Linda McRae

Linda McRae

 
Kingston Springs, Tennessee, USA
SoloFolkAmericana

Linda has performed with the Vancouver Symphony and the blues band at New Folsom Prison! With a voice equally warm and world-weary McRae tells tales of the lost, the lovesick and the loner. Stories are stand-alone gems sketching out solitary men as convincingly as forthright female romantics."One song breaks your heart, the next one puts it back together". Fernando Pinto, Promoter, Oddball Events

She's also just signed with Borealis Records! 50 Shades of Red drops in June 2015!

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Biography

Linda Signs with Borealis Records!

A lot is happening in Linda McRae's world. The fact that this past year (2013) saw Lindas newest release Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts on the Roots Music Report Charts for 52 straight weeks, was #3 most played recording of 2013 at Galaxie Radio and The Skydiggers recent recording of great Canadian artists including Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Linda McRae and Neil Young." (Montreal Gazette, Metro Winnipeg, Nova Scotia Herald) speaks for itself.

In addition, Linda has just signed a deal with seminal Canadian Folk label Borealis Records. A new retrospective package entitled 50 Shades of Red is due for release May 1/2014 featuring songs from Linda's previous 4 solo recordings and a recording of new material will be released in Spring 2015.

Linda's newest recording Rough edges and Ragged Hearts was produced by Linda and Marc LEsperance and featured The Sojourners, Doug Cox, Gurf Morlix, Ray Bonneville and Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas).  Charting #1 at CKUA, #4 Top Canadian Album, #1 & 2 Top Canadian Songs (Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts/Be Your Own Light) and #8 Top Canadian Artists on the Folk DJs list the recording also earned 5* reviews in No Depression and Rock Star Weekly, and 4.5* in Penguin Eggs. All this and the recent inclusion of Lindas song Burning Bridges on the The Skydiggers most recent CD confirms the buzz is definitely building.

Earning two-platinum and three gold records as a member of Spirit of the West Linda left the band to resume her solo career and has since released four critically acclaimed recordings: Flying Jenny with producer Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan), Cryin Out Loud, producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier), Carve It To The Heart producers Linda McRae and Marc LEsperance and her fourth release as mentioned above.

Performing on clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar, accordion and porchboard stompbox, Linda combines old-time sounds with universal themes of heartbreak & 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.

Recent performance include Plainsong Festival NE, Yukon Arts Centre, Vancouver Island Music Festival BC; South Country Fair AB; Barbican Theatre UK; Maverick Festival UK; The Bluebird Cafe TN; and New Folsom Prison, Californias infamous maximum-security prison where she performed in concert and facilitated writing workshops for the inmates. These workshops lead to the creation of her Express Yourself Writing Workshops currently being presented in detox centres, alternative schools, and youth and adult correctional facilities across North America.

Linda has partnered with the following festivals in order to present her workshop as part of their community outreach programs:   2013: Plainsong Festival NE, South Country Fair AB, Coldsnap Festival BC; and also booked in 2014: Hamburg Music Fest NY, Vancouver Island Music Fest BC, Folk Alliance International, Last Honkytonk Music Series and return workshops have been booked in Geneva, NE.

For more information on these workshops please visit http://lindamcrae.com/workshops

Lyrics

Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts

Written By: L. McRae/A. Mader

I’m starved for affection don’t strive for perfection
just someone to catch me should I fall
the band’s finished playing outside it’s still raining
I look around and there’s no one at all

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts

My ears are ringing when I wake next morning
the phone in it’s cradle is silent as hell
but maybe this evening I’ll find redemption
dancing with the demons that I know so well

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts

I’ll wear my scars like a well-worn dance floor
I’ll wear my hair up so I can stand tall
the music surrounds me like the arms of a lover
just because my world spins does it mean I must fall

Single file, ladies chain, bend the line, promenade
roll away, half sashay, you turn back, separate

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts

Be Your Own Light

Written By: L. McRae

This world is dark, no walk in the park
just like Noah and his ark you’ve got to be your own light
you’ve got to have faith when you can’t tell night from day
when you can’t find a way to keep the thieves at bay
you’ve got to be your own light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you’ve got to be your own light

If your vote’s not counted you can’t drink from that fountain no
you’ve got to climb that mountain so you can see your light
go out and make some noise when you find you’ve got no choice
put down your toys the world needs your voice
and it sure could use your light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you’ve got to be your own light

Live your life the way you wanna among the flora & the fauna
tell lies if you’re gonna and watch what happens to your light
then when you meet your maker as a giver or a taker
you won’t be thrown in the baker if you be your own light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you’ve got to be your own light

You won’t be thrown in the baker when you meet your maker
If you be your own light

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Written By: L. McRae

Who momma who
is the old woman living in a shoe?
so many children she doesn’t know what to do
who momma who?
she feeds them broth but hasn’t any bread
she whips them soundly, sends them to bed
doesn’t she love her babies like you do?
Who is she momma? Who?

What momma what
makes the wind blow in the treetop?
when the wind blows the cradle will rock
what momma what?
when the bough breaks the cradle will fall
down will come baby, cradle and all
what makes the wind blow why doesn’t it stop?
What is it momma? What?

Where momma where
shall I wander because someone’s waiting there?
In his lady’s chamber up and down the stairs
where momma where?
he met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers
he took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs
I don’t like these stories they're making me scared
Where is he momma? Where?

Why momma why
were 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie?
sing a song of sixpence and a pocket full of rye
why momma why?
When the pie was opened and the birds began to sing
wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king
but when the pie was opened I know I would have cried
wouldn’t they have died? Why?
Wouldn’t they have died? Momma why?

Three Midnights

Written By: Linda McRae / James Whitmire

I bought a house with no windows
it’s crumbling and showing scars
built on a street called Misery
where everything I touched fell apart
a house not fit for man nor beast
where no one ever really wants to stay
couched with shame, so unforgiving
a place you own, but never give away

I bought a house by lying and stealing
black as the poison in my veins
I spent all my pride and got back no change
soaked to the bone with years of pain
I thought my house was so unique
and that I held the only key
but that key so many times been sold
unlocks the door to purgatory

Oh Lord give me back my sanity,
my home my family, lord give me light (Chorus)

And now my house is vacant
within it walls lies my past grief
so if you walk by and it catches your eye
keep on walking it don’t come cheap
for it’s a house made of fire and brimstone
and the souls that have gone before
nightmares in the basement, sorrow in the attic
and it’s darker than 3 midnights in a jar

Oh Lord give me back my sanity, my home my family
lord give me light oh lord I fell down on my knees
I asked and I received now I see the light

Geppetto's Boy

Written By: Linda McRae / James Whitmire

I’m a real live girl not a marionette
the boy I love’s my greatest joy
Don’t tell lies, if you tell lies my momma said
your nose will grow like Geppetto’s boy

When I am with my love and even in my dreams
he’ll hear the truth in my voice
I am flesh & blood & when I fall I bleed
a real far cry from a wooden toy

Geppetto made his boy with love and with wood
yet root and branch it was destroyed
my love’s made of truth and all things good
I won’t end up like Geppetto’s boy

I’m not a puppet I don’t come with strings
without strings true love can last for life
I will give my heart as I take the ring
that joins us as husband and wife

Geppetto made his boy with love and with wood
yet root and branch it was destroyed
but my love’s made of truth and all things good
I won’t end up like Geppetto’s boy

Flowers of Appalachia

Written By: Linda McRae,Ken Blackburn

This is a demo for my upcoming recording for Borealis Records and is only available for the purposes of Sonicbids Applications.

I co-wrote this song with an inmate at California's New Folsom Prison. Ken wrote the lyric and I wrote the music. Ken is 73 years old and is serving life without parole. I gotten to know Ken through my participation in the Arts and Corrections Program at New Folsom and have created a writing workshop Express Yourself Writing Workshops as a direct result of my involvement there. In 2014 I have partnered with the follow organizations and will be giving the workshop as part of their community outreach programs: Folk Alliance International (MO), Vancouver Island Music Festival (BC), PlainSong Festival (NE), South Country Fair (AB), Waterton Opera House (AB), and Harvest Sun Festival (MB). For more information please see http://lindamcrae.com/workshops. Thank you.

The Flowers of Appalachia L. McRae/ K. Blackburn

Wood-smoked winter mornings lay heavy on my mind
Memories of paradise and the life I left behind
But the music of the mountains still makes my heart content
And the flowers of Appalachia
Still have the sweetest scent

When I looked though eyes of youth my world was black and white
But looking through the eyes of age I see I wasn’t right
But the music of the mountains still makes y heart content
And the flowers of Appalachia
Still have the sweetest scent

I longed for the city life for the rhythm of its streets
Now I long to be back home I’m gettin’ travelin’ feet
But the music of the mountains still makes my heart content
And the flowers of Appalachia
Still have the sweetest scent

I’ll limb up on old Piney Top and have a look around
I’ll fill my lungs with mountain air and make a joyful sound
But the music of the mountains still makes y heart content
And the flowers of Appalachia
Still have the sweetest scent

And when I’ve run my final race and darkness seals my eyes
Just lay my bones beneath a stone and mark it “here he lies”
Where the music of the mountains still makes his heart content
And the flowers of Appalachia
Still have the sweetest scent

Love Is A Game

Written By: Willie P. Bennett

This is an unreleased Willie P. Bennett song and until it's release is only available as part of the application process here at Sonicbids.

The song will appear on my upcoming release for Borealis Records as well as the Willie P. Bennett Legacy Project being presented at this year's Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MO.

Love is a Game Nobody Wins Willie P. Bennett

Love is a game nobody wins
risk your self-respecting heart
And gain an everlasting shame
It can break your will
if you don’t let go of the shame
Nobody wins
When love is a game
Nobody wins

When love is a game nobody wins
The deck is stacked against you
The fix is already in
You may think you’re holding all the cards
But you’d better think again (minor)
Nobody wins
When love is a game
Nobody wins

Bad Girl, Bad Boy

Written By: L. McRae,M.C. Hansen, M.C. Hansen

This was recorded live at Hillbilly Haiku in 2014. This song will be re-recorded and featured on Linda's upcoming Borealis Release. This is for Sonicbids applications only.

Well, I was watching Cops one night
Everett and Audrey had a mean old fight
She hit him so hard poor Everett he was seein’ double
When the sheriff asked “hey what’s happened here?”
Beer-bellied Everett put down his beer & he whined
“Hey man, she hit me on the head with a shovel!”

Bad Girl, Bad Boy, what ya gonna do, how you gonna avoid
all the trouble you’re finding yourselves in
Bad Boy, Bad Girl, what ya gonna do, you’re head’s awhirl
will you stick it out through thick and thin?

Well, Audrey caught Everett with her best friend Fran
She didn’t take kindly to seein’ that
Fran r-u-n-n-o-f-t- like a varmint down a rabbit hole
Well fortunately she couldn’t find her gun
Everett was so stunned he couldn’t run
All she could find was a big ole’ honkin’ hoe
(shovel didn’t rhyme)

Bad Girl, Bad Boy, what ya gonna do, how you gonna avoid
all the trouble you’re finding yourselves in
Bad Boy, Bad Girl, what ya gonna do, you’re head’s awhirl
will you stick it out through thick and thin?

Shoveladydeeay, Shovelooodeo Shovelaydeaydelodeodeldeaydelodelodelady

Now Audrey and Everett they’re happy as clams
She wouldn’t press charges against her man
Cause hey, it was Audrey who struck the first blow
every Monday night they watch Cop re-runs
and now whenever their show comes on
they’re celebrities at the local Wal-Mart store (bring holy water)

Bad Girl, Bad Boy, what ya gonna do, how you gonna avoid
all the trouble you’re finding yourselves in
Bad Boy, Bad Girl, what ya gonna do, you’re head’s awhirl
will you stick it out through thick and thin

Yodel
what ya gonna do when they come for you?