WENDY WALDMAN

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"Fans love to see something different, especially something like a cool bass in the hands of a woman musician."
What do Linda Ronstadt, Kim Carnes, Randy Travis, Edgar Winter, Kenny Rogers Judy Collins and Bette Midler have in common? Besides being some of the biggest names -- and greatest talents -- in the music industry, those performers and many others have recorded songs written by Wendy Waldman. A veteran of the 1970s LA music scene, Wendy teamed with friends Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards (who founded the Stone Poneys with Ronstadt) and Andrew Gold. "We formed a band of songwriter-singers, called Bryndle," she says. "We made a record that never came out, but 25 years later, we re-united and released three CDs of which I'm very proud."

Wendy's solo career also took off in the early '70s when her debut album. Love Has Got Me, was declared "the singer-songwriter debut of the year" by none other than Rolling Stone. Many more albums have followed that initial success, and Wendy has become known as a consummate producer, performer and composer. Small wonder when you come from an incredible gene pool. Wendy's father is a composer and pretty well-known film music scholar. He wrote the theme to Perry Mason, and years of music for Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Rocky and Bullwinkle and other famous shows. Her parents met at Oberlin Conservatory, where they were both music students; he in composition, and she as a violinist.

 

"My musical influences are incredibly diverse," Wendy reveals. "I listen to and love classical music; jazz (both the be-bop era and a lot of new stuff); traditional blues and folk music (an early influence for me); ethnic music from places like Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, and Eastern Europe; great film scores; classic rock; progressive rock; the best of punk rock; and the list goes on. I believe to be a good musician, you need to listen to all kinds of genres and be able to get inspiration from them even if you don't always understand them."

Perhaps her best-known hit is "Save the Best for Last." Originally written for Whitney Houston, the song was recorded by Vanessa Williams and took off up the charts. Vanessa also recorded Wendy's "The Sweetest Days." Other high-profile compositions by this prolific writer include the Dirt Band's versions of "Fishin' in the Dark" and "Home Again in My Heart," Crystal Gayle's "Baby What About You," Aaron Neville's performance of "I Owe You One," and Alison Krauss's version of "I'm Gone." Many more leading artists have included Wendy's works on their CDs, and she has amassed some equally impressive production credits -- Susy Boggus, Rosie Flores and Sweethearts of the Rodeo to name just a few.

"A friend of mine told me about Luna Guitars," Wendy explains. "And another friend who is working with Luna got in touch with me and suggested I try one. At the moment, I'm playing a Luna Pandora bass in my band the Refugees -- myself, Cindy Bullens and Deborah Holland. I very much want to play a couple of the electric guitar models, too, and I'm looking forward to that."

She continues, "Of course, fans love to see something different, especially something like a cool bass in the hands of a woman musician. I'm still pretty tame, I play the turquoise one, but I may get one with the magnificent inlay. The scale of the guitar is fantastic for me. I can really stretch out and play and not have to struggle with or be distracted by size or length on the fretboard. And it sounds great. I can get all the juice out of it that I need."

Wendy has some great advice for Luna players and aspiring performers. "It's a struggle to remain in touch and true to yourself in a time when the culture really wants you to be something else completely. It's correct to say that following your heart can be very lonely. It's also, in the long run, the only way to go. Be more concerned about being good on your instrument, on writing songs that have heart and aren't too derivative, on singing from your true self, on doing business honorably, even when someone else might seem to be moving along faster than you. This can be a long and satisfying road if you want it to be, but it won't be easy. Get used to that part, and get a great sense of patience and humor!!!"

Check out Wendy's latest CD, My Time in the Desert, and get her latest tour dates when you visit her Web site at www.wendywaldman.com. Rock on, Wendy!
Luna is pleased to call Wendy Waldman a Luna Artist.
website: www.wendywaldman.com

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