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A Dirty Dozen with LISA BELL – October 2019

| 12 October 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Boulder, CO-based singer-songwriter Lisa Bell released her fifth album, Back Seat, on September 6, 2019.  Already known as a musically diverse Americana artist with jazz influences, Lisa Bell shifts gears with the release, compiling a potent album that nods to the influences that have helped sharpen her sound — including laidback R&B, melodic soul, and American roots music — while also pushing into contemporary, Triple A-friendly territory. Gluing the mix together are Bell’s expressive voice and ever-evolving writing chops, which combine to tell the story of an empty nester who, having spent years raising her children, is ready to climb back into the driver’s seat and chase down new dreams.” We get Lisa to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The album was largely written in an off-grid cabin in the woods. I am truly inspired by nature, and there are many live recordings of sounds of nature throughout the album.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was in summer camp when I was 13 and enjoyed singing around the campfire, harmonizing. A girl sitting next to me as we sang “You’ve Got a Friend” said, “Wow, you have a great voice! You should consider being a professional singer!” That was the first moment that I realized I had a gift for what I loved to do.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Besides Carol King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” there was also a Dionne Warwick show that my parents took me to when I was very little that really inspired me to perform. Just seeing her up on that stage was mesmerizing and made me want that as well.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I would say that I’ve been on a an evolutionary musical journey, and those who inspired me 20 years ago are different from today. Early influences were female singers including everyone from Dionne Warwick and Carol King, to Linda Ronstadt and even Abba. The Beatles from a songwriting perspective and Chicago for singing along with their amazing harmonies and melodies. The newest album Back Seat has influences including Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, Brandi Carlisle, and the Cowboy Junkies.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would choose David Crosby. His new music is a beautiful, mature ode to pop and jam music enhanced with jazz and incredible harmonies.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?   What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

My music is a rootsy mix influenced by funk, jazz, blues, and R&B.  The comparison would be “The Great Beyond” by R.E.M. I really like that song, but not sure I agreed with the comparison.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I cook, a vegan meal or something healthy. Ray on guitar would likely be the one to crack it open!

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Meeting David Crosby in March of this year. But in getting to know him, he’s a very approachable guy.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I love performing on stage, in front of an audience in a theater situation where the audience is truly captivated by the music. Another dream job would be to own a lodge in someplace exotic and beautiful that includes a destination recording studio and performance space.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Question I wanted to have asked is:  What is your all-time favorite show? I performed for the Winter Park Jazz Festival in 2004. It was a outdoor huge stage and there were at probably 2,000 people in the audience. I had never felt more at home with the music on that stage. I had been to that very festival 10 years before then and could not have imagined performing there at the time.  I am sick of answering what genre the music is. I don’t like the fact that we always have to be pigeonholed into a specific genre.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Not attending the after party of the Winter Park Jazz festival. I may have met some influential people, or… maybe not.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Styx Paradise Theater. I just love every song on that album, including the harmonies and the fantastic sing-along songs. When I was a junior in high school, we did many songs from that album in a “Pops Festival” show and it will always be an important album in my life.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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