Singer, writer, producer, and actress Maxine Linehan is an interpretive artist that uses popular songbooks and theatrical presentations to share intimate truths and build communal bonds. The Irish performer’s masterful productions reimagine beloved music catalogs with courageous and emotive storylines, and immersive experiences. In doing this, she enriches our bonds with our favorite music.
“For me, it’s all about a deep willingness within me to connect to what I sing about on a really personal level. It’s about sharing my experiences, showcasing lyrics, and harnessing the therapeutic and healing power of songs whose lyrics we often can’t get inside,” the internationally-acclaimed concert and recording artist shares.
The Southern Vermont-based theatrical musician fuses dialogue, autobiographical story arcs, and specific artist song collections for transformative concert experiences. Maxine performs in both world-famous venues and in intimate settings. Her artistic choices are tailored around bringing forth the poignancy of the lyrics in the body of work she is reimagining. Within any musical setting, Maxine’s sensually emotive vocals shine through. Her repertoire is refreshingly eclectic; to date, she’s interpreted the songbooks of such varied artists as U2, Petula Clark, and Barbra Streisand. Maxine is an empathic artist who chooses her subjects carefully based on her emotional connection to a given body of work and her ability to make those feelings broadly resonant.
Maxine’s studio album, Beautiful Songs, was awarded a Top Ten pick by USA Today, and garnered rave reviews in the New York Times. In addition, she’s earned enthusiastic reviews from Billboard, and The Huffington Post, among other outlets.
She has wowed crowds worldwide with sold-out shows from New York’s Lincoln Center to Paris’ famed Théâtre du Châtelet. Select smashes include her solo show, “An American Journey,” which features a carefully culled collection of songs to detail an immigration narrative, and her imaginative “What Would Petula Do? A Tribute to Petula Clark,” which has earned plum international acclaim with well-received shows throughout America and Europe.
As a recording artist, Maxine has released a clutch of well-received singles, including a fresh rendition of U2’s smoldering ballad “One,” and a groundbreaking version of Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” with rap artist Phil Phlaymz. Her YouTube tribute to Daniel Murphy of the 2015 World Series-bound New York Mets, a rousing version of the Irish standard “Danny Boy,” rocketed her to becoming a viral sensation. Recently, Maxine started the freewheeling recording series “Summer Sessions at The Studio At Strawberry Fields.” With this platform, she applies her award-winning interpretive sensibilities to a variety of songs. In one installment, she turns in a hauntingly beautiful take on Linkin Park’s “Numb,” replete with lavish chamber orchestra.
In addition to her refreshing reworkings, Maxine has also branched out as a successful songwriter. She co-wrote and performed the original single, “Living Proof,” in response to the recent waves of gun violence and in support of the students of Parkland, Florida. In November 2020 she will release her much anticipated holiday album This Time Of Year, including the original title track penned my Maxine, Andrew Koss and Fleix McTeigue.
Maxine’s life in music has been both inevitable and winding. There are family videos of her as a young girl entertaining her family, singing and dancing. She was born and raised in Ireland where options to be a professional performer were almost nil. At 17, she began working with the Irish Operatic Repertory Company in Cork. From there, Maxine would go on to land key roles in many theatrical productions, including Brontë; A portrait of Charlotte, (Off-Broadway) Oliver!, (UK) The Sound of Music, (UK) and the first national tour of Lincoln Center’s TONY winning South Pacific.
Feeling the dual pressures of the limited theater opportunities, and ingrained familial notions that creativity was a hobbyist endeavor, she opted to pursue a bachelors of laws from The University of London, and, later, a graduate degree from The Inns of Court School of Law in London. At the time, she felt she could channel her performative instincts to the courtroom.
A surreptitious turn of events landed her a posh corporate job in New York that enabled her to obtain U.S. citizenship. Soon, the artistic electricity of the Big Apple began to seduce her back to her creative core. “When I got to New York, I realized I wasn’t happy with my chosen path. I decided to abandon the money, the fancy shoes, and the delicious wine and start my life from scratch as a performer. I haven’t regretted my choice for a second,” Maxine says.
Maxine then dove headfirst into building her performance profile from the ground up, getting in the trenches performing at dubious venues and in rickety productions. Slowly, she rose to becoming a critic’s fav, and began to take the reins of her career through writing and producing her own solo shows which eventually blossomed into her widely heralded concert career.
The story of Maxine’s life, thus far, is an anthemic full-circle narrative of reclaiming your childhood dreams. These days her life is both simple and triumphant. While launching her performance career, she fell in love and got married, and left the grind of New York. These days she lives in the blissfully bucolic region of Southern Vermont with her husband, acclaimed producer and songwriter Andrew Koss, and their two young children. The husband and wife team built a state-of-the-art destination recording studio, The Studio At Strawberry Fields Lane, where they write and record. Maxine puts her whole heart into the role of a lifetime: being a mother. She schedules her performances and tours around her family, prioritizing time with them to be a present mom and wife.