How many times have I seen Lina Koutrakos perform live at this point? More than Sheena Easton? As much as Celine Dion? Without a doubt, these three magnanimous talents comprise my top three.
I met Miss Sunshine, uh, Lina, within my first several months of moving to NYC nearly 15 years ago, and have watched her evolve from earth mama to oozy blues rocker—while maintaining an indefatigable dedication to her craft onstage and in song. As many times as I've heard some of her compositions, they sound new every time.
I've had the opportunity to review three of her singles in Billboard, offer a live review of one of her shows—and perhaps most gratifying—to introduce her to a sold-out crowd of 500 when she performed at B.B. King in NYC a couple years ago.
Ayhan and I popped into the Iridium in Times Square Tuesday, April 20, for her monthly gig with band The Low Country. As always, a good time was had by all.Congrats to Lina for being one of three Grand Prize finalists in the Gospel/Inspirational category, in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest, for her spiritual "Bury Me Deep"!! Winners will be announced Sept. 1, 2010.
(PHOTOS: THE SMOKING NUN)