Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt, the newly-released album from Elizabeth Land Ward is a tribute of the best kind; it stands on its own merits. While interpreting the songs we know and love from Linda Ronstadt, Broadway actor/singer Elizabeth Land Ward (Amazing Grace, Memphis, The Scarlet Pimpernel) delivers a touching rediscovery of the songs. She evokes the spirit of the original recordings while always performing them in ways that are honest and true. The album captures the striking arrangements and lavish harmonies of Elizabeth Ward Land’s award-winning concert performances. It’s a loving treatment of deserving material (visiting Ronstadt’s accomplishments in the rock, country, folk, big band and mariachi genres) and the result is one of the most-likely-to-stay-on-repeat discs in my CD player. This isn’t just any homage, it is one great artist celebrating another.
The first aspects of this album that hint at just how satisfying it will be are the instrumental arrangements (by Andrew David Sotomayor) and the vocal arrangements (by Joel Waggoner). The masterful ways the songs are introduced, teased, and luxuriously treated is stunning. The next aspect that delivers beyond expectation is the production (by Ken Land and Lee Lessack, with executive producers Karen Mulvey and Andrew Needleman). This team clearly knows what is unique about Elizabeth Ward Land’s gifts and does everything necessary to let her shine. She is supported by stellar musicians who allow her interpretative power to guide them. Her heartfelt vocals are the perfect fit for Ronstadt’s songbook. Maybe it’s time for a Broadway show using Ronstadt’s songs as its center. Clearly, there is no one who can capture the meaning, the joy, the pathos, the yearning, and the joy of singing these songs as flawlessly as Elizabeth Ward Land.
When Will I Be Loved / That’ll Be the Day / It’s So Easy / Just One Look / It’s In His Kiss
Heart Like A Wheel / Faithless Love
You’re No Good
Someone To Lay Down Beside Me
Falling In Love Again
Pain of Loving You / Somewhere Out There / All My Life / Don’t Know How Much
Long Long Time
Still Within The Sound of My Voice