ArtsFestivalReviewScreen

The Sound of My Voice an exceptional portrait of the ‘First Lady of Rock’ Linda Ronstadt

My introduction to Linda Ronstadt was in The Pirates of Penzance, where she played the model daughter of the modern Major General. I had forgotten about this career note until watching the recently released documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. One of the amazing things about Ronstadt – for someone so famous, there hasn’t been much shared about her. Considering that I know so many of her songs, I realized that I didn’t know anything about her. 

I’m not going to spoil it for you. If you know all about Linda Ronstadt, this film will absolutely be a treat to watch, and if you don’t know much (… but you know you love her), then you will appreciate learning about her life’s many successes, and its sorrows.

The Sound of My Voice looks back at the life and career of The First Lady of Rock, from her birth and upbringing in Arizona, to starting up her rock band The Stone Poneys, to going out on her own. Ronstadt narrates the film, and speaks so gently and so openly, it makes you feel privileged to be a member of the audience. 

Produced by CNN Films, the documentary boasts high production value. It brilliantly combines photos, television and concert footage, and interviews with collaborators, colleagues, and friends from throughout Ronstadt’s career. Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris are both interviewed, and have a lot to offer – the three of them sang together as Trio. Both Parton and Harris provide excellent context to Linda Ronstadt’s trajectory and her talent. 

This is an exceptional film about an incredible artist, whose life and career seem to be marked with a level of integrity so inspiring, that you are instantly and forever in her corner. It is simply a joy to learn about Linda Ronstadt, a gifted singer who moved between musical genres with a relaxed elegance that many performers both envy and admire. 

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice screens Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m., Studio Bell – National Music Centre and Sunday, Sept. 29 at 5:15 p.m., Eau Claire Cinemas as part of the Calgary International Film Festival. For tickets go to calgaryfilm.com.

Jane McCullough used to write about many things musical, artistic, cinematic and delicious with the publications VOX and Fast Forward. She currently manages the cooking school at The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

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