Chicago singer/songwriter Linda Marie Smith seems to think big. When she writes songs, she write song cycles. On her 2006 album Artemisia, she performed 14 songs that she wrote for a show about the 17th century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, a rare woman among the men of Renaissance art. Her show was filled with music and images from the paintings by the artist. We had the show at our library. It was mesmerizing.
Now she has a new album and show, which we will present at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in May. I have been listening to the album Mearra, Selkie from the Sea as we prepare to write our library newsletter and plan other publicity. There are 11 beautiful and varied songs about a magical seal who longs for love and life as a human. The show promises to have a mixture of live music, lights, and animation. I am sure it will be a special evening, if the wonderfully melodic songs of the album are evidence.
Smith says that she was influence by the music of Carole King and Carly Simon, and she has been compared with Lucinda Williams, Sarah McLachlan, and Natalie Merchant. She has won a Billboard songwriting award and recognition from the Illinois Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music.
I am amazed that we can offer music of this caliber at the library. There is so much talent in the Chicago area, and Smith is on a roll.
Smith, Linda Marie. Mearra, Selkie from the Sea. 2014.