Legendary Ladies

There’s a huge female voice in rock music, yet sometimes the ladies in that genre don’t receive the representation they deserve. Carol-Lyn Liddle is here to change that.

Liddle is a powerhouse vocalist who can keep up with the boys, yet has her own show dedicated to female rockers, called Herstory of Rock, featuring amazing singers through the ages, from Janis Joplin to Joan Jett.

Liddle started her music career in Las Vegas, performing in a wide range of projects.

“I just started off looking for bands who enjoyed the music I liked, which was classic rock,” Liddle said. “It just started growing from there and I wanted to try different things, so I’ve been in a country band, a heavy metal band, tribute bands and all girl bands. My saving grace in this industry is I have been able to be very versatile. I do enjoy trying new things. The next thing that I would like to try is some more operatic type of stuff.”

She took off after joining the cast of “Raiding the Rock Vault,” a production put together by Asia band member John Payne. While Liddle is used to singing Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin, she was tasked to bring some feminine energy to that show. So she sang Pat Benatar and Heart, and fans only wanted more, spurring the idea for a full show in that vein.

“After Raiding the Rock Vault, my husband, Patrick Puffer said, ‘You should just have your own show,’” Liddle said. “A lot of other people were saying the same thing around that time. I didn’t really listen at first but I just started fantasizing about that. I’m like ‘OK, if I did have my own show, what would that look like? What songs would I want to do?’ So I just started talking about it with Patrick and he said, ‘You’ve done all of these male songs for so long — ACDC, Guns N Roses and Led Zeppelin,’ which I love to do, but when I was in the Raiding the Rock Vault show I did female songs. My husband said, ‘That’s what you’ve got to do, a show with all of the most famous female rock goddesses from Janis Joplin onward.’”

As they began outlining a show, Liddle and Puffer came up with the perfect name to describe their creation.

“We thought about who we enjoyed listening to growing up,” she said. “For me, I had a wide range. It was Cher, and Tina Turner and Linda Ronstadt. So we start off around there and then we go through the ‘70s and ‘80s and we just go through the ‘herstory.’ That’s how we came up with the name, we were kind of joking about it. Instead of talking about the history of women in rock and roll, we made a little joke to each other and said the herstory.”

Liddle is bringing this show back to Laughlin Aug. 4-7 at the Riverside Resort. For that performance she will sing one song from each legendary lady, including Grace Slick, Kiki Dee, Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, Lita Ford, Debbie Harry and more!

“It’s not an impersonator show,” she clarified. “It’s me singing in my voice, trying to do justice to the artist and keep the spirit of the song. I don’t change up lyrics or melodies — we’re playing the songs that everybody loves. However, I do have a lot of fun with costumes. It’s not a full costume change for each song, but I have hats and glasses and recognizable things like Janis Joplin’s feathers.”

While she is not playing a role, she does channel each rockstar onstage to give the audience a nonstop reel of classic favorites with every song.

“I love them all,” Liddle said. “People tell me they love when I do Heart songs, so that is a highlight, but the thing is, every song is a showstopper. When people hear the early Cher they go, ‘Oh my gosh I love that song!’ For me, the most fun I would have to say is Tina Turner, because I get to dance a little bit.”

Her husband is the musical director for the show and also is in the band.

“Patrick is on lead guitar and vocals and he does a lot of the other stuff for me,” Liddle said. “On the other guitar and backup vocals is Eden Stollman, who is in my band Carol-Lyn’s All Stars. On bass guitar is Sean Koos, also in the All Stars. We’ve all been such good friends for so long, we try to play together as much as we can. Our new drummer is Jake Pilcher. On keyboards and backing vocals is Brenda Fitz. She’s so brilliant with me when we do the Heart harmonies. We have another project together called Sheclipse, which is the world’s only female Journey tribute.”

Liddle will be back in town in October with her All Star band, and she works in several other groups with notable figures.

“I had a fun time singing with Billy F. Gibbons from ZZ Top,” she said. “I also sing backup regularly with Steve Augeri, who was the second singer from Journey who was with them for 10 years. I’ve been really lucky. It was all because John Payne, the creator of Raiding the Rock Vault, invited me into the show and that exposed me to other people who were like, ‘Hey can you come sing with us?’ So I have been very fortunate.”

She also is currently singing backup for Lou Gramm of Foreigner.

“It’s so crazy sometimes I flashback to the first time I heard a Foreigner song and then I look over and there’s Lou singing a song and I’m harmonizing with him, singing ‘Feels Like the First Time.’ It’s a little surreal but amazing and great,” she said. “What a super nice man. He’s a legendary rock and roll voice and he’s just so down to earth and a very nice person.”

Her long list of credits speaks to her talent and versatility in the industry. She can tackle any song with conviction and will blow the audience away with her tribute to the legendary ladies of rock and roll at Don’s Celebrity Theatre.

“We’d like to thank the Riverside for having us back,” Liddle said. “It’s a beautiful stage and the people at the Riverside just take such good care of us. The crew they have there in the theatre is just amazing so we are all excited to get there and see everybody at the show!”