Eder pays tribute to the great ladies
Linda Eder: ‘Songbirds’
Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire
6:30 and 10:30 p.m. July 28
$30-$75; shows are for ages 21-plus
www.viper-alley.com or (847) 499-5000
Updated: July 19, 2012 10:35AM
New show, new venue, but it will be the same Linda Eder — she of the magnificent voice — who comes to Viper Alley in Lincolnshire for two concerts on July 28.
Eder’s live concerts are the lifeblood of her career. She loves touring, and is as loyal to her fans as they have been to her over the course of her career. That career includes more than a dozen solo albums released since 1991, as well as half a dozen years of Broadway successes. And all those years of touring.
At this point, she says of her fans, “They’re not coming to hear a particular song. They’re coming to hear me.”
With that in mind, she’s offering “Songbirds,” a show that pays tribute to great women of modern music, stylists like Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Adele, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Eva Cassidy, Whitney Houston, Lena Horne and Dolly Parton.
The show crosses genres and generations. “I wanted to do something a little bit different this time,” she said.
So her song list includes classics like “Stormy Weather,” “Someone Like You,” “I Know You By Heart,” “Crazy” and “I Will Always Love You.”
And she’ll do some of “the songs I have to do,” pieces that Eder’s made her own over the years. “I steal a lot of songs from my albums.”
These days, Eder is exploring other facets of her talent. Her inclusion in “Songbirds” of hits by Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton indicates one of her new directions.
“The thing is, I write country pop,” she says, by way of explanation. Her dream is to put out a record of her own songs, those country tunes, though she doesn’t see that happening too soon.
But really, she explains, country is not new to her. It’s her musical roots. Growing up in rural Minnesota, it was the background music of her life. At the same time, of course, she was also listening to Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Eileen Farrell, the singers Eder always lists as her primary influences, though she notes that “when you’re a singer, everything influences you.”
Then her career took off with the great American standards of pop and jazz before moving on to Broadway, where she got caught up in that music.
But country was always home. “It’s only been in the last six years that I’ve gone back to country,” she says. And during this time, she seriously began to write songs again, and the country girl took over that department too.
“This is a huge part of me,” she said.
She has no plans to abandon the standards, jazz and pop that have been the foundation of her career. She just wants to make country music a more significant part of her repertoire. It could add to her fan base, of course. “Not everyone likes standards,” she says. And not everyone likes country. The point is, her fans will have a choice.
Ultimately it’s also a very personal — very liberating — move.
“I don’t hear Judy or Barbra in my head when I’m singing those songs. I feel more musically complete.” Now back in tune with country, Eder says, “I’m 100 percent myself.”