Eight glorious years. Gold and platinum records. Touring the world. What do you do for an encore? Why, quit the band and pursue a solo career, of course. Formerly of Spirit of the West, Linda McRae has flown the coop with the blessings of Canada's Celtic ambassadors and taken a leap of faith.
While drawing deservedly-favourable reviews, her Stony Plain Records debut, Flying Jenny, has surprisingly little in common with Spirit of the West. Although electric does meet folk, McRae leans more toward country -- with a Wilco tattoo on it -- and her previous Celtic clan has left little discernible impression.
Though the break was clean, McRae had apprehensions. "It was frightening to leave the band. I had a great eight years with them. They were so supportive. [But] when I was with Spirit of the West, we were so busy that I never had a chance to write or do my own thing. I guess it was more of a timing thing." Her fears were soothed when she received a $20,000 grant from the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR) to record the album.