Grammys point to Ronstadt’s talent

  • By Sharon Wootton / Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, July 6, 2006 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Linda Ronstadt has sold more than 60 million records worldwide and shows little sign of resting on her laurels. She’ll perform Thursday in Woodinville.

Her career includes a long list of Grammy nominations plus 10 Grammys since 1970 in a variety of categories, including “bests” for pop vocal, country vocal, rock vocal, music album for children, country performance by a duo or group, Mexican-American (her father was of Mexican-German descent) performance, tropical Latin album, country collaboration, contemporary folk album and traditional folk album.

Ronstadt began her career in folk music with the Stone Poneys but was mostly associated with country rock in the 1970s. She’s always roamed freely over a diverse assortment of music styles, mostly interpreting others’ songs.

Hits include “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “Heat Wave,” “Hurt So Bad,” ‘How Do I Make You,” “I Can’t Let Go” and “Blue Bayou.”

Eileen Ivers: The New York Times called the nine-time all-Ireland fiddle champion “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin.” The Washington Post called her “the future of the Celtic fiddle.” Ivers and her band Immigrant Soul show why in four performances Saturday and Sunday at the Skagit Valley Highland Games in Mount Vernon. Ivers, who graduated magna cum laude in mathematics, turned up the heat in Riverdance as a star fiddler, co-founded the all-woman folk group Cherish the Ladies, and was a featured player with the Hothouse Flowers, Luka Bloom and Patti Smith.

Jake Shimabukoro: Throw out everything you think you know about the ukulele when you sit down for Jake Shimabukoro’s shows Tuesday and Wednesday in Seattle. The Hawaiian has reinvented the four-string instrument for the 21st century, whether he’s fronting a band or playing solo, as he will in Seattle. Bluegrass Jimi Hendrix-style? Rock ‘n’ ukulele? Jazz, classical, no problem. If there’s a song to be played, Shimabukoro will play the tenor uke with passion and skill, drawing a big sound out of a small instrument using inventive chords, speed and showmanship. And he has such a good time.

Lyle Lovett: The country music outsider still searches for precision in the languages of lyric and song. He’ll perform tonight and Saturday in Woodinville. The signer with the halting delivery caught a break in the mid-’80s when he sang a few background vocals for Nanci Griffith on her “Once in a Blue Moon” album. He started making contacts while he was there and now he’s had a 20-year career of hits and sold-out performances with country, folk, jazz, gospel and blues songs. This year Esquire magazine gave him an Esky for Surest Thing in the Esky Music Awards, in part because of his “class, charisma and consistency.”

David Lanz: The Grammy-nominated pianist delivers smooth piano jazz tonight in Seattle. He started playing before the new-age or smooth-jazz label became popular, and his first solo piano record (“Heart Sounds”) helped Narada Records move into the mainstream. “Cristofori’s Dream” stayed at the top of Billboard’s adult alternative/new age chart for 27 weeks. Gary Stroutsos (Indian flute) and son Michael Lanz (percussion) will join him.

Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz: Thomas, creator and co-producer of “Veronica Mars,” former high-school teacher, staff writer for “Dawson’s Creek,” and lead vocalist for the Grammy-winning Matchbox 20 will perform Wednesday in Redmond. He’ll be joined by Mraz, who has already carved himself a solid niche as a singer and songwriter with a wicked sense of humor and a show that includes light-hearted songs as well as deep thoughts.

Foo Fighters: After the death of Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl started Foo Fighters in 1995 with a backlog of his own songs. He played all the instruments on a 15-song tape and passed them around, leading to a bidding war. He formed Foo Fighters rather than go solo with his work. His band performs Tuesday in Seattle.

Linda Ronstadt performs Thursday in Woodinville.

Lyle Lovett performs tonight and Saturday in Woodinville.

Rob Thomas and Jason Mraz perform Wednesday in Redmond.

The Foo Fighters perform Tuesday in Seattle.

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