Onetime Memphian Linda Heck may currently reside in Sewanee, Tennessee, but her new record, Transformed, bears many signs (or is it scars?) of her time as a member of the Memphis music community.
Heck first came up in the mid-'80s punk/underground scene surrounding the now legendary/infamous local haven for outsiders, the Antenna Club. There she was exposed to fearless musical acts like Panther Burns and the Modifiers, which inspired her to take the stage herself, both as a solo artist/bandleader and as a member of the group the Hellcats.
Heck's highly personal songwriting — though somewhat mellowed-out by time — and her powerful vocal delivery still reflect that fearlessness on Transformed. It doesn't take much prodding to get how meaningful standout tracks like "A Thousand Mistakes," "All Things Fall Away," and "Tattooed Wedding Ring" are — Heck lets you know. Her voice swells and vibrates in all the right ways as the intensity builds. And, for the most part, the band behind her — which includes full-time members John McClure (bass) and Kurt Ruleman (drums), plus guest appearances by Jim Spake (saxophone), Jim Duckworth (guitar), Rick Steff (keyboards), and others — is there to pick things up right on cue.