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Wendy Woo’s road to recovery began with a little rebellion. Against her doctor’s wishes, Woo adhered to proper protocol for a singer/songwriter by ensuring that ‘the show must go on.’
In this instance, Woo followed through with her scheduled Feb. 16 performance at Dicken’s Opera House in Longmont, which resulted in her first DVD. Live at the Dicken’s Opera House features 14 tracks and various interviews of Woo and her bandmates and is set to premier June 27 at TheLyric Cinema Café.
“I had been losing my voice for years,” Woo said during a recent in interview with Scene Magazine. “I mean, I have been singing for 20 years in bars so that definitely puts stress on your vocal cords. I would just go see my doctor, and he would just usually give me a pill or a shot, and I’d get through it.
“I went this time (just before her Feb. 16 performance) to get whatever they normally give me, and they were like: ‘yeah, we’re done masking it. You’ve got to do something about it.’ They wanted to put me in surgery right away. They wanted to make sure I was better by summer. I just couldn’t do it. I just rested and didn’t do it until after the concert.”
When Woo did end up having vocal cord surgery in early March, she understandably was apprehensive and a little frightened about what the procedure could entail.
“I was super nervous because I didn’t really know anyone who had done it successfully, except for like Adele, but I had a really good doctor that I had seen for a while,” Woo said. “I mean, have three little kids and they put you out. So I had some anxiety about going out and not coming back. Then, if they slip up and miss, it’s a really small sensitive area so you could never talk again. I mean, those are small percentages, but you have to consider them. It was a big decision. But once I woke up from the surgery I felt better about the whole thing.”
That’s welcome news to fans of Woo. Her extensive summer tour kicks into high gear this month and features an appearance at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest before ending Sept. 22 at the Autumn Gold Festival in Estes Park.
In addition to the premier of her DVD, Woo also will be unveiling a live CD during a June 8 release party at Avogadro’s Number.
The 14-track album titled Live features tracks from Woo’s shows at Dicken’s Opera House as well as two shows earlier this year from The Walnut Room in Denver and Next Door Food and Drink in Loveland. It also features a bonus track of a never- before-released version of “Hold On,” produced by three-time Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker. She will produce Woo’s next studio album as a follow up to Live sometime next year.
“I had kind of been doing local stuff my whole career and on my bucket list was to work with a professional producer, and she agreed to do it,” Woo said. “The live thing is a lot of fun because you have a lot of energy live, but there are a lot of mistakes. The current album has more of a bootleg feel. So I just thought it would be nice to follow it up with something a little more polished.”
That’s not to say that Woo has any qualms about what she is marketing this summer – her DVD in particular.
“It’s a real nice mile marker for me,” Woo said, “and it’s our first fan-made project.”
Woo’s husband and fan Charles Snyder was the video producer, while fellow fans Jeff Grave and Jim Eckenrode served as the sound producer and photographer.
“Not only do I have great fans, I have smart fans,” Woo said. “I love the summer because we play a ton, and it’s a great springboard for the CD and DVD.”