Entertainment

Island native returns

Current Nashville resident Linda McRae will perform April 4 at the Cumberland Hotel.  - DOUG LANG
Current Nashville resident Linda McRae will perform April 4 at the Cumberland Hotel.
— image credit: DOUG LANG

Linda McRae’s recent musical past will also be part of her near future.

The former Spirit of the West member recently signed with Canadian folk label Borealis Records.

That will result in a retrospective CD titled 50 Shades of Red, due to be released later this spring. Including songs from her previous four solo recordings, it will be followed by new recorded  material to be released next spring.

Describing the new contract as “a wonderful opportunity,” McRae said in a telephone interview that the label’s owners are “super nice people” with a lot of experience and real empathy for the musicians they sign.

“It really means a lot to me that they’ve asked me to be part of their label because I respect and admire them so much.”

McRae has a good 2013 on which to build.

Her album Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts was on the Roots Music Report charts for 52 consecutive weeks and the third most-played recording of 2013 on Galaxie Radio.

Guest musicians included Comox Valley dobro player Doug Cox, the Sojourners, Ray Bonneville, Samantha Parton of the Be Good Tanyas and Gurf Morlix, who has produced and played guitar for Lucinda Williams.

“They’re all friends of mine. I’ve worked on their records and they’ve worked on my records,” McRae commented.

Technology makes collaboration across great distances easier than ever.

“The way things work now, you can just a track to people. You don’t even have to be there.”

Phoning The Record from Seattle as tour dates brought her closer to the Comox Valley for an April 4 MusicFest-sponsored gig at the Cumberland Hotel, McRae currently resides in Nashville.

“It’s really great. It’s great to be based there. It’s really inexpensive,” the Vancouver Island native replied when asked what it’s like to live in Music City.

Sometime after meeting current husband (also lyricist and agent) James Whitmire, he popped the big question.

“He asked me, if we could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I thought he was joking.”

Sometime after she replied Austin or Nashville, they were living in the Tennessee city.

Speaking of music, McRae has recently taken up clawhammer banjo, which she explains is a style of playing the instrument.

McRae, who also plays acoustic guitar, accordion and porchboard stompbox, will be joined on the Cumberland Hotel stage for some songs by Cox, whom she describes as “an awesome dobro player.”

While in the Comox Valley, McRae will also conduct some creative writing workshops and will work with students in Comox Valley schools.

For more about McRae, visit www.lindamcrae.com. For details about the Vancouver Island MusicFest concert series, check out www.islandmusicfest.com/concerts.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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