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Linda Thompson Returns to Music Scene With 'Versatile Heart'


Linda Thompson's name and voice are probably quite familiar to you if you're old enough to remember Fairport Convention, or perhaps the duo albums Linda recorded with then-husband Richard Thompson in the late-1970s and early-1980s. After their bitter divorce, Linda turned her talents to the English stage, performing with several theater companies before signing a deal to release some solo albums in 1985. Now, more than 20 years later, Linda Thompson has released her third CD, Versatile Heart.

Give Me A Sad Song is one of the 13 stellar songs on Linda Thompson's new CD, Versatile Heart. Her fans don't care if it's a happy, or a sad song that Linda is singing. All that is important to them is that she's still making music, because just a few years ago, it didn't seem possible.

Soon after releasing her first solo disc, 1985's One Clear Moment, Linda Thompson developed throat trouble, hysterical dysphonia to be exact. This is a relatively rare ailment that is more psychological than physical. At times, a person afflicted with it finds themselves unable to talk. Some doctors believe hysterical dysphonia is caused by a traumatic event that disrupts the chemical balance in the brain. Others think of it more as a "super stage fright." It took years, but Linda Thompson seems to have overcome the affliction.

Now, five years after her second solo CD, comes Versatile Heart. It's a stunning collection of ballads, mostly original, others contributed by songwriters including Rufus Wainwright, Tom Waits, and some, like the title track, co-written with son Teddy Thompson.

A Versatile Heart, is something on Linda Thompson's "wish list" according to the liner notes to the CD.

Another highlight on this record is Day After Tomorrow, a heartbreaking protest. It's written as a letter to his family from a young man who is fighting in Iraq on his 21st birthday. He misses his family, and prays that he'll live to fly home the "day after tomorrow."

Tom Waits wrote Day After Tomorrow with his wife Kathleen Brennan in 2004. Linda Thompson sings it on her newest CD, Versatile Heart, a record that continues her long streak of releasing timeless recordings.

Versatile Heart also contains Beauty, a song written just for Linda by Rufus Wainwright.

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