Linda's great grandfather emmigrated from Switzerland and his surname, Wasserfallen, was anglicized to Waterfall when he came through Ellis Island, causing thousands of people in subsequent generations to ask the question, "Is that your real name?" Linda grew up in a musical family in the suburbs of Chicago, and had extensive training in classical piano, composition, voice and theory. She began teaching herself to play guitar while in high school, and her unorthodox guitar style reflects this. Paradoxically, her family was strenuously opposed to her pursuit of a musical career. Due to this pressure, she attended college at Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in visual art.
After college, Linda began to perform professionally. Her first successful band was Entropy Service, one of the best musical groups in Seattle in the mid 70's. Her first album was released by Windham Hill Records in 1977. She worked as a bass player in The Skyboys, a very successful country rock group playing the club scene in the northwest, and later fronted her own band, releasing two more albums during this period. In 1979 she was voted Seattle's Best Solo Artist by the Seattle Sun-KZAM Arts and Entertainment Poll. In 1983 she released a duo album with guitarist Scott Nygaard.
During these years she was soaking up influences from many different musical traditions. She also began composing for grants and commissions, in vocal and instrumental styles that reflect her early classical training but clearly contain elements of the vernacular musical vocabulary. Body English, her 5th album, released in 1987 by Flying Fish, continued this synthesis of popular and jazz harmonic structures into through-composed, classically structured pieces, mixed in among energetic blues- and rock-influenced rhythms. Critics have often commented on the impossibility of categorizing her music.
"Her music is as engaging as it is uncategorizable. It's an intriguing blend of folk and new acoustic in its instrumentation, contemporary classical and perhaps New Age in its influence by minimalist sounds, and jazz for its complex, shifting harmonic structure. Her highly original approach to singing, and the way it interacts with the accompaniment results in a whole new style that breathes new life into vocal music . . . "Linda's 6th album - A Little Bit at a Time, 7th - Flying Time, and 8th - In the Presence of the Light, all released throughout the 90's, have continued this direction of creating musical hybrids. Curiously, in spite of the breadth of influences, her style is distinctive and instantly recognizable.
--George Graham, WVIA Pittston, PA
Her live performances elicit raves from the West Coast to British Columbia, to the Twin Cities, to Boston and all over the USA.
"Linda Waterfall, an extraordinary folk musician from Washington State, plays bristling, driving guitar and rolling, enveloping piano. If all that weren't enough, Ms. Waterfall is a moving, terrific singer, blessed with star-of-the-choir pipes."Linda currently performs locally, does short concert tours, teaches songwriting at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, and teaches guitar and piano privately. She also composes and arranges choral music; That Art Thou: Songs from the Vedas (her 9th release) and Songs from the Dao De Jing are her most recent choral compositions. In 2005, Linda celebrated the re-release of Body English on CD (originally released on vinyl by Flying Fish, 1987.)
--Tom Surowicz, Twin Cities Reader