Saturday, September 23, 2006

LINDA EDER – One Night Only

Songstress Linda Eder will be visiting San Diego for a concert at the Civic Theatre on September 9. She’s got some of the best pipes around and with a new CD By Myself, the Songs of Judy Garland in New York City, coming out, she’s bound to put her spell on the gay community. She’s comfortable walking alongside the footsteps of Judy Garland and other iconic entertainers. I spoke to Linda at her parent’s home in Minnesota recently and this is what she had to say.

GLT: Are you intentionally cultivating a gay following or did that just happen naturally?

Linda Eder (LE): That question, for me, is almost impossible to answer. If I should be compared to other singers who draw a large gay following—iconic figures like Streisand and Judy Garland—I think it’s because we share a more dramatic style of singing. The emotional content is deeper and transcends itself to the feelings that many have experienced within the GBLT community.

Cuauhtémoc Q. Kish (CQK): You made an appearance last year at Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay and this year you’ll be moving into the Civic Theatre. Has your fan base expanded in San Diego?

LE: I prefer a concert venue of about 1,200; however, I’ve played very intimate spaces in New York City as well as Carnegie Hall. I was asked to perform at the Civic Theatre and accepted their gracious invitation and hope that my San Diego fans will fill that space.

CQK: You’re visiting with your parents in Minnesota right now. Is this your personal retreat from the music business?

LE: Yes; one of them, the other being my home in New York, about an hour north of Manhattan. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit my family in the summer for many years. We usually visit during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s especially exciting for my six-year-old son, Jake.

CQK: Your new album is called By Myself. Does the title spring from your new status as a new single mom, after your recent divorce?

LE: Yes.

CQK: With seven albums recorded to date what have you learned about your audience?

LE: I’ve learned that if you are true to yourself, you will find people who will appreciate your artistry. The musical choices that I’ve made have mostly been mine. By Myself was actually suggested by my recording company, but the next one out will feature pop songs of my choosing. I like “driving my own bus” so to speak.

CQK: You have a tremendous range and an ability to sustain notes for eight bars or longer? Does this ability come naturally?

LE: I’ve never studied music. I went right out of high school into night clubs with an assist from a choir teacher. Perhaps it’s the long distance running that helps with my breathing and singing technique.

CQK: You got your big break as a contestant on “Star Search” where you reigned for 13 weeks and subsequently landed a lead role in the musical “Jekyll & Hyde.” Do you have any plans to return to musical theatre?

LE: Doing a musical 7 or 8 times a week is a big time commitment. It’s also hard on the voice. I’ve just read a musical that’s in development, so we shall see...

CQK: Is fame important to you?

LE: Fame has never been what it is about for me. It’s the desire to work; to sing and entertain an audience, large or small.

CQK: I’ve heard that you’ve taken your love for animals (horses) right into an Animal Planet special?

LE: I’m doing a 2-hour special for Animal Planet called “Trail Mix” in which I ride alongside a celebrity while on horseback and we engage in a conversation.

CQK: In last year’s show at Humphrey’s I noticed that you seem to command respect from your audience. They are not inclined to chat or use their cell phones while you entertain, nor walk up and down the aisles looking for pizza slices. How does that happen?

LE: I think the individuals that attend my concerts are interested in finding the groove to the songs I sing. They are interested in the style and the craft of singing; they want to get all the nuances.

CQK: What do you bring to your concerts that other entertainers don’t?

LE: Height (Linda laughs easily as she is 5’ 10”). I think I bring a certain realism to my concerts. It’s not over the top; not too big.

CQK: What’s your fondest memory in the music business?

LE: I think it’s the collective time with my musical family.

CQK: Describe any obstacles in your success.

LE: It’s a mix of my half-laziness and my perfectionism.

CQK: What’s your biggest challenge in your life right now?

LE: Finding enough time to do it all, especially spending time with my child.

CQK: What’s your biggest indulgence?

LE: My boyfriend.

CQK: Robert Frost summed up life in three words: it goes on. How would you sum up your life to date?

LE: Life is a place where we find love, something to do, and have something to look forward to.

CQK: Any message to your GBLT fans?

LE: I just want to thank them for their tremendous support. The gay audience is very special to me.

I’m certain that Linda Eder will not be all by herself when she performs at the Civic Theatre on September 9th and even though that theatre is expansive Linda promises to give you an intimate concert of hits past and present.


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