It’s a dusty day at Linda Eder’s farm, just a couple hours north of New York City. The recording artist — who will perform two shows at the Marines Memorial Theatre this week — has been gutting her 1909 carriage house and is hands-on with the details of the renovation.
“I come from a family of do-it-yourselfers,” she says between coughs, “and we like construction and remodeling kinds of things.”
The Tuscon, Ariz., native was raised in Minnesota and toured the U.S. before landing a lounge-singing gig in Atlantic City, N.J. She raised her sights and, after a “Star Search” stint, caught the ear of theater composer Frank Wildhorn, became his muse and, from 1998 to 2004, his wife and the mother of their son, Jake.
During their professional partnership, Eder voiced demos to almost a dozen Wildhorn shows in development, including “Svengali,” “Dracula,” “Havana” and “Bonnie & Clyde,” the latter currently making its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse.
She also sang the role of Lucy in the juggernaut hit “Jekyll & Hyde” from its Florida workshop in 1988 though its Broadway premiere in 1997.
Surprisingly, despite Eder’s frequent connection to theater music, it’s her only Broadway credit.
“People think I go around listening to theater music all day long, but I really don’t,” she says. “The last several years, the main type of music I’ve been listening to is pop country … or country pop, sort of adult contemporary. That’s what I’ve been listening to most.” The group Lady Antebellum is prominent on her current playlist.
Eder has indeed maintained a prolific and varied recording and concert career. She has released more than a dozen CDs, including a tribute to Judy Garland, whom Eder cites as an influence.
The most recently available is “Soundtrack,” a collection of movie songs that include tracks from Mancini, The Beatles and the theme from “Shrek 2.”
“I wanted to do a themed album, and so many of these songs just came into my head immediately,” Eder says. “I could have filled 15 albums with all the ideas I had, but they made me choose!”
With guitar in hand, she’s now writing songs that fit her current tastes and planning her next album.
“I always knew I had a talent to write in that genre,” Eder says, “but it really wasn’t something that fit in my show until now, so it’s exciting.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Tickets: $47.50 to $77.50
Contact: (415) 771-6900, www.marinesmemorialtheatre.tix.com