Linda Imperial, a true survivor whose life and decades-long musical career have been a whirlwind roller coaster of highs, lows, and dark struggles followed by shining through redemption, showcases the blues-rock side of her artistry like never before with the new EP Heart Rock.
The deeply soulful, high-octane five-song set was produced by her longtime friend Joel Jaffe, a renowned engineer and producer whose all-star credits include Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, and The News. The powerhouse ensemble includes include Joel on guitar, bassist Marc Levine (Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler), keyboardist/organist Eammon Flynn (Elvin Bishop, Michelle Shocked), and drummer Kevin Hays (Robert Cray Band, Van Morrison).
Linda co-wrote the blistering and ultimately hopeful “My Heart Rocks.” A tune that truly meets the strange, anxiety-ridden moment we are collectively experiencing in 2020. Over edgy guitars and keys, and surrounded by rousing horns and backing vocals, Linda sings, “Sometimes I fall/And nothin’ goes my way/I’ve seen it all/Those dark and bitter days/It’s been a heartache for sure/But life goes on/Just live it well/And then move on.” Says Linda, “it’s a positive song that tells people that no matter what we go through, we can move on and have fun, so enjoy the ride. All the songs on the Heart Rock EP tap into that theme in one way or another.”
Linda tells it like it is on the four other tracks, starting with “I Found Me,” a self-empowerment anthem that finds her coming to terms with her life. Another co-write, “You’re A Fake,” is a pointed takedown of the music industry, which all too often promises more than false hope can ever deliver. The one truly romantic gem on the collection is “Just Right,” a lively, grooving rocker dedicated to David Freiberg, her husband of 30 years and a rock legend renowned for his lengthy tenures with psychedelic rockers Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane/Starship. The crackling blues/rock closing track “The Storm is Over” is a way for Linda to reflect on the heartache and struggles she’s been through in her life.
After a tour with Big Mama Thornton’s rhythm section, Linda found her breakthrough success with Loverde, a 70’s-early 80’s dance/vocal group she co-founded. Linda toured the world to promote their hit “Die Hard Lover,” which debuted on the Billboard charts at #4 and stayed in the upper reaches for months.
Her list of later credits and association is truly dizzying, having worked for and with the Jazz supergroup New York Jazz Explosion, Sylvester, The Weather Girls, Jefferson Starship and Gary Duncan’s Quicksilver Messenger Service.
“I love these songs and the message they convey, and I can’t wait till the pandemic is over because they’re gonna sound epic when we perform them live.”