Mixing music with history comes naturally to Linda. She grew up in the Wisconsin countryside where she went to a one-room school. Her Mom was a church organist and her Dad the local historian. On family vacations, the Russells followed a trail of history, visiting Civil War battlefields, pioneer villages and waterways of voyageurs. History was tangible on these journeys and Linda was captivated. Singing came easily to Linda, and she credits her Mother with instilling in her the pure joy of singing and passion she feels for all types of music.
Linda played music all through college at the University of Wisconsin/Eau Claire. It was also at college, that she discovered her love of theater and performed many great roles. She was Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire and Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha. This love of the stage led the once shy country girl, suitcase in hand, to New York City where she enrolled in The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Linda began her professional career by performing as a balladeer at Federal Hall National Memorial. For 16 years, Linda brought the 18th century vividly to life for countless visitors to the site of George Washington’s inauguration on Wall Street.
In 1985, Linda launched her touring career with her first album, The Good Old Colony Days. Seven more recordings followed, including Sing We All Merrily – A Colonial Christmas.
Certainly one of the top highlights of Linda’s career was her Carnegie Hall debut in June 1992 with Tom Paxton and Mike Seeger ! The concert itself was a winner and just 6 days after her rousing performance, she gave birth to a baby girl, Hallie.
She continues to sing and play ballads, broadsides, love songs, marches and dance tunes of early America at national, state and local historical sites, as well as schools, community centers, churches, nursing homes, and folk festivals.
Linda resides in New York City and in between touring the countryside performing, she makes frequent trips to her native Wisconsin.