CREDIT: Greenwich Entertainment

Starring: Linda Ronstadt

Directors: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Rating: PG-13, Because Rock Stars Must Be At Least PG-13

Release Date: September 6, 2019 (Limited)

There’s a section in the documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice that focuses on the singer’s relationship with Jerry Brown during his first stint as California governor in the late seventies. The superficial differences in their lifestyles probably confused some observers. But to Ronstadt and Brown, the attraction surely made self-evident sense, as I imagine they shared some fundamental liberal values, values that made perfect sense to her as a human being. In one clip, when an interviewer suggests that her political views (which we see as anti-nuclear war and anti-racism in this moment) are controversial, she objects by countering, “I don’t think my political views are very controversial. Who likes nuclear warfare?”

That same sense of self-evident certainty is one of the major vibes of The Sound of My Voice. Ronstadt’s voice was so powerful and versatile right from the start of her career that nobody could ever possibly stop something like “You’re No Good” from being a hit. Nor was the boys club mentality of rock ‘n’ roll ever going to prevent her from being a rock star, nor could fuddy-duddy traditionalism keep her from bridging the gaps between, rock, country, and even Latin music. This may be a standard documentary survey of a musician’s career, but when the notes are undeniably so right, you can’t help but surrender to them.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice is Recommended If You Like: Linda Ronstadt’s music, of course

Grade: 3 out of 5 Stone Poneys

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