Colin Linden wears many hats. The award-winning guitar virtuoso has played on over 500 albums and produced 140. As a singer-songwriter, Linden celebrates his 45th year in the industry with his 14th studio album, bLOW.
Released September 17, the album is the industry vet’s first project as part of his dear friend and longtime collaborator, Lucinda William’s Highway 20 Records. Hand-selected by Williams, bLOW is Linden’s first electric blues record.
“Lucinda is one of the kindest, most accepting, funniest, freest spirits I’ve ever known,” Linden tells American Songwriter in an interview. “She’s one of the greatest blues singers currently on this planet and one of the greatest country singers, and one of the greatest rock n’ roll singers.”
He notes that the iconic artist “didn’t become a legend by virtue of hype or fashion.” The two first met nearly 30 years ago doing Austin City Limits, and immediately hit it off. Their kinship has continually blossomed over the decades up to this momentous mile marker. Linden adds, “To have her, and her husband/partner Tom Overby enthused and supportive of my music and of this record, is a giant honor. My wife Janice and I have spent so much time with Lu and Tom that they are really like family to us.”
This new collection marks another first for Linden as his first album to be initially released on a US-based label. All the others have come out in his native Canada before being released in the U.S. Having lived in the U.S. for over 20 years now, Linden describes the shift as “huge.”
In 2020 Linden landed his first Grammy for his producer role on Keb’ Mo’s Oklahoma. At this point in his career, the artist has garnered 25 Juno Award nominations, nine wins, and contributions to the Nashville TV show, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
“I feel more comfortable in my own skin with this record than ever before,” Linden shares. He chalks up the album—some of the hardest hitting, most dynamic music of his illustrious Blues career—to simply being a function of age and experience.
Crafted in the home studio that his wife built for him three years ago, bLOW exhibits a dynamic blend of reverence for sacred Blues traditions of his predecessors while taking notes from the modern rock stylings of his pioneering successors.
Reflecting on the creation process, Linden explains, “behind my mixing console, I have a blown-up photo of me and Howlin’ Wolf that my mom took the first day I met him—November 27, 1971. I was pretty sure that when I was mixing a few of these songs, that the Wolf’s smile got bigger. So I felt I was on the right track.”
As an artist with a platform, Linden emerges amidst an era of tension with impressive musical prowess and infectious blues-meets-rock styles—finally something to agree on.”I felt a sense of freedom in making this record, and most of all I wanted to share that,” says Linden. “All of it is spiritual. All of it has the joy of playing guitar in it. All of it is grateful for the road I’ve been on for about 50 years—from when I first met Howlin’ Wolf and even before.”
Listen to Colin Linden’s new LP bLOW, here.