Other than in videos online or on television, we no longer see or hear Linda Ronstadt in live performances in major concert halls and stadiums these days. Gone is her crystalline vocals, alternately ranging from soprano to huskier alto, infusing songs such as “You’re No Good,” “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” and “When Will I Be Loved?”
No, the Tucson-born singer-songwriter and actress revealed in 2013 that she had Parkinson’s disease, leaving her unable to sing due to loss of muscle control, common in patients with Parkinson’s. Parkinson disease. So she quit singing, as she told journalist Dan Rather in a 2014 interview and said the same to filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman in their 2019 documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.” .
Although this singing voice – which has crossed many different genres, from rock and country to light opera and the Great American Songbook to Latin tunes – can be soothed, it can be heard again in Shannon Rae, the singer principal of Ronstadt Revival, which makes its first Vacaville appearance on Saturday night at the Journey Downtown on Main Street.
The Long Beach native and former model – who bears a striking resemblance to Ronstadt and wears his similarly styled clothing during the performance, including the iconic Cub Scout uniform and short Ronstadt shorts – faces a group of seven musicians, which includes a violin and pedal steel guitarist, to convey what Rae considers “the authentic sound of the Ronstadt catalog”, in a show that includes nearly 30 songs.
“We’re 100% live,” said Rae, whose first album purchased as a teenager was Ronstadt’s 1976 LP “Greatest Hits.” “You can’t do Linda justice without a pedal board.”
Based on videos of her performances, she spans the music legend’s song lists from Ronstadt’s late 1960s debut with The Stone Ponies to his 1970s and 80s heyday and beyond. , delivering Ronstadt’s renditions of songs by Smokey Robison, Warren Zevon, Lowell George, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones and more. Some of these songs from a 90-minute show include “Different Drum,” “Long, Long Time,” “Willin’,” “It’s So Easy,” “Get Closer,” “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” and “Blue Bayou.” . ”
In a phone interview Monday from Orange County, where she lives with her husband and a 14-year-old daughter, Rae said she has yet to meet her idol.
“I hope so,” she said. “One person told me that they watch what we do and love it.”
She recounted the beginnings of the group, which formed in September 2019, and its first performance: February 29, 2020. Then came COVID-19 and the months of inactivity, but, she says, “We stayed together,” and later reunited for rehearsals and a concert in November in Apple Valley, Southern California, “in 39-degree, wind-chill weather.”
Ronstadt Revival’s next show was in March 2021, which sold out, and word began to spread about his performances and the delivery of the Ronstadt songbook.
“We do about 25 shows a year now,” said Rae, a tall brunette who has modeled swimwear, lingerie and worked at auto shows, adding, “We’re already booking into 2023. We’re getting requests every the weather…England, Europe.We actually have a huge following in Japan.We get requests from all over the country.
Of Ronstadt’s legacy, she added, “Well, she’s definitely the original queen of rock and roll. She is so generous in her relationships with other musicians. She is still best friends with Emmy Lou Harris and other women. She had the ability to conquer so many different genres – country, rock, Broadway (“The Pirates of Penzance”). A ton of mariachi albums. I admire his dynamism and his tenacity.
Yes, she’s seen “The Sound of My Voice” documentary “over 100 times,” Rae said. “I studied it.”
Often, after performances, audiences “come up to us and tell us how much she means to them,” she said.
In high school, Rae joined choirs and later in college began singing in cover bands.
“I joined a lot of bands when I was a model,” she recalls. “As I got older, I stopped modeling. Being at Ronstadt Revival is a dream for me.
There are, of course, other Ronstadt tribute bands, but Rae, diplomatically responding to a question, said in a text message: “But I love it, because we all spread the joy of his great career and keep his living music.”
What sets Ronstadt Revival apart, she added, is “our collective passion as a band and our attention to detail in staying true to Linda’s music. Also, the fact that we’re seven tracks, so we can cover everything like on his records. My bandmates are so fantastic that I would be nothing without them.
Besides Rae on lead vocals, Ronstadt Revival is Dan Segal’s guitar; Kevin Ryan, pedal steel and guitar; Jeff Hale, bass and vocals; Rich Sanders, keyboards and vocals; Forty, drums; and Julie Pusch, violin, guitar and vocals.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
8 p.m. Saturday
308 Main Street, Vacaville
Tickets: $25 to $30
Floor and mezzanine seating available