Linda Stout: Press
BEST SOLO CD: Linda Stout, "Good Luck Child." Working with Charlie Shew on most of the tracks, Stout (who produced the CD herself) combined jazz, pop and folk elements into a tasty whole, one marked by sophisticated arrangements and evocative lyrics.
BEST FEMALE SINGER: Linda Stout. Showcased her impressive voice on her debut CD, "Good Luck Child."
Charlie Clark, Arts Editor of the Lawton Constitution said Linda's "a sultry songstress" and called her debut CD "outstanding" ...Listened to it over and over," he said.
Charlie Clark (Apr 13, 2007)
Regarding "Extended Play:" It's
not that easy to generically categorize to me. Much of it has sort of a European new-pop (anti-pop) feel. It's 4/4, the tempos and feels are ready for radio, for sure. But it's too cerebral to be called "pop" to me. It's so subtle, minimalist and haunting - eerie at times, yet so hooky and passionate. Very, very cool.
Todd Russell (Jul 15, 2007)
Listed as an "Acoustic Fave"
Album: "Good Luck Child," (2004), Ghost Cat Records
Wonderfully understated and sultry, Stout's meld of jazz and pop stylings on her solo CD has received hearty nods and accolades for over a year already, including being named "Best Solo CD" and "Best Female Singer" by The Ithaca Journal last December.
Why are we putting"Good Luck Child" back under the microscope in 2005? First, because the fact Stout self-produced the CD is indicative of the artist's vision and prowess. It's truly sublime in its subtlety, leaving plenty of room for Stout's warm, passionate vocals to resonate amid acoustic guitars, piano and congas.
Second, with the holidays right around the corner, this album is a most-worthy addition to the stocking stuffer list for that special someone with the sophisticated musical palate. Lastly, because this issue of BUZZ is all about "coupling up." Our advice: Light a fire, open a bottle of wine, put "Good Luck Child" in the stereo and take the phone off the hook on your next date night. You're welcome.
I really enjoyed your CD (obviously, huh?). I think I found out that you 'self-produced' it from your site. Your work as a whole came across as being very well-conceived to me, top-to-bottom. You are very in-touch with your sound and most adept at capturing the essence of your vision and direction (rather than distracting your material's prowess with a bunch of studio bells-n-whistles). I also
think that the City of Ithaca DOT should play your CD this winter from
their trucks as, surely, your voice will melt the ice on Collegetown
hill faster than salt ever could.
-- Todd's reply to a thank-you e-mail
Todd Russell - BUZZ postcrypt (Nov 1, 2005)
By Becky Reyes, Hideaway, Bisbee, AZ
“I want you to meet someone. She’s beautiful and talented, and she writes these amazing songs…” –Todd Stratton
When my friend Todd told me about Linda Stout, my first thought was, “Oh, he’s so smitten.” Then he introduced me to this beautiful wispy blonde. We talked a bit, and as it happens so often between musicians, we shared our songs with each other. From the first note I heard her sing to this day, I am still mesmerized by the depth and clarity of her vocals and lyrics. Linda is one of those rare vocalists who can sing like a bird taking flight.
Her debut album, “Good Luck Child” (2004) is Linda at her best. She covers a broad spectrum of sounds and moods, which is typically Linda. She can go from sweet and childlike to hot, sultry and urgent (just listen to “Tangled.”) “I Don’t Wanna Know” takes the listener right to that heartbreaking place in a relationship where one’s gut is wrenching at the realization that the relationship may not be working. “Falling,” on the other hand, gives you the sensation of falling in love, butterflies, and the quick catch of your breath when you think of a new love.
Go see Linda as soon as possible. Don’t wait. Go see her now when her venues are more intimate. You will be smitten…
Singer-songwriter Linda Stout is a cat who purrs, rather than growls, and the jazz-infused songwriting on her debut CD Good Luck Child highlights her intimate, warm vocal sound. Ghost Cat Records is an appropriate label for this recording: music which comes out at night - sleek, sure footed, agile, sensuous, and independent.
Stout's light soprano sound is as cool, crisp, and multifaceted as a Finger Lakes Reisling. Good Luck Child catches every nuance and range of her voice, from mellow to ringing tones. Her songs are modern, while firmly rooted in the cool urban jazz of the '40s and '50s.
For her first recording, Stout is joined by a range of local musicians, including Charlie Shew, Johnny Dowd, Dana Paul, and Jan Nigro. Good Luck Child features 12 original compositions, including a musical setting of Emily Dickinson's poetry in "Emily's Muse."
Rarely has the subtlety of Dickinson's poetry been so well musically supported. This modern take on a literary art song leads into the pure country sound of "Blue Blue Water." Stout's lyrics are clear and comprehensible. She has something to say and we can catch every word in these tasteful arrangements. The songs collected here show that Stout is comfortable in her voice, flexible from piece to piece, and yet focused.
"Light soprano voice is clear as a bell"..."very warm-sounding"..."I love the softness"..."songs are hauntingly beautiful"..."honest vocals"..."songs are really melodic"..."rich dark organic sound"...:songs sound great"..."really like 'Blue Blue Water"..."loved your material...gorgeous voice"..."super talent, beautiful voice, lovely girl"..."AMAZING songs, many different genres of music all wrapped up in one DYNAMITE CD....looking forward to the next batch of great SOULFUL TUNES"
(She makes) "the baritone ukulele sound super sultry."
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
First Impressions: Linda Stout's Good Luck Child
I can think of no better way to launch this blogzine than by introducing this fine singing songwriter.
I was quite busy with something at work until from RadioioAcoustic--my favorite Internet radio feed--there streamed the soft, simple, sweetly seductive voice of Linda Stout. She hijacked my attention completely for the next hour, so I got nothing done except for surfing her site and listening to the mp3s posted there.
Linda, a singing songwriter who hails from Ithaca, New York, released her self-produced debut CD, "Good Luck Child", on Ghost Cat Records just over a month ago. It's available from CDBaby, and just as soon as I can get my hands on one (hopefully, her promoter will send this starving singing songwriter/reviewer/freelancer a promo copy), I'm going to write a full review. Until then, I'll give you a couple of my first impressions.
On track 1, "Falling", Linda uses the one-word hook to crochet a warm musical sweater that fits perfectly. The haunting, dreamy, minor riffs are vintage jazz and, while somewhat predictable, lend a soothing familiarity to the tune. I'll bet it's no accident that Linda chose this song over the title cut for the first track. I can't stop listening to it. It's intoxicating; it's addictive; it's one that will be on my playlist for a long time.
I am particularly impressed with Linda's ability to create beautiful, vivid imagery in her lyrics. "Falling" paints a nearly perfect picture of an autumn evening using very few words. In the folksy "Blue Blue Water", the boat, the water, the dolphins, and the gulls create an enchanting picture of a man doing what he enjoys the most with the woman he loves.
I am always surprised and delighted to hear the work of artists like Linda who don't pander to the American Idol-ized pop mentality, whose artistic senses haven't been suborned or violated by cookie-cutter, formulaic songwriting and chest-thumping production. I want to hear the real thing played and sung by real people who love what they are doing.
"I remember the first songs I wrote," she says, "...and could not believe how lucky I was to be able to...make a song where none existed before. It has become more everyday-ish, what with the hard work of editing and re-writing...but I still feel incredibly lucky to get the chance to write songs. And I'm lucky that I like to perform them. I remember these lucky things when life is hard."
Linda Stout is the real thing.
The Review: Linda Stout -- Good Luck Child
I promised a full review as soon as I had a copy of the CD. Well, Linda was kind enough to send me a promo copy, so here is The Review...
The first time I heard Linda Stout's dreamy voice I was hooked. From the first enchanted chord of "Falling" to the cheerful last note of "Tell You So", Good Luck Child is an emotional experience that is at times magical, at times mystical, and completely captivating. Once you start, you can't stop listening. The music is addictive. No wonder RadioioAcoustic has already picked it up and added it to their "acoustic faves" list. No doubt other feeds and stations will soon do the same. Then, as more and more people listen, the inevitable comparisons to other artists will surface. Every one of them will fall short, though; Stout is in a league of her own. Nevertheless, think Norah Jones with a guitar or a female Kenny Rankin; this will at least get you in the same galaxy.
My favorite aspect of Stout's style is her ability to create beautiful, vivid imagery in her lyrics. She uses words like a painter uses her tubes of color: she chooses them carefully and mixes them just so on her lyrical palette. Rhythmic and harmonic brush strokes layered on a multi-textured musical canvas complete the picture. One of the best examples of this is "Falling". She draws you in with a one-word hook (and walks you through a landscape of haunting, moody, minor riffs:
Falling for you, for you
The piano, deftly played by Cornell student Matt Robbins, adds the shadows and highlights. I'll bet it's no accident that Linda chose this song over the title cut for the first track--it's intoxicating. This one will be on my playlist for a long time.
The title track, an upbeat conga/guitar/bass groove, immediately took control of my brain's rhythm center. I was tapping my feet, shaking my head, and bouncing to the beat from the first "ponk" of the congas. This funky feel-good jam with straight-ahead vocals and seamless harmonies, carries the message that it's okay to get caught up in the moment.
"Tangled" is pure poetry. Part ryhthmic recitation, part song, this track features a gritty guitar solo by Koch Records recording artist Johnny Dowd that captures the essence of '60s acid rock at its finest.
And speaking of poetry, "Emily's Muse" is an Emily Dickinson poem that Stout set to music. The fit is so perfect that it's hard to believe they weren't written at the same time.
Stout's artistry shines in "I Don't Wanna Know". She gets hold of your heartstrings and heaves for all she's worth. The unusual arrangment, featuring the rootsy sound of a baritone ukelele, is perfect for this simple song. Enchanting vocal harmonies and the gradual buildup of guitar and bass deliver a finale that had me in tears. Such beautiful sadness. Wow!
What a delight it is to hear the work of an artist who doesn't pander to the American Idol-ized pop mentality. Linda Stout's artistic senses haven't been suborned by cookie-cutter, formulaic songwriting and chest-thumping production. This is home-grown music at its finest--real, honest, straight-from-the-soul tunes written and performed by an artist who knows what it means to be one. I do have one complaint, though.
Overall, Stout's production works well. But she made one huge mistake.
She should have released a double album.
posted by Kenny Hart | 4:01 PM | 0 comments
The first time I heard Linda Stout's dreamy voice I was hooked. From the first enchanted chord of "Falling" to the cheerful last note of "Tell You So", Good Luck Child is an emotional experience that is at times magical, at times mystical, and completely captivating. Once you start, you can't stop listening. The music is addictive. No wonder RadioioAcoustic has already picked it up and added it to their "acoustic faves" list.
I just got back from a concert that Linda had in NYC, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was so much fun! She has a great collection of songs, a varied palate of jazzy, bluesy, folky, poppy (not the seeds!) tunes. She can blend them in and out of each other seamlessly, and she has a lovely voice!
Fred Arcoleo, friend, fan, songwriter (Oct 30, 2004)
Great job on your CD. The sound is great. Nice production. You should be
proud. Charlie Shew is the right guy for the recording and percussion and bass. Congrats on a job well done. You've come a hell of a long way.
I really enjoyed the album. Thanks for sending it to me.
Keep up the good work!
I'm definitely impressed with the aural treats that are tightly woven and sparkling in there. It's amazing to hear your songs produced in such a way that it's apparent now, to see how hook-driven, and circular your songs are with very musical crescendoes, with layerings, production, and poignant purely acoustic moments.
Linda's music is so full of soul and passion. I love her jazzy cool vocal style, and her smooth guitar voices. The melodic and harmonic blend of her voice and guitar make me think of her in terms of a female Kenny Rankin.
Linda's lyrics paint beautiful images of romance that are real and easy to identify with. You can feel her emotions when she takes command of each note as she soars with her melodic voice.
If Liz Story's piano sang words it would sound like Linda Stout's warm and beautiful voice.
Her chordal progressions and sensual vocal passages clearly demonstrate that she is a seasoned and insightful songwriter.
We really enjoyed the subtle sense of foreboding on Track 1 (Falling), especially when the piano comes in in the second verse. It's not quite dissonant, not quite consonant, but gives a gentle sense of unease about the singer falling for the person in the song - very effective. A good choice for a lead-off track. The CD is very well-recorded, and your voice sounds lovely. You've got a polished product here, and something to be proud of. Congrats!
Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten that acoustic guitar and vocal were an integral part of jazz in its formative years, akin to the piano-jazz stylings currently in favor. Linda reclaims a bit of history, and in so doing forges ahead with her own accessible jazz-folk blend.
Spare and elegant, Linda's approach to recording her music was centered around creating a live-take genuine performance. To that end, this project was recorded somewhat unconventionally, in that the lead vocal, guitar, and conga or drums were recorded simultaneously as a live performance, with additional instruments and vocals used appropriately to flesh out the arrangements. But one could strip off the overdubs, and Linda's core performance of each song would still be solid and true -- in my opinion, the honest expression of her art."
"She could sing the phone book."
"She is a song factory."
Robert Boyce, friend, fan, songwriter (Sep 7, 2004)
"I love the jazz that comes out of her."