By John Burton
For those who ever wondered Who the f&*$ is Linda Chorney? the question has been answered by Chorney herself.
Chorney, a veteran of the music scene for more than three decades – and a nominee for a 2012 Grammy Award that stirred some controversy at the time – has detailed her life and music career.
She’s written about knocking around small clubs around the country, staying true to her artistic vision, working on independently produced albums and offers what she said is the backstory of the fallout she experienced following her Grammy nomination last year.
The now 53-year-old singer-songwriter called her book a sort of Moneyball with the current music industry filling in for baseball.
“It’s an adventure where you can experience what it was like to be in my shoes as a 51-year-old woman who played in bars for 30 years, trying to make it in this business,” she said.
The book concentrates on Chorney’s experiences surrounding her Grammy nomination, her unconventional campaign to garner the nomination and the alleged backlash she experienced.
She said she wrote the book “because the truth needs to come out. The real story was never told.”
Chorney, who lived in Sea Bright for a number of years with husband Scott Fadynich and still owns a home there, was nominated but did not win in 2012 for Best Americana Album, for her sixth and most recent album, Emotional Jukebox. She was nominated in the category with Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris and others. As an independent artist, Chorney took an unconventional route to win the nomination by lobbying votes from young members of the Recording Academy, which awards the Grammys, using social media, asking them to vote by way of the Grammy website.
Her methods were met by a resistance, she charged, by music industry insiders who felt Chorney had “gamed the system” to push her work. The real motivation, she alleged, was that some of “the suits” in the music business felt challenged by her strategy. Her work, she insisted, speaks for itself and that’s what won her the nomination, despite all the backbiting she said she experienced.
“The story should have been a feel-good Cinderella story,” she said. “Unfortunately, the industry did not like that they were not profiting off of my nomination.”
With the help of her husband and the financial support of friend Dr. Jonathan Schneider, Chorney said she was able to put out an album she felt was truly a quality product – with the necessary production finesse for the Grammys to take seriously.
Following her nomination, Chorney was contacted by an industry insider, someone she has dubbed “Mr. Grammygate,” who called, “telling me the secrets of the AMA (Association of Americana Album),” she said.
“I kept thinking this story is crazy and I have to write about it,” she said, documenting this in Who the F&*$ is Linda Chorney? “There’s a lot of dirty stuff that goes on there.”
About that title, by the way? “It could be who the fork. It could be who funk or who the fish, or whoever you want,” she said, clearly having a little fun with it. She did warn, however, anyone offended by “f-bombs” might not want to read her book.
For those who are struggling to make it in a very tough business, Chorney said, her work can offer some advice to avoid some of the pitfalls she’s experienced and to understand the need to keep playing.
“If you’re good, you’re good,” she said, “and believe in yourself, believe in your art.”
Chorney, now lives in Tucson, Ariz., where she and her husband moved to be near Chorney’s family as her mother battled – and beat – cancer. She is currently touring New England, promoting her book and work and is working on a new album, tentatively slated for a holiday release.
She also is working on another book, that will chronicle her attempts to track down filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Say Anything) to convince him to adopt the book for the movies.