Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC)’s Hot Summer Nights series ends on a high note with Broadway veteran Elizabeth Ward Land (Amazing Grace, Memphis, The Scarlet Pimpernel) in Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt, on August 6th at 8:00pm.
Winner of the 2020 Bistro Award, Still Within the Sound of My Voice touches on genres ranging from rock, country, folk, light opera, big band and mariachi, with Elizabeth Ward Land finding her perfect vocal match in this salute to the great Linda Ronstadt. Tracing her life and career to songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers vast catalogue, including YOU’RE NO GOOD, BLUE BAYOU, FRENESI, and LONG, LONG TIME, the evening promises something for every music lover.
Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) is located at 509 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851. Click here for tickets.
Elizabeth Ward Land recently released Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt – on CD and digital and streaming formats, courtesy of LML Music. For more information, please visit ElizabethWardLand.com.
A special vinyl edition of the album will be released later this year. The concert version was honored with the the 2020 Bistro Award for “Outstanding Tribute Show.” The album is produced by Ken Land and Lee Lessack, with Karen Mulvey and Andrew Needleman serving as executive producers. Still Within the Sound of My Voice features arrangements by Andrew David Sotomayor and vocal arrangements by Joel Waggoner. Order from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Spotify.
On Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt, Elizabeth uses her sterling voice and creative arrangements to explore songs from each genre of Ronstadt’s storied career, winding from effervescent pop (“Heat Wave”) and driving rock (“You’re No Good”) to sophisticated standards (“Falling in Love Again”) and Latin classics (“Frenesí”). Tracing her own life through the songs from Ronstadt’s vast catalogue, the album lets Elizabeth interpret works from some of our country’s greatest songwriting legends, including Dolly Parton (“Pain of Loving You”), Jimmy Webb (“Still Within the Sound of My Voice”), and Anna McGarrigle (“Heart Like a Wheel”).
Still Within the Sound of My Voice began as a creative challenge. “I wanted to tell the stories of my life using the music of one of my favorite singers,” says Elizabeth. “When I first began exploring this project, trying to decide which singer to choose, I thought about all the genres of music I loved to sing: rock and roll, country, folk, Broadway, the Great American Songbook. Then I listed the singers that I loved that shined in each category. The one vocalist that kept showing up in every single genre was Linda Ronstadt. As I explored her remarkable career and life, I realized how much we had in common. Then the show and its narrative began to unfold.”
Elizabeth credits her talented collaborators – Alan Muraoka (direction), Andrew David Sotomayor (musical arrangements) and Joel Waggoner (vocal arrangements) – with helping to bring the project to fruition. “We began to craft arrangements of the songs according to where I felt they resonated in the timeline of my life,” she comments. “Some of the tunes were so iconic in their sound and their vibe that we felt compelled to go an entirely different way with them. ‘Blue Bayou,’ for example, will indelibly be linked to Linda with that unmistakable intro and sound. So, we set our version of the song to the era in my life where I was out on the Les Misérables tour – and would sing in my hotel room to the portable speakers and Sony Walkman I was traveling with. We start with faint chime chords to indicate the loneliness of road life and build with a dramatic, driving 6/8 beat.”
“Like Linda, I absolutely love to sing harmony,” says Elizabeth. “So we made sure to feature this throughout the project, celebrating her hits with Aaron Neville, James Ingram, and, of course, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. My friends Joel Waggoner and Catherine Porter – two of the very finest singers I know – spent hours figuring out these harmonies with me. I remember the day that I decided I wanted to try and marry “Heart Like a Wheel” with “Faithless Love,” weaving the two songs together- and when we finished our first trial run- we all just gasped! It worked!”
“As the show grew and changed, and took off on a life of its own,” she explains, “I knew I wanted to go into the studio to record it. In the show, I talk about Linda Ronstadt and how her diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy has taken her singing voice from her, and what the loss of her voice must feel like. I think about her every single day when I go to sing, when my voice is miraculously still there. How would I cope, if I lost the sound of my voice? At my age, I don’t take this for granted. So, I took the plunge and assembled the whole original gang at Michael Croiter’s Yellow Sound Lab in December 2021, and, over the course of a few days, we managed to get all the material recorded. I am so happy that we did!”
“This album tells the stories of my life, using these great songs and the inspiration of Linda Ronstadt,” Elizabeth concludes. “As I traced the sound of her incredible voice and saw all the ways that her voice had shaped the trajectory of her life, I realized that the sound of my own voice had carved out my life for me – in all the magical ways that I had always hoped it would.”
The album features Andrew David Sotomayor on piano, Kevin Kuhn on guitar, Jordan Jancz on bass and cello, Arei Sekiguchi on drums and percussion, Joel Waggoner on violin and vocals, and Catherine Porter on vocals.
Still Within the Sound of My Voice: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt played to sold out crowds at The Green Room 42 and Chelsea Table + Stage in New York City, The MacHaydn Theatre, The Legacy Theatre of Connecticut, and Paper Mill Playhouse’s Brookside Cabaret Series.
Elizabeth Ward Land recently starred Nana in The Bedwetter – the acclaimed Sarah Silverman, Josh Harmon and Adam Schlesinger musical at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company. This Fall, she will star as “Norma Desmond” in the Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton musical Sunset Boulevard at Musical Theater Connecticut in Norwalk, CT (September 16-October 2).
Elizabeth Ward Land has a varied show business career that encompasses musicals, plays, concerts, voice-overs, commercials, film and television. On Broadway, she appeared in the original casts of Amazing Grace (Mrs. Catlett), Scandalous (Louella Parsons), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marie, all three versions), and in Memphis, Passion, City of Angels, and as a featured soloist in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber starring Michael Crawford at Radio City Music Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London.
Off-Broadway credits include The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company), Southern Comfort (Public Theatre), Curvy Widow (Westside), The Green Heart (Manhattan Theatre Club), Hello Again (Lincoln Center) and Chess. Liz starred in the National Tour of The Prisoner of Second Avenue (Edna) opposite Hector Elizondo, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Baroness), Les Misérables, and as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain. She starred as Mother Superior in the pre-Broadway tryout of Sister Act at Pasadena Playhouse and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
Her film and television credits include “Young Adult,” “Boy Meets Girl,” “The Good Fight,” “Elementary,” “High Maintenance,” “Madam Secretary,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Big O,” “The Blacklist,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “One Life to Live,” “All My Children,” and twice on the NBC’s “Today” show as part of their “Everyone has a Story” series.
Her solo shows have been performed at The Wilson Center, Long Beach Cabaret Series. Soloist with The Long Beach Pops, Coto Candlelight Series, Hollywood Revisited, and The Salon Series with Michael Feinstein at the Mark Taper Forum. Elizabeth was honored to be chosen as Barbra Streisand’s stand-in for her 2006 Concert Tour. Her acclaimed debut CD, First Harvest, is also available through LML Music. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of the Pacific and a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California at Davis.
“STILL WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE” TRACK LIST
1. Heat Wave (Brian Holland / Lamont Dozier / Eddie Holland)
2. Different Drum (Mike Nesmith)
3. When Will I Be Loved (Phil Everly) / That’ll Be the Day (Buddy Holly / Jerry Allison) / It’s So Easy (Buddy Holly / Norman Petty) / Just One Look (Gregory Carroll / Doris Payne) / It’s in His Kiss (Rudy Clark)
4. Heart Like a Wheel (Anna McGarrigle) / Faithless Love (J.D. SOUTHER)
5. You’re No Good (Clint Ballard, Jr.)
6. Frenesí (Alberto Dominguez)
7. Someone to Lay Down Beside Me (Karla Bonoff)
8. Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison / Joe Melson)
9. Falling in Love Again (Friedrich Hollaender / Sammy Lerner)
10. Pain of Loving You (Dolly Parton / Porter Wagoner) / Somewhere Out There (James Horner / Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil) / All My Life (Karla Bonoff) / Don’t Know Much (Tom Snow / Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil)
11. Long Long Time (Gary White)
12. Still Within the Sound of My Voice (Jimmy Webb)
13. Desperado (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)