Broadway sweetheart, Linda Eder, is joining the Seattle Men’s Chorus at Benaroya Hall this weekend for the opening of their holiday show …Our Gay Apparel. She has been compared to Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland so you know she will deliver her signature zing on stage with the Pacific Northwest’s premier gay men’s chorus. Linda Eder is performing with SMC today and tomorrow. Get your tickets here. You can also visit Linda’s website to order her CDs.
ED: How is your new CD going?
LE: It is going really well. The new CD is really fun. You know I been making records for a long time and have been lucky enough to be on many great labels over the year but I have decided take the plunge with going completely independent with the new CD. I had a few sleepless nights especially before we released it but it has turned out fun. The record business has gotten a little stale and not very lucrative for me. It just wasn’t much fun with someone else always in control. I kind of learned late in life that I am a little bit of a control freak. So this new CD kind of brought back the fun.
ED: How did you decide to just wing it and go completely independent?
LE: You know, the music business is really awful these days. The top acts that used to sell 14 million CDs are lucky to sell 2 million now. It is a different environment. Everything is downloadable now. People don’t often even buy an entire CD anymore. They can pick and choose a song here and there and pay pennies for them. So now, the advances are really small. If you aren’t at that top tier then the record company is pretty much just a distribution company for you. Once I realized that I decided to try it on my own. I didn’t try Kickstarter or anything. I didn’t feel comfortable with that route. I am funding it myself. It is all just sort of in-house. It is sort of like that movie “Baby Boom” with Diane Keaton. We are starting our own business. My friends help me and I am very hands-on. The music is not downloadable. It is only available on my site and at concerts. I have not made either CD available for download. It has already proved to be much more lucrative than working with a record company. It is a lot more work for me but a fun kind of work. I never used to do signings after my concerts but I have started doing that as well. We have CD signing events and I have even learned about social media. I even have fun doing that now.
ED: How did you decide which songs to include on the new album?
LE: Well, the new album is live which I have never done before. Also, the current show that I have been working on was going really well. A lot of these songs are ones that I am known for and have been singing for years. I am always kind of adapting my show to add some new things in and change it up a bit. I decided I would go back in time and pull some old songs out that were really big for me in my past. I sort of call it the memory lane show because they are all songs that were important for one reason or another.
ED: Are you performing any new songs for your performance with the Seattle Men’s Chorus?
LE: Well, I am doing five songs with them. I chose some of my big hits like “Man of La Mancha” and “Don’t Cry for me Argentina”. Those are the two non-Christmas songs. Then, I am doing some form my Christmas CDs. I am performing versions of “O’ Holy Night” and “The Little Drummer Boy”. I am also performing “Climb Every Mountain” from the new CD. I went way back for that one. It is from back in my high school days when I played Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. We came up with this arrangement that really works well with a choir. The choir works like an orchestra for that piece.
ED: What is it like to be compared to Barbra Streisand?
LE: Well, that is a comparison that has followed me since the beginning. That is natural because she was a huge influence on me. We tend to emulate the people we admire. It is very hard to fight your instincts of what you consider good. My influences were Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and the Opera singer Eileen Farrell. They influenced me early on when I started singing and developing my voice. I really love all kinds of music and am very much a country girl. I love Country Pop. I even write a lot of Country Pop. I am a very much a big mish mash. It has taken me a long time to be 100% me. I am 53 years old and can say I have only felt like Linda on stage for about the last 7 years of my life. That is how strong those influences are on me. The comparisons have always been there and I definitely take them as a compliment, I mean who wouldn’t.