can tell when Linda is on stage how comfortable she is with herself and with being onstage. In fact, she was so comfortable that she accidentally skipped “Someone Like You” while telling her high school Sound of Music story, and had to be reminded by Billy that she had gotten a bit out of order. But no one cared! We were spending an evening in her presence and privy to her amazing talent, which is all that mattered. Linda’s response to that, as well as her response to flubbing a line in “Fernando” (also, no one cared and she handled it perfectly) was to say that she rarely drinks but could really use a Corona after the show. That certainly got some laughs from the crowd.  My other favorite part of this show was seeing Linda interact with the crowd. It is so special and unique to see a performer acknowledge and recognize her fans. 

After the show, we were lucky enough to go “backstage.” We decided to bring Linda her Corona before heading back, but to my dismay we discovered that the bar did not carry ANY Mexican beer. So, I grabbed a Heineken (pales in comparison, I know) and headed back. Linda was busy signing autographs and meeting fans, so we got to watch her light up people’s faces while we waited to chat. During that time, we had the chance to get to know Linda’s manager, Dave Hart. What a swell guy. We had a great time talking with Dave, who informed us he’d already gotten Linda and himself a beer, so Peg drank the beer at his urging.

Finally, we talked to Linda. I mentioned how much we loved seeing her perform Adele songs on her last trip to San Francisco earlier this year. I also mentioned that I didn’t think we’d be able to wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to the new Christmas album, a sentiment it seems she’d heard before! Dave — apparently unfamiliar with iPhone cameras — took some pictures of Linda, Pegah, and me, and we said goodnight. Looking forward to listening to two Linda Christmas albums this year and to seeing her perform again soon! It’s always a privilege.

Not many days after returning from a triumphant three-day concert series in San Francisco, California, Linda made a much shorter trip to Uncasville, Connecticut on October 25, 2013 to appear in the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Fans lined up hours before the scheduled show to be assured of getting a seat.

Mark Pupillo from Connecticut writes…

An ordinary Friday night is usually our time to reflect on the events of the week past, unwind, and settle in to a good glass of Cab. October 25, 2013 would be no ordinary Friday night. The date had been marked on the calendar for months. After a quick bite to eat, my wife Lucie and I jumped in the car for the short commute to Mohegan Sun to see Singer and Recording Artist Linda Eder perform in concert at the Wolf Den. 

Mark Pupillo and his wife Lucie with Linda

On our way, I was thinking back to Linda’s show earlier this year in Putnam’s Rotary Park. The outdoor performance had been interrupted briefly with some light showers yet a determined audience braved the elements and Linda was steadfast and gracious enough to provide a great night of music well into the evening, much to the delight of an appreciative crowd.

The challenge of smaller general admission venues like the Wolf Den has always been in just how much time to allow to assure yourself of a good seat. Depending on the performer, the long lines for the free shows form early and get quite long. Some patrons get disheartened while loyal fans will persist and are rewarded for their efforts. The silver lining in queuing up early is that you can spend up to an hour in line with complete strangers, fans who are passionate about their particular artist. And by the time you are shown to your seats, you end up making new acquaintances and perhaps even new friends, all by mere chance. Such was the case as Lucie and I made our way in with Barbara & Bruce from Enfield to see Linda perform. Faithful Eder fans, they used the occasion to celebrate his birthday.

The Wolf Den is an intimate circular 300-seat open-air venue that puts you up front and personal with the performer. The stage is situated in the middle of the building, surrounded by seating and open beyond to the rest of the casino. The overflow of patrons who don’t gain admittance can still view and enjoy from the perimeter of the theatre.

Linda took stage promptly at 8:00 p.m. along with her group of talented musicians led by musical director Mr. Billy Stein, and launched into her opening number “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” (From Ice Castles). Looking warm and beautiful, her set took us on a journey through her musical catalog, stopping along the way to offer up some treasures not commonly heard at her concerts. Very comfortable in this setting, her banter between numbers kept the audience engaged. There were some light moments as she demonstrated her dance moves (feet never leaving the floor), her playful duet on “Fernando” with guitarist Peter Calo, and the ever-fun “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long”. Nice departures were her poignant “More Than Heaven” from the 2011 release “Now” and a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

Mark Pupillo and Linda Eder

Her interpretations and phrasings are unmatched, whether a song takes her to a gentle whisper or soaring to unthinkable climaxes. Highlights of the evening, for me, were the heartfelt “I Dreamed a Dream” and signature crowd-pleasers “Someone Like You” and “A New Life” from Jekyll and Hyde. The evening concluded with a rousing “Man of La Mancha,” dedicated, by Linda, to a member of the audience for his father... and ending with a tender rendition of Judy Garland’s “Over The Rainbow.”

It may have been a bit too soon for Linda to fast-forward past Halloween and Thanksgiving with offerings from her new Holiday recording “Christmas Where You Are.” I ordered mine the day it came available from the website (the only place you can get it other than at one of her shows). If the line after the show for her CD is any indication, sales should be strong in the weeks to come and fans at upcoming shows are in for a treat.

Over the years, we’ve heard the constant references to another famous artist in conversation whenever the subject of Linda Eder comes up... to the point now that it’s almost cliché. And not to play down its significance… after all who wouldn’t be flattered by the comparison... but Linda Eder’s work stands on its own. The purity in her voice, her styling, the power of her instrument... and the irony is that someday Linda herself may well be the benchmark when the next young prodigy singer comes along and draws similar acclaim as “the next Eder”... the highest form of praise I can think of!

We stayed behind, after the show, to share a brief moment with Linda before she treated fans with a CD signing. Thanks, Linda, for a great evening… indeed, no ordinary Friday night… and better than a fine Cabernet.

SET LIST
“Ice Castles”
“Stormy Weather”
“I’m Not Lisa”
“Mad Hatter”
“Someone Like You”
“Fernando”
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”
“Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long”
“I Dreamed a Dream”
“Rolling in the Deep”
“More Than Heaven”
“Climb Every Mountain”
“Son of a Preacher Man”
“Charade”
“A New Life”
“Vienna”
“Man of La Mancha”
“Over the Rainbow”

 



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(c)2013 Linda Eder