Tuneage Tutelage - New Music Monday....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, August 10, 2009

Hope y'all had a grand weekend. For those of you wondering, yes, Nancy and I were VERY productive and we had FUN. We cooked a recipe on Friday that you usually buy at one of those chain restaurants.

Check on Mangia Y'all later this week for that story...

Today, we introduce you to a woman named Lori Lieberman and her new CD GUN METAL SKY. Now, the name might not click in your mind, but if Ms. Lieberman had not and gone seen a show by Don McLean, she would not have written the poem "Killing Me Softly With His Blues". This poem, was then adapted by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel in 1971 and became the song "Killing Me Softly With His Song". Ms. Lieberman recorded the song in 1971, but it became a cultural sensation and enduring treasure when Ms. Roberta Flack recorded it in 1973.

Interestingly enough, I found it funny to see Ms. Lieberman compared to Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell and that she counts as her influences Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow to her music.

Except for Ms.Mitchell, the rest should list Ms. Lieberman as their influence!

From her bio, we learn the following:
Born in California, but raised in Switzerland, Lieberman felt the isolation and loneliness of growing up a foreigner early on, and as a young girl, turned to her writing as a form of connection, expressing her feelings in journals and in songs. One of three sisters, and the daughter of a chemical engineer and a homemaker, Lori Lieberman’s earliest influences came through her older sister, Susan, who, from her college in Maine, sent Lieberman her greatest and most life-changing gift of all, then current music from the states: Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, Jefferson Airplane and Tom Rush. Their music and sensibilities inspired her writing even more.

Lieberman's first album, "Lori Lieberman" contained her version of "Killing Me...", heard by Flack and added to her album. Lieberman went on to record four more albums ("Becoming", "A Piece Of Time", "Straw Colored Girl", and "The Best Of Lori Lieberman"), touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.

As the styles of the music industry changed from James Taylor to disco, Lieberman retreated from the spotlight, becoming the mother of three children, and living a settled country existence in the hills of California. For many years, her music took a back seat to her busy day to day life, and it wasn't to come forward again, until producer Joseph Cali coaxed a reluctant Lieberman out of the shadows, and got her singing again.

"A Thousand Dreams", marked Lieberman's return to the music industry. A two mic live recording, engineered by Mark Levinson of Red Rose Music, captured her performance which was nominated for The Golden Note Award for the best original recording of the year.

Lori Lieberman’s latest release, “Gun Metal Sky”, is the definitive Lori Lieberman recording. Four years in the making, this CD reflects Lieberman’s growth as a vocalist, writer, producer and arranger. With eight songs penned by Lieberman, it also includes four songs by some of our most beloved songwriters and interpreted by her unique sensitivity and style.

We were able to connect with Ms. Lieberman through email and she responded to some questions:

What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?

The great songwriter/performer, Christine Lavin, in her new book, likens my writing to Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. I was honored, and completely blown away! So that HAS to be the nicest thing written about my music, ever.

Are you working on any music right now?

I'm always writing and re-writing.. but mostly, I'm out on the road performing and promoting music from my new CD, "Gun Metal Sky".

If you could craft an all-star band, who would play in it?

I would want all my favorites---James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Tori Amos

What do you think is the most alarming media story in the last few months?

For me, it would have to be the lies and deceit of Bernard Madoff...

Do you support any specific charities and how do you give back as an artist?

I support "Family To Family", devoted to families helping others with profoundly less. (www.familytofamily.org ) Save Darfur, CARE, Operation Smile, Obama for change.

What keeps you awake at night?
My kids and their future and safety.

What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten?
Having grown up in Switzerland, there were many foods disguised as chicken!

What do you do to prepare to write?
I read everything I can get my hands on, make sure I'm alone for a time, light some candles, and prepare to be there for endless hours!

Thank you Lori, we appreciate your taking the time to let my guests know more about you.

As I am writing this post, her album Gun Metal Sky is playing in the background and I am very pleased by the sounds I am being treated to. Ms. Lieberman has a voice that draws you into the stories she is telling in her music. The four songs she covers are the Paul Simon / Brian Eno composition "Another Galaxy"; "New York Mining Disaster, 1941", the first song released in the USA bu the Brothers Gibb way back when; the first top 10 hit by The Hollies, the Graham Gouldman song "Bus Stop"; and EmmyLou Harris' "My Baby Needs A Shepard". All classics in their own right.

Ms. Lieberman is also a skilled pianist, whose talents shine on songs like "When You Were Mine". The other musicians on the album are also very skilled and include Tim May and Grant Geissman on guitars; Alan Steinberger on piano; Stephanie Fife on cellos; Kirsten Fife and Robert Lorenz on violins; Jeff Driscoll on Flutes and Clarinets; Robert Baptist on Trumpet; Trey Henry, Trent Stroh and Rich Grossman on Bass; Luis Conte, Brian Kilgorn and Denise Frasier on Percussion and Earl Harvin on Drums.

The title cut "Gun Metal Sky" and Ms. Lieberman's version of "Killing Me Softly"...A lush flowing version that I truly enjoy.

Let me and Ms. Lieberman know what you think in comments and in the poll...

16 Of Your Sparks

  1. Not bad and her choice of a band would rock!

    Glad you had a productive weekend and I am looking forward to the food!

  2. Schmoop Says:
  3. What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten?
    Having grown up in Switzerland, there were many foods disguised as chicken!

    Hee Hee. That's kinda funny. Cheers!!

  4. I was impressed.Interesting story line as well...

  5. DrillerAA Says:
  6. Very well crafted music. Arrangements are excellent. It's obvious that this artist has been around the business a long time.
    Yep, I could listen to this again.

  7. Ken Says:
  8. I'm loving it so far. Very sweet. I know Bic would love this too.
    Good stuff, let us know when she hooks up with Taylor and freinds.

  9. STARR: Yeah, I loved her band also...

    MATT-MAN: We aim to get a giggle..

    BUD: Yes it is...thanks

    DRILLERAA: Glad you enjoyed. She is very talented

    MICKEY-T: Share it my son!

  10. Jay Says:
  11. I like her. She sounds pretty good. Great voice.

  12. ...yeah, but...I REALLY wanted to hear New York Mining Disaster 1941...that entire BeeGees 1st album is spectacular...

  13. Ken Says:
  14. and what in the name of "All That Is Holy" is Phfrankie talking about?

  15. Mimi Lenox Says:
  16. Passing through...waving....enjoying the musical vibe. Have a wonderful pre-nuptial day. Yippee!!

  17. Unknown Says:
  18. You know I already like her, she is really good. For me the Bee Gees cover was the weakest song on her album, maybe just because I associate that song with that group so much. But a very good album nonetheless.

  19. Travis Cody Says:
  20. I didn't know the story of the song, so thanks for that. I enjoyed her music. Her voice fits in that very comfortable register for me.

    Excellent tuneage.

  21. JAY: She does have a great voice

    PHFRANKIE: OK, later this week

    MICKEY-T: He am a BeeGee groupie...nothing more

    MIMI: Hi...Bye

    JOHN: I tend to have that problem with many remakes, but I really enjoyed this album

    TRAVIS: I aim to edumakate here! That is does...her voice was so embracing fro me.

  22. Tug Says:
  23. A little 'soft' for me, but I love Killing me Softly, and enjoyed her interview!

  24. katherine. Says:
  25. I liked her a lot...Gun Metal Sky is great.

    the interview has a great deal of character depth...made me like her more.

    good choice vincent.

  26. Dana Says:
  27. Love the band, love the melodies, love the lyrics, but ... Lori Lieberman's style just doesn't work for me.

    I do adore the interviews!


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