Linda McRae is a Canadian folk-roots-Americana musician. A multi-instrumentalist (clawhammer banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, accordion, bass, and Porchboard stomp box) singer-songwriter, she is a former member of Spirit of the West. She has released five albums, Flying Jenny, Cryin’ Out Loud, Carve It To The Heart, Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts" and her most recent release, a career retrospective entitled 50 Shades of Red (June 2014). A new release is currently underway for release in June 2015.
She earned two platinum and three gold records as a long-time member of Spirit of the West. She left the band to resume her solo career and has since released four critically acclaimed recordings: Flying Jenny with producer Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan), Cryin’ Out Loud, producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier), Carve It To The Heart with Marc L’Esperance and herself as producers.
Her fourth release Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts she also produced with L’Esperance and featured performers including the Sojourners, Doug Cox, Gurf Morlix, Ray Bonneville and Samantha Parton (of Be Good Tanyas). Charting No. 1 at CKUA, No. 4 Top Canadian Album, and Nos. 1 and 2 Top Canadian Songs ("Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts" and "Be Your Own Light") and No. 8 Top Canadian Artists on the Folk DJs list, the recording also earned five-star reviews in No Depression and Rock Star Weekly, and 4.5 stars in Penguin Eggs. As of November 2013 it's also been on the Roots Music Report charts for 50 weeks straight.
Linda’s song "Burning Bridges" was also included on the Skydiggers summer 2013 CD entitled No. 1 Northern which included songs by Canadian artists Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, and Neil Young. Montreal Gazette, Metro Winnipeg, and the Nova Scotia Herald included her as among these Canadian "greats". Other co-recordings and performances include those with Bruce Cockburn, The Wonder Stuff, Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, and Ray Waylie Hubbard, and another with Gurf Morlix.
Recent performances include Plainsong Festival in Nebraska, Yukon Arts Centre, Vancouver Island Music Festival in British Columbia; South Country Fair in Alberta; Barbican Theatre, London; Maverick Festival, UK; the Bluebird Café, Nashville, Tennessee; and New Folsom Prison, California’s infamous maximum-security prison where she performed and facilitated writing workshops for the inmates. These workshops lead to the creation of her Express Yourself Writing Workshops currently being presented in detox centres, alternative schools, and youth and adult correctional facilities across North America.
Linda has partnered with the following festivals to continue to present her workshop as part of their community outreach programs: Plainsong Festival (USA), South Country Fair (Canada), Coldsnap Festival (Canada), Hamburg Music Fest (USA), Vancouver Island Music Fest (Canada), Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (USA), Folk Alliance International (USA), Bread and Roses (USA).