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Storm Large is 'free to be ...'

Vocalist and storyteller Storm Large appears Oct. 13 at the Sheldon Theatre for a concert and a workshop. Submitted photo

Genuine is more than a description of vocalist Storm Large's take on a variety of musical genres.

It also describes the larger-than-life woman who is led by her heart whether she's performing onstage or sitting around talking with small groups about music, addiction and mental illness.

Large will perform her "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Sheldon Theatre. She's also offering a free, public workshop at 4 p.m. at the theater to share her story.

READ MORE: Workshop keys on healing nature of art

She did not grow up in a musical family or receive formal music training. Since she doesn't read music, she learns by listening.

"I was free to like whatever I wanted to like," she said, and she did ‑ rock 'n' roll, punk, classical, theater, gospel, R&B, heavy metal.

"I was led by my heart," Large explained. "I liked different things about different songs."

The result is a musical career that spans genres. Since she began appearing with bands about 25 years ago, the versatile singer has performed at everything from orchestra halls to fringe festivals singing everything from Kurt Weill's classical "The Seven Deadly Sins" to Edith Piaf's French chansons.

In her publicist's words, "Storm shot out of her checkered past to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show "Rock Star: Supernova." That appearance was instrumental in developing a fan base that now follows her adventures around the world.

She tours nationally and internationally, as has appeared with such luminaries as k.d. lang, punk rocker John Doe and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton.

Reviewers have described her as an Amazon and a powerhouse; Playboy magazine called her "Punk Goddess."

When she takes the stage, Large stitches together a program of jazz standards and heavy metal, lounge favorites and some original songs that become — in the Sheldon's words — "an unrestrained and impassioned exploration of love, desire, and truth."

"I'm not set out to improve or change" classical songs that frequently find their way into her programs, Large said. For example, she said, "I've Got You Under My Skin" has been perfectly performed by Cole Porter and other great voices.

"I just have to sound genuine for me," she explained. If it sounds authentic coming from her, she's happy to sing it.

Reviewers approve. "Storm will love you, leave you, delight you and abuse you with wicked charm and stunning vocals that will have you begging for more," one wrote.

The Red Wing concert will feature mostly love songs, Large said, including French tunes performed with her band Le Bonheur (French for "The Happiness").

"I love the French language," she commented. "You can say really awful things and it sounds like a poem, ... like you're flirting with them."

She's excited about her first visit to Red Wing and the renewed Sheldon Theatre.

"We love exploring new places," Large said.

She invited locals to send her advice about where to eat and what to do and see. She can be reached via her website, stormlarge.com, which has links to her twitter and instagram accounts.

As for the concert, Large promised, "I'll dress really nicely and I won't swear."

Tickets are $20, students $10. Visit the box office, call 651-388-8700 or go online to www.sheldontheatre.org.

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