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.

Linda Mcrae flying jenny

only 1 used cd available in excellent condition

This is Linda McRae. Twenty years of making music in public. Ten long, crazy and wonderful years on the road as the bass and accordion-playing member of Canada's original Celtic rockers, Spirit of the West. Three gold albums, two of them now platinum. Festivals from Denmark to Glastonbury, tours from Germany to the back and of the North West Territories, gigs with Blues Traveler, Ziggy Marley, Mathew Sweet and the most successful band in Canada's pop music history, The Tragically Hip.

Linda Mcrae Cryin out loud

Leaving Spirit of the West may have been a hard decision, but as it turns out, it was a good one. Linda McRae continues to stretch her wings and is developing into a helluva performer. It ain't just the pipes, which have always been impressive, but slowly it becomes clear that McRae has a knack for writing deliciously memorable rockin' twang. Surrounded by a crackerjack band that bring the material to life, McRae ups the excellent ante that the Sadies have started with their line of exceptional Canadiana. I am now standing, hand over heart, belting out the anthem!

© 2002 - John Sekerka