Linh Nguyen was born in Central Viet Nam before the end of the war. His family immigrated to the United States in the early 1980s via Singapore and Indonesia. Linh grew up in Southern California absorbing popular Vietnamese songs sung at family gatherings and American rock music blasted on the radio. Inspired by such rich musical surroundings, he began teaching himself guitar at age thirteen. Many moons later, Linh is an accomplished guitarist and singer who seeks to create compelling and beautiful music that reflects his broad background and experiences.
It is difficult to pin Linh to a style or genre. He is as comfortable performing intricate compositions on the classical guitar as he is rocking out on the electric guitar with his band Commandant Lassard. He can quiet a rowdy pub with a heart wrenching rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and then make them wish Vietnamese was offered as a foreign language at their high school as he serenades faraway lullabies in his native tongue. But most of the time, Linh is armed with just an acoustic guitar and his voice, connecting with a small crowd at a coffee shop through the depth of his music and emotion. Just imagine the passionate voice of Jeff Buckley singing the somber music of Nick Drake.
When the time felt right to record his music, Linh further complicated geographic and musical lines by heading down south to New Orleans. He brought his acoustic and electric guitars and spent a week in the shotgun shack home studio of former Los Angeles-based music veteran John Tyree (Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Stone Temple Pilots, Jay-Z, etc.) With John’s studio expertise, Linh crafted his debut album, Breathe. This CD showcases Linh’s musical range as it re-creates his intimate coffee shop shows and expands some of his songs into fuller arrangements accompanied by drums and bass.
Linh Nguyen currently resides in Oakland, California and has performed around the San Francisco Bay Area on stages such as Café DuNord and The Starry Plough and galleries such as Oaklandish and SOMArts – the last as part of the 11th Annual Radical Performance Fest.