Brenda Linton
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Brenda Linton


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Review of "Still in This World""

The female vocals [on Still in This World] are superb - love her tone for the folk rock genre. Linton is hugely talented.
- Billy Johnston, Johnston Records, Ottawa, Ontario

"Review of "Still in This World""

The lead female vocals on "Still in This World" have a Joan Baez velvety folk sound. Just beautiful. The gentleman's vocals compliment her well as does the instrumentation. Wonderful duet! The arrangement reminds me of an old celtic melody put to a modern day situation.
- Ashlee Rose

"Review of "Still in This World""

I love the the split vocalists in Still in This World - there's just not enough of that [in the current music scene] for my taste.

This track has a mature sound, both vocally and musically. The playing is clean, crisp and tight - the players know when and where to add nuance or to move up front. The harp and slide guitar solos are outstanding.

The acoustic guitar, bass, and drums are recorded very smoothly. Overall, a great performance by Ms. Linton within a well-produced track. - Pineapple Johnson

"Review of "Justice""

Linton's new release, JUSTICE, deplores the poverty that still exists in our country and our world, and the misuse of resources for conflicts like the war in Iraq. Linton's signature sound features an innovative blending of acoustic and electric instruments; lush, ethereal supporting vocals, and an intimate lead vocal that captures the feel of a live performance. Linton's voice, like her songwriting, is passionate and haunting; hearing her sing unaccompanied is an unforgettable experience. - CD Baby

"DJ Review, Internet Radio, Belgium"

THE SECRET is brimming with the kind of roots music I like and believe in. Thanks for the opportunity to play tracks from the album on my radio show, "Somewhere Between."
-Ray Pieters, Internet Radio DJ

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN voted Best Webradio 2004 Belgium

"DJ Review, Wilmington, NC"

I love the J.J. Cale song, NEW LOVER, on your album. We’re adding it to the playlist. Let me know when you get back to town.
Beau Gunn, Music Director



Everyone has heard a song that reaches a certain place inside them and helps them make sense of the world, endearing them to the singer and all who hear that song. Brenda Linton writes music for that purpose.

“There are a lot of secrets that people hold, both good and bad,” Linton said in an interview at the Daily News Jan. 12. “If you can reach that part of a person by writing about your own secrets, then the listener will be able to identify with the artist and the song.”

Now based in Burnsville, near Asheville, Linton grew up in Washington. She has been gone for many years but says that though the city has changed, it is as beautiful as ever. At eight years old, Linton began taking piano lessons from the organist of First Baptist Church in Washington, known to her as Miss Gladys. In the spring time she participated in musicals and took singing lessons. At 14, she began playing guitar and soon started a band with two friends called the New Horizon Singers.

“Music is the centerpiece of my life. It has given me so much joy because I can play piano by myself at my house or I can play with others in the moment. Touching people with music is my life’s work.”

Joan Baez and Paul McCartney are influences she credits to the creation of her own “blend of folk, blues and rock.” “I also have a lot of jazz and gospel influences from singing at church,” Linton said. “I like the straightforwardness of folk music. I listened to the jazz standards while I was growing up and then came the Beatles. I also love Perry Como. I’ve always thought be was better than Sinatra.”

Linton’s first album, “The Secret”, displays those rock, folk, and jazz influences. And many of the songs are written from her own life experience. “Warriors” and “Still in this World” are autobiographical of her and her mother’s struggles with breast cancer.

“Music has gotten me through a lot of hard times in my life,” Linton said. “It helped me deal with the death of my mother and to fight my own bout with cancer.”

A definite element of Celtic style can be heard on a number of the tracks as well.
“Celtic music has been a big influence for maybe the last five years, but I don’t really know where it started,” Linton said. “I was fortunate enough to do a three-week tour in Ireland beginning in May. The Irish have a talent for telling stories that make ordinary events seem magical.”

It was that story-telling tradition that inspired her to choose the title song of her album which, she said, is about an Irish friend’s experience with a leprechaun when he was young. Linton does not limit her writing to music. She is also a poet, short-story writer and essayist. With two sons and a grandchild, writing is the direction in which she sees her life heading.

“The one challenge a person has as he or she ages is getting out in the world and doing new things and meeting new people,” Linton said. “That is my main focus at this point. I want to get out and write about what I see and put that out there for others to read.”

Linton’s album can be purchased from her web site at
or from

Dan Parsons, Staff Writer
January 17, 2007


"Live Interview, WCOM, Carrboro, NC"

Brenda – thanks for being a part of our community. I heard your interview the other night on Triangle Slim's show. Sounded mighty fine!

- Chris Frank, Red Clay Ramblers,

"House Concert Review"

Brenda Linton is without a doubt one of the finest female vocalists in the area. The concert she put on for us with her band was stunning in its beauty, variety, and professionalism. The audience loved it!

- Lex Larson, Organizer, Forty Acres House Concerts

"DJ Review, County Longford, Ireland"

There was a great reaction to your spot - lots of people asking where to get your album. We'd like to have you on again when you get back to Ireland.
Charlie McGettigan, DJ
- Shannonside Radio 104.8 FM


In November & December 2007, Brenda will take time off from performing to begin recording tracks for her upcoming album, ELEMENTAL.

2005 Long-player THE SECRET, 12 tracks. Listen to STILL IN THIS WORLD and THE GOOD LIFE here at Sonicbids or to the entire album via streaming at

Radio Airplay for THE SECRET:

Shannonside Radio 104.8 FM, Ireland
THE GOOD LIFE (live interview)
Highland Radio, County Donegal, Ireland
THE GOOD LIFE (live interview)
The Penguin, WUIN 106.7 FM, Wilmington, NC
WFFS Radio, Fayetteville State, Fayetteville, NC

Compilation Track "JUSTICE" on THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICANA, VOLUME V, Shut Eye Records. Release date: mid-January 2007
Free download at

Radio airplay for JUSTICE:

KBCS 91.3 FM (Bellevue, WA)
Radio ISA (France)


Feeling a bit camera shy


As the only daughter of rural Southern parents, Brenda Linton became aware at a young age of her mother’s dreams for her – that she would have red hair and would sing and dance like Shirley Temple. Today, although the petite redhead has some great moves on the dance floor, she is best known for a voice so pure and melodic that some fans have dubbed her the “Carolina Nightingale.”

Born in Washington, North Carolina, Linton says she was brought up by “a passel of kind-hearted women, including my mother, grandmother, maternal aunts, and housekeepers who treated me as their own.” Her mother overcame childhood polio to train as a registered nurse. Her father's work as a master plasterer frequently took him away from home, even to the island of Bermuda. “Part of my dad’s compensation was a month in paradise for my mom and me,” says Linton of the experience, “and I guess my love of the road began there.”

The singer/songwriter is taking to the road again and playing venues as far from her Asheville, NC base as County Donegal, Ireland to promote her long-player, "THE SECRET." The album’s 12 songs reflect a range of genres from Linton's earliest influences of traditional and classical music to her coming-of-age with folk and protest songs to the current blend of folk rock, blues, and gospel that is so compelling to audiences. Co-produced and mixed by John Plymale (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Claire Holley, Caitlin Cary), THE SECRET is a showcase of Linton’s talents as a singer, guitarist, pianist, writer, and arranger. Using a combination of live recording and overdubbing, Linton and Plymale support her emotive singing with lush background vocals and a rich palette of lead instruments, including mandolin, penny whistle, harmonica, fiddle, electric and slide guitar, dobro, and saxophone.

By adolescence, Linton had developed a list of favorite singers (Perry Como, Paul McCartney, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell) whose influence would later emerge in her unique vocal style. In high school, she taught herself to play guitar and formed a duo with a girlfriend that expanded into a folk trio called the NEW HORIZON SINGERS. By her mid-teens, Linton was performing regularly in college coffee houses.

After graduation, she joined an established folk-rock group called WARM. Linton’s voice as well as the innovative harmonies and original songs provided by the other three members set the band apart from most local acts in eastern North Carolina. For two years, she was able to earn a living performing throughout the southeast in music clubs, rock festivals, and college venues, and opening concerts for recording artists such as the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND and RARE EARTH.

When WARM broke up, Linton decided to pursue her childhood dream of living in Europe. She traveled in Switzerland, Italy, and France before settling in London. She established a musical relationship with another songwriter and recorded demos that were nibbled at by a British record label. Meanwhile, she supported herself by working in pubs, Carnaby Street clothes shops, and betting establishments.

While in London, Linton also tried some new musical directions which were short-lived, including singing with a heavy metal band. Homesick and lonely, she turned to songwriting. “During that period, I wrote songs to try to understand myself better,” Linton recalls, “and I wrote songs about stories I heard from the people I met.” One of these, an account from an Irish friend about a supernatural encounter, would later become the title song for THE SECRET.

The six original tracks on THE SECRET demonstrate Linton’s skill at creating provocative music that touches both heart and mind. BARGAIN LOVE and THE GOOD LIFE provide opposite views of the same phenomenon – how living a borrowed life only alienates us from ourselves and others. The jazzy QUIET LOVE touts the wisdom of finding our own answers rather than relying on popular culture.

WARRIORS and STILL IN THIS WORLD are perhaps the most personal songs on the album and movingly express the depth of Linton’s sorrow at losing her mother to breast cancer in 2004 as well as the belief that there is still much to recommend the world - a belief made more poignant by her own triumph over the disease a year earlier. The tune for WARRIORS was written by Thomas Walsh, a gifted composer and multi-instrumentalist living outside Dublin. “I happened upon his lovely melody, Innisheer, and knew it would be the perfect complement for my lyrics,” says Linton. “When I called him to get permission to use the tune, he was at home with the flu; but he was very gracious and we found we had a lot in common. Music often allows perfect strangers to quickly get down to the important stuff.”

Since the singer/songwriter returned to the United States, she has worked with a variety of musicians and producers in several locales, including Nashville. For over a decade, she was a member of the ANGELETTES, a three-woman vocal group wh