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Ronstadt revisited: Robyn Spangler's tribute to the Grammy-winning songstress

SAN DIEGO, California -- Robyn Spangler may be the closest thing we have to hearing the music of Linda Ronstadt these days. Ronstadt, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, isn’t able to sing her Grammy-winning tunes and Spangler, a long-time Ronstadt fan, will be presenting a tribute to the singer on May 29 at Martini’s Above Fourth in the gayborhood of San Diego, California.

“I've been touring this show internationally for over two years,” Spangler said. “I was nominated for Best Tribute Show in New York and won the Los Angeles BroadwayWorld Award for the show.”

The show has given her a chance to bring Ronstadt’s music to London as well, where oddly enough, they weren’t familiar with her music, but thanks to Spangler they are now.

Spangler has loved Ronstadt’s music since she was a kid.

“I grew up on Linda Ronstadt's music,” Spangler said. “The first solo I ever sang with a band was Linda's version of 'I Will Always Love You' at 17 which she recorded on her 1974 'Prisoner In Disguise' album. I sang a lot of her material in cover bands as a kid. More recently, each time I performed a new cabaret show it always included a Ronstadt cover. Then one day I had the epiphany.”

That epiphany was to dedicate a whole show in tribute to the ailing singer. The show will encompass as much of Ronstadt’s hit songs as Spangler can fit into 90 minutes.

Spangler was almost destined to be something in the music business since she grew up surrounded by music.

“I grew up in a musical family so singing is just organic to who I am,” Spangler said. “My great-great grandfather was a clown and violinist with P.T. Barnum's circus. Weekends at my house meant family and music. I thought everyone lived like that. As a kid EVERYONE inspired me. I was a sponge. I loved all of it. In high school I won the Vocal Award and I was shocked. Maybe because my choir director said I have perfect pitch.”

Spangler will be joined by pianist, and San Diego favorite, Todd Schroeder, formerly of Schroeder’s Piano Bar.

“I first heard Todd playing on a CD for someone else,” Spangler said. “The singer was outstanding (we are now good friends) and when I finished listening I said to myself, ‘I don't know who this guy is, what he looks like or how to get in touch with him but THAT'S who I want behind me on the keys.’ I obviously found him and we've been working together for about seven years. He will be playing and singing at the show along with a couple of special guests. It is going to be a fun evening.”

It sounds like the music of Linda Ronstadt is in good hands with Spangler. Not only will she be at Martini’s Above Fourth, but she will also be delighting audiences during the San Diego Fringe Festival as well.

“If you love Linda's music and you can't get enough, please join me at the San Diego Fringe Festival July 3-13,” Spangler said. “I'll be performing selections from Linda's three albums 'What's New,' 'Lush Life' and 'For Sentimental Reasons' with the San Diego City Ballet Orchestra."

"Riddle, Ronstadt & Robyn" (at the Fringe Festival) will highlight Linda's collaboration with Nelson Riddle with songs from the "Great American Songbook."


The details

Tickets for "Why I Love Linda Ronstadt" at Martini’s Above Fourth are available for $20 plus a $15 food/beverage minimum and can be purchased online.

Fringe Festival tickets are all $10 and can be purchased HERE.