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Pianist Lorie Line to share music and inspiration

May 5, 2008

Line to perform traditional Christian hymns Mother’s Day at the PAC

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

After a sold-out show two years ago, pianist Lorie Line is coming back to the Performing Arts Center to share an intimate Mother’s Day afternoon, Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m.

Line will be playing music from her newest album, “The Heritage Collection, Volume IV - Traditional Hymns of Inspiration.” She will also share some personal stories of inspiration for her music.

“[With this album] I was inspired more so than any other album,” Line said during a phone interview.

This album is very sentimental to Line. “These are the songs I grew up learning and singing in church,” she said.

Line dedicated this album to her father, Dale Porter, who was a song leader at the Church of Christ in Sparks, Nev., where she sang the songs growing up – songs like “Safe In The Arms,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Beneath The Cross of Jesus,” and “Amazing Grace.”

This is her first non-holiday album in more than two years, and Line sat down at her grand piano and created the album in just seven days, she said.

For Line, it was a “spiritual experience” making this album, which is mostly solo piano.

For her stage performance though, she will have her five-member band, including three new members on the bass, drums, and guitar.

“This changes the vibe right away,” she said.

What Line calls the fun part of her shows, is the medley in which she takes audience requests and strings them together.

This is also when fans get to hear their favorite songs, she said.

In her career as a professional pianist, Line has produced 29 albums, published 21 books of sheet music, and sold more than 5 million albums.

In the Heritage Collection, each album is very different, Line said.

They feature songs of the past and music of our heritage – real nostalgic and historical music, Line explained.

Songs from previous Heritage Collection volumes include “There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn),” “America the Beautiful,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “Down in the Valley (Hear the Wind Blow),” and more.

Getting intimate

A typical day for Line is waking up and enjoying a cup of cappuccino from her own kitchen.

Also, to stay in shape both mentally and physically, Line runs just under three miles a day, lifts weights, and practices one of her favorite activities – yoga.

Another favorite for Line is cooking. “I’m a real student of cooking,” she said.

The night before the interview, Line made chicken parmigiana with arugala.

She loves cooking so much, Line even cooks every night on tour, she said.

When not on tour, she spends time in her Wayzata office or at the recording studio, which is next door to her home in Minnetonka.

Though she may spend time working on new concepts for music, Line doesn’t play piano every day.

“When I get home from touring, my hands are so sore from playing four hours a day. I need the physical rest so I don’t get an injury like tendinitis, or a wrist injury,” Line said.

She also enjoys spending time at home gardening.

“I love my lifestyle. Every day is so different,” Line said.

She also likes to “ break it up with tours,” she said. Line even enjoys living on a bus. What she loves most is the simplicity of touring including packing light, she said. Line also likes waking up each day in a new city.

As far as her thoughts about returning to the PAC, Line says it’s not so much about the venue as it is the audience.

“It’s not even about a venue to me. It’s more about the fans,” Line said.

Though she’s been to some amazing places, she’s also had “some magical moments” under tents.

Line admits it’s nice when a venue is clean and new, but she wouldn’t mind getting dressed in a garage either, she said.

“I’ve actually dressed in a janitor’s closet before,” she said.

Line creates her own environment and ambiance with candles, music, and a pretty mirror.

“I make it beautiful,” she said.

Line told of a performance in a downtown Marriot where she got ready in a ballroom, changing behind road gear. She often lays out her own patch of carpet and provides a space heater. Sometimes Line will bring her yoga mat if she chooses to stretch before the show.

For Line, it’s not about the setting.

“It’s all about walking out and seeing smiles on peoples’ faces who are really glad I’m there,” she said.

On tour, Line will travel all across the country, especially during her holiday concert tours.

During Christmas, Line enjoys the beautiful city of Denver, Colo., where she performs at Denver Gates Hall.

“It’s so spectacular for Christmas,” Line said, noting the exceptional shopping during that time of year as well.

Her all-time favorite venue is the Capitol Theatre in Madison, Wis. There, the dressing rooms are brand new and were a “Hollywood-style” design, she said.

“It’s so spectacular,” she said, and it’s only 10 steps from the stage.

She loves the chic shops and the food in downtown Madison.

During the holidays, Line and her pop chamber orchestra travel to the east and west coast, but this year, with the high gas prices, they are choosing to stay closer to home, she said.

To make it affordable, Line has to do one show a day while on tour, she said.

Line and her husband, Tim, have a daughter, Kendall, 18, and a son, Jackson, 14.

They both attend public school, and have a very normal school life, Line said.

As a family, her favorite vacation destination is Africa, where they have been on three world class safaris.

For a more romantic trip, her favorite destination is the Mediterranean, where she and Tim have been twice.

A Mother’s Day gift

Lorie Line fans and those interested in hearing a collection of traditional Christian hymns played in Line’s own arrangements can see her live at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased by calling (320) 286-4120.

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