Call Redialed: NEW Linda Eder Interview: "If You See Me" CD + "The Other Side" DVD
It is always a joy to interview Linda Eder, one of the greatest voices of our time! Not only can Linda sing the roof off of any building, but she is one of the most eloquent speakers I have met. Always direct, Linda & I discuss her 17th studio album If You See Me, a Broadway/Standards CD, featuring "Losing My Mind" (from Follies), "Before The Parade Passes By" (from Hello Dolly!), "Bring Him Home" (from Les Miserables), Pure Imagination (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), two original songs "I Have a Voice" and "If You See Me" (collaborated with your son Jake), and many more standards!
Additionally, we talk about Linda's companion DVD, The Other Side, a three-hour look into the life of Linda Eder off-stage. The Other Side is video that Linda recorded over a three year period and edited herself into three hours of material. And as an added bonus, the DVD features three original country-pop songs & accompanying music videos written by Linda.
If You See Me and The Other Side are available exclusively at http://lindaeder.com!
For those of you in New York City, you can catch Linda singing many of these songs live at Feinstein's/54 Below from July 26-28 & September 12-14 at 7pm. Click here for tickets & my review of this show!
1. You just released your 17th Studio Album, If You See Me, which is a mixture of Broadway show tunes and American Standards. At any moment during the recording of this album, did you have a moment of "Wow, I can't believe I'm releasing my 17th studio album"? If you did have that moment, when did it come? Well, that's been kind of happening with the last few. When you realize how many you've made, and that's just the solo CDs and you add in all the soundtracks for the shows that I've done, it starts to add up. Yeah, it kind of blows me away sometimes that it's been that many and that many years.
2. The song list for this album came from fan suggestions and songs you wanted to record. Which song did you know had to be on this album? "Losing My Mind" was the song that kind of set-up the whole idea for this record because people had been asking me to record it for years and I had done it live and then I said, "Okay, I'll make a Broadway standards record and I know that will be on it and then we'll just go from there.
3. Is there a song any one submitted that even surprised you it was suggested? There were no big surprises, except for people submitting songs that I already recorded. There were a lot of lists and I basically looked through them all and found songs I also enjoyed and then narrowed it down to songs I felt I could bring something to.
4. One thing I love about this album is that you collaborated with your son Jake on the title song, "If You See Me." What was that experience like? Well, we didn't actually work together on the song. I actually surprised him with the final product. He wrote the melody of the song about a year & a half ago and I had always liked it. He had never really finished it because he didn't hear it for himself. He's performing now, but I always liked the song and asked if I could have it. He said sure, so then I took it and wrote the lyrics and adapted it to me and then I didn't play it for him until we recorded it. That was fun and surprised him with that.
5. In conjunction with the album, you have released a companion DVD called The Other Side, which is about a 3-hour look into your life off-stage. You said on your site that one day you were just filming yourself driving to the grocery store and the idea came to mind. What do you think it was about that moment, that made you say to yourself, "Oh, I want to start recording my off-stage life"? I don't know what made me start recording that day, but for some reason I did. When I went home I had said I wanted to play around with video editing a little bit because I kind of enjoy that. I then took a little more footage and started editing that together, and thought, "Why not make a DVD? The fans would probably find this interesting. I think that's the stuff they like to see. I know I do."
6. What do you think will surprise fans most about your life off-stage? That I'm really like what I say that I'm a farm girl. I don't think they believe me or the extent of it anyway.
7. You also have three original songs/videos on this DVD that you wrote. What do you like best about the songwriting process? What's the most challenging part for you? I write country-pop, that's sort of what comes to me naturally, and I've been writing/collecting songs over the years thinking I might do a CD, but I never seem to get around to finishing it, so I thought this would be a nice way to introduce some of my songs in the way of the DVD.
The challenge was to put together the footage that I shot to make these little videos that go along with it. As far as songwriting, it's usually the second verse that's hardest. I write one verse than maybe a second verse or a third verse, depending on how many there are, and then you have to stretch the idea out and make it all fit together. That's probably the hardest part.
For these next few questions, let's play with some of the song titles on your CD If You See Me.
8. What is something you still want to do "Before The Parade Passes By"? I would like to write a book, train a horse to upper level dressage, & see the Grand Canyon again. I saw it as a kid, but would like to see it now as an adult. I'd like to travel a bit, especially to Ireland & Italy.
9. What do you think the book might be about? I like to be creative and write creative stories. I have started a few, but they are very hard to finish. I like creative writing, so I'd like to finish at least one book.
10. Has there ever been a time when you felt like you weren't being heard and you said to yourself, "I Have a Voice" and then you got what you wanted? Yeah, early on in my career, I wanted to be in charge and I knew I had the ideas and I knew what I wanted to do, but you don't always feel you have earned the right to always speak up. Over time, it happened where I felt I could take charge.
11. Complete this sentence..."If You See Me".... I might be riding my tractor [laughs]
12. With everything going on in our world today, does "Bring Him Home" take on a different meaning, now, when you sing it? Well, it will always take on that meaning for me because I have a son. It will always be about him. Always.
13. I have a feature to my interviews called "I Can See Clearly Now" where I try to clear up misconceptions about my interviewees. What do you think is the biggest misconception out there about you that you would like to clear up right now? That's a good one. I think it goes back to that people think I'm a city girl and not understanding what my life really is...that I'm more "Annie Oakley" than I am a performer. [laughs]
More on Linda:
Born in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Brainerd, Minnesota, Linda began her career right out of high school singing all around her home state, and she eventually landed a gig at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But it was her appearance on the 1987 season of Star Search, during which she won for an unprecedented 12 straight weeks, which attracted the attention of audiences and record companies alike.
Linda launched her recording career in 1991 with her self-titled debut album and soon established a vital niche as America’s most popular and acclaimed new interpreter of Pop, Standard and Theatrical genres. She released two more solo albums before starring in the Broadway production of JEKYLL & HYDE beginning on April 28, 1997. As the tragic character “Lucy” in this new musical, Linda blew the roof off New York City’s Plymouth Theatre eight times a week as she belted out her signature songs “Someone Like You” and “A New Life.” Her Broadway debut, for which she was rewarded with a Drama Desk nomination, sent her already rapidly rising star blazing across the sky securing her a spot as one of America’s most beloved singers and dynamic “live” performers.
After leaving Broadway, Linda’s recording career continued “full steam ahead." She focused on mostly Broadway, Standard and Pop music for many years, which highlighted her abundant vocal gifts as well as her skill for delivering dramatic, emotionally resonant interpretations of mostly familiar songs while making them her own. Her highly successful first Christmas album, CHRISTMAS STAYS THE SAME, is a perfect example of the way she is able to transform and interpret best loved Christmas music and make it her own without compromising the original.
In 2008, Linda stepped outside the box and her familiar “wheelhouse” to record THE OTHER SIDE OF ME, a Country Pop blend of contemporary music, which included a song written by Linda herself. And, in June, 2010, she and Clay Aiken covered Roy Orbison’s “Crying” as a duet on Aiken’s album, TRIED & TRUE.
In 2013, Linda established her own record company under the name Tressamail, Inc., and in that same year she released her first recording on that newly established label, the highly acclaimed CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. This CD features 12 tracks – six selected by her fans via social media and two originals from Eder herself. It also featured a unique twist on the classic, ”Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Linda rewrote and recorded with her teenage son, Jake. It was to represent a classic mother-son debate over going outside to play in a snow storm.
Linda has released two additional recordings on her own record label. In 2014, she released her first ever “live” CD, LINDA LIVE, which was recorded in Saratoga, New York before a wildly enthusiastic crowd. In November, 2015, she released RETRO VOLUME 1. This recording features 14 tracks written by Frank Wildhorn, Jack Murphy, Jason Howland, Leslie Bricusse, Nan Knighton, Baird Jarman, and Maury Yeston. It is filled with the kind of lush, sweeping Broadway-esque melodies that first introduced Linda’s voice to her many fans.
In 2018, Linda recorded her 17th solo album, a Broadway/Standards CD entitled IF YOU SEE ME, with music for the title track written by her son, Jake Wildhorn, and lyrics written by Linda herself. She has also put out her first “behind the scenes” DVD entitled THE OTHER SIDE compiled from personal moments at work and at home over a three year period and culminating with the making of her new CD (IF YOU SEE ME).
She has appeared on television numerous times. TrailMIX, her prime time Animal Planet special about singers with a passion for horses, was a natural extension of her love for animals and featured Linda interviewing fellow recording artists and performers Sheryl Crow, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, Rob Thomas, and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. She has been featured on numerous PBS television concert specials including Clay Aiken’s Tried & True, Hallelujah Broadway, Linda Eder: The PBS Concert, Best of Broadway: Broadway The Leading Ladies, Best of Broadway: The Love Songs, Jim Brickman Plays The Disney Songbook, and more. Her 2001 Holiday Concert, Christmas Stays the Same, was broadcast on Bravo TV and continues to be a popular selling DVD.
The concert stage remains the mainstay of Linda’s career. She has performed for sold-out crowds in venues across the country and throughout Europe. She has performed at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, The Palace Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Wolftrap, New York City’s Town Hall, Davies Hall, among many others. Always touring in great company, her collaborators have included the late Oscar-winning composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch, Emmy and Grammy winner Michael Feinstein, and conductor of the Boston Pops Keith Lockhart. Linda is happiest on stage singing for her audiences and spreading the joy she exudes.