singer/songwriter guitarist LINQ
Interview by Robert Urban for GAY GUITARISTS WORLDWIDE
Linq is an edgy, emotional, often political lesbian singer/songwriter. A serendipitous series of events has propelled her out of a career as a retail pharmacist and pharmacy owner onto an exciting musical path. Her songs are a unique blend of folk and rock, and she's uncompromising about expressing her music exactly as she's feeling it, even if genres get blurred in the process.
Linq came of age in the 60's. Her music harkens to roots in the popular music of that time with its political folk, psychedelic rock, and social conscience. Harkens but doesn't duplicate. This is a woman who has found her groove: strongly vulnerable, irresistibly passionate, and dynamically humanistic.
Linq's first healthcare song, "Tired", (FAST MOVING DREAM 2006) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2006 International Narrative Song Competition (INSC). Protectomatic Music and Entertainment in Seattle, WA, voted Linq their May 21 to 27, 2007 Weekly PME "Diamond In The Rough". She was also a featured Main Page Artist in Kweevak Music Magazine in June 2007, and sheís the current Main Page Featured Artist at Indiegrrl.com.
- What brand/model/year instrument(s) do you record and play out with?
I use an Ovation Custom Legend acoustic/electric that Iíve had for about 5 years, a 2003 PRS Custom 22, and a 2004 Gretsch Duo-Jet. These are all lefty guitars. I have also recorded with the lefty Hagstrom III that I had made for me around 1966 or 67, but I donít play out with it. I just bought a 2007 lefty Taylor 812ce that Iíve started playing out with and will be using it in the studio shortly for the first time.
- What brand/model/year amps & effects (if any) do you use?
I have a Fender Cyber Deluxe amp that I use for effects on lots of my songs. The options are practically endless. Iím really liking my SWR Strawberry Blonde for my Taylor.
- Who are your main influences as an instrumentalist? Which artists? Which bands? Instrumentalist? Which artists/bands were your favorites in your youth?
I saw Led Zeppelin in Boston during their first US tour back around 1969. They blew me away. When they released ďStairway To HeavenĒ, I had to know how to do that finger-picking. I spent lots of time with Simon and Garfunkel tunes, Bob Dylan songs, and some of Dan Fogelbergís music. I also loved some of the sounds of the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. I was listening to music constantly during the huge rock explosion in the sixties and early seventies and was influenced to some degree by all of itÖ the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Kansas, Isaac Hayes (Hot Buttered Soul spent a lot of time on my turntable), Iron Butterfly (anyone remember In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida?), Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and I could just keep going on and on.
- Tell fans about your luv for your particular style of music, as opposed to other styles - how it became your favorite style of rock, etcIíve played solo basically all of the time, so Iíve developed both rhythm and finger-picking styles that work well for me and carry the songs without needing additional players. I call my style electric folk and rebellion rock because I morph from one to the other depending on the emotion of the message. I have only recently started writing material with less guitar input specifically because Iím hearing other instruments in my head that would work well in the studio.
- Do you play/compose/record only your own original music? Do you do any other work in music - e.g. teaching, recording session work, hired gun, producing, etc? Does your playing appear on recordings of any other artists?
In addition to my own music, Iím also actively involved with creating performance opportunities for musicians. Iím on the Program Committee and Board of Directors of the 1794 Meetinghouse, a non-profit center for the performing arts. I am involved directly with selecting performers for their Summer Program each year. I have produced some Showcases for performing Indiegrrls, put together a multiple-artist Folk Revival and Sing-Along, and I spearhead the annual outdoor Meetinghouse Musicfest, a seven-hour festival. I have also collaborated on a couple of shows with the Orange Entertainment Group, which hosts shows in the beautifully renovated, acoustically awesome auditorium at the Orange Town Hall.
I also occasionally mentor/support young musicians.
- Is there a particular favorite solo or part you played on a recording, or a certain piece of composed music you wrote, that you feel represents your finest work?
When I wrote my first healthcare song, ďTiredĒ, I knew right away that it was special, and I knew immediately that I wanted Jami Sieber to play electric cello on it. I weaved finger-picking throughout the song on my PRS using effects, Ruth Davies added some incredible upright bass, and June Millington added just the right amount of percussion. While June and I were in the studio working on ďTiredĒ, a thunderstorm arrived suddenly just as we were getting ready to record, so we taped it and added it to the intro and outro. The result was absolutely haunting.
Any special thoughts on your instrument, and what it's meant to you in your life?
I find that whenever Iím in any kind of turmoil emotionally, whether itís a strained relationship, stress at work, or something happening in the world that bothers me, the first thing I seem to do is pick up a guitar and start playing. Music centers me in a way that nothing else can.
Can you relate any special feelings or experiences about being a glbt player in the mostly straight music world... especially regarding your formative/learning years on your instrument?
I wasnít performing for the public during my early years, only for friends, but more recently, I had just ended a set with my song, ďDonít You UnderstandĒ, which is a blatantly political song about marriage equality with a driving rhythm guitar, and I was approached by an older straight married woman that I know who was in the audience and happens to be a very talented composer and former nun. She told me that I was very brave, and she was in awe that I was out there performing the song in front of an audience that might not be receptive. I told her that those audiences were the very ones that needed to hear it most.
- How is the overall music scene in your locale?
Iím fortunate to live in an area that provides quite a few opportunities to perform spanning multiple genres. There is a wonderful community of musicians, writers, artists, craftsmen, activists, etc, and we tend to utilize each otherís skills in positive ways.
- Any advice for young glbt players?
If at all possible, be open and honest about who you are. Being out is empowering, it allows you to tell/play your truth with integrity. You will open peopleís minds and gain friends in ways that you might never expect.
- What are your current and future musical projects?
Iím currently working on a healthcare/small business concept project in the studio. Weíre doing mixes now on 5 tracks, and I have a brand new track ready to record. Iíll be writing more material shortly. I have some ideas in place to develop.
I have some other songs in progress that will probably end up morphing into another project after I finish the current one.
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