“This is really me getting
back to my natural self.”
There are three things I like about Linda Eder: (a) She’s from Minnesota, (b) Her dad is a pastry chef and (c) Her first paying job was singing at a Holiday Inn lounge.
Growing up in Brainerd, Minnesota, which is as far as you can be from both New York and Los Angeles, Eder did not let the geographic distance stop her showing the world her extraordinary voice. Right out of high school she worked the cocktail and supper club circuit until landing a big break in 1987 on Star Search (the original American Idol), winning the competition an incredible twelve weeks in a row. This amazing feat caught the attention of composer Frank Wilder who fashioned and fine-tuned a role for her on Broadway as Lucy Harris in Jekyll and Hyde. From there she developed into a versatile musician who regularly performs in Vegas on Broadway and even teams up with Symphonies all over the United States. She also travels with Michael Feinstein in recreating duo shows of the past like Steve and Edie, Frank and Judy and a little Sonny and Cher. She is a musician on many fronts and has released nine albums along her journey.
When the Big Chief, Vu, handed me her tenth release, “The Other Side of Me,” he remarked that Eder is in the vein of Barbara Streisand. I was pretty confused when I listened to the first song, “Pieces.” It sounds more Main Street than Broadway. Then I read the above quote and it made sense. If you ever been to Brainerd it’s more Country than Rock ‘n Roll and that feel never left Eder: “I’m basically a blue-collar farm girl at heart. This (album) is the kind of music that moved me as a kid.”
“Pieces” is a catchy tune. I’ve caught myself humming it the other day. It’s more polished than gritty. Eder maybe Country at deep down but her Broadway voice sails even while singing of a broken heart.
The album releases today and showcases October 22nd at the Blender Theater in Manhattan. Wear your Cowboy hat.