to the 14th edition of Viree Blues Boreale
Each and every artist who performed at Viree Blues Boreale did very well carry «the Soul of the Blues», but few actually experienced it within their lives! One of the last of her kind, our next guest has actually been a cotton picker in South Carolina in the '60s, working long days with her grandparents, even if she was too young for that work! All of her, body and soul, recalls the extreme harshness of those days she longed to be saved from. Today, the scenic performances of this “Grande Dame of the Blues” are nurtured on that past living: "You see, I not only can sing the Blues, but I also know why we sing it." says Linda "Chocolate Thunder" Rodney.
A native and still a citizen of Greenville, South Carolina, Linda Rodney comes from a long line of major female vocalists. Her grandmother, a former Sunday school teacher, put her in the mind of Bessie Smith. Her mother and aunts put her in the mind of such artists as Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle and gospel singers Mahalia Jackson and Shirley Cesar. Her “Grandpa”, Reverend Walter Sullivan, put her in the mind of Muddy Waters. She began singing the gospel as early as she can remember. At the age of 10, along with her sisters and cousins, she joined the children's choir. They used to say we sang like little women.
"I remember my Aunt Mattie telling me: 'Linda, don't stand there trying to look pretty; get into it; tell the story. Sometimes you gotta get ugly with it.'"
Since then, the singer became known as Chocolate Thunder. She says she loves to give it all she’s got in each song! As with her youth’s models, her powerful gospel Blues sings in the tradition’s purest.
Linda “Chocolate Thunder” Rodney is renowned for her warm and powerful voice as well as for her incredible scenic presence. A true Blues Woman, she is professional, funny and self- assured. After struggling up each of the stairs of her career through performances in a variety of clubs, festivals and events within South Carolina, she pursued her crossing of the continent to California and then all the way to Paris, France, to Italy and more recently, to Canada. She studied with internationally renowned opera singer Sarah Reese and sang in numerous musicals. She also performed with artists such as Eddy Kirkland, Big Bill Morganfield, Sunny Rhodes, Little Pink Anderson, Cootie Starks, Elmore James Jr., Shrimp City Slim, Sandra Hall; she also opened for B.B. King, and many others. Popular demand from fans encouraged Chocolate Thunder to release her debut album “Barkin' Up the Wrong Tree” in 2007. In 2009, she returned with “Ear Candy”, a collection of original compositions that ranges from Blues to Soul to classic R&B with shades of Funk and Motown. Both albums received very positive reviews from the public as well as from the critics.
Sure, Linda “Chocolate Thunder” Rodney’s career path has not been an easy one, but today, looking back, she wouldn't take anything in the world for that experience of her early childhood, because now, when she gets up to sing, she sure can deliver through those songs the feelings of what she heard and saw.
Don’t miss that powerful experience; don’t miss the visit of Chocolate Thunder at Viree Blues Boreale, Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 8h00 p.m. at Le Petit Chicago, 50 promenade du Portage, in the Old Hull sector of Gatineau, QC.
For inquiries or interviews, please do contact Alexandre Petit at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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