Quantity (prints): 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475767778798081828384858687888990919293949596979899(You can remove it later)Did you buy this item? Somewhere during 1998, I rediscovered the 1995 CD, Performing Songwriter Magazine's Top 12 Independent Releases.
Regrettably, the album from which this is taken, Chalk this One Up to the Moon, by this time, is no longer in print.
I then found out that she was going to be one of the acts on the bill at the First Night concert in Oakland, New Jersey, on the eve of 1999. We were lucky that she was sharing a workshop performance with Buddy after the main performance.
At my 9-to-5, the department chairman, Ben, is into contemporary folk, going back to Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton. Some of the songs on Slightly Haunted are, for me, riveting enough to keep me playing them over and over. By the time this issue hits the streets and our readers pick it up in the venues throughout NYC and surrounding burbs, we will have seen Lynn once more at the Towne Crier, in Pawling, NY on Halloween eve where she's sharing the bill with Richard Shindell.
1999 ASCAP-award winning singer-songwriter Laura Wetzler sings, plays and composes a wide range of material, all with great flair and verve. As she told me on the phone, she inherited an early passion for music from her mother, a professional musician with a specialty in Jewish folk songs who also worked as a folk DJ. Her debut CD release, Songwriter's Notebook, is currently receiving airplay on 260+ radio stations around the world. There's something about seeing a favorite performer in a house concert, up close and intimate, that has me clinging to my ownership of an old, beat-up, but still costly automobile.
We had rolled into New Bedford, Mass., for the annual Summerfest on Saturday morning, July 2nd, spit out of a twister. By Saturday, I shoulda€™ve been caught up on sleep, but struggled to find the energy for the game of musical chairs at Summerfest. Over the weekend, each of seven stages off the cobbled streets of the Whaling Museum district grew packed to overflowing. There was no mad dash for us for the first performance at the small canopied area at the National Park Garden Stage. That first act was a€?Introducing Liz Longley.a€? This proved to be a priority-changing event.
I also managed to squeeze in an on-the-spot interview at a surprisingly subdued side room at the nearby, bustling Celtic Coffeehouse. Her father was a a€?really gooda€? jazz musician who played saxophone and had his own band.
Exposure to chorus was minimal in grade school, but when she reached her early teens, she started singing with her dada€™s jazz group and continued until she was 18. Having begun writing on piano, Liz began performing with a friend, Sarah Zimmermann, who provided guitar backup.
Additionally, Liz and Sarah performed at fundraisers, in particular a€?Relay for Life,a€? held every year to raise money for cancer research. They also played professionally at local Pennsylvania folk landmarks Steel City (Phoenixville) and The Tin Angel (Philadelphia).
After high school, Berklee College of Music in Boston was the only college Liz applied to because it offered songwriting as a major. She still performs on piano when the opportunity presents itself, and thata€™s illustrated by two slow ballads on this CD where she uses her keyboard skills. Her upcoming shows dona€™t include anything in the New York metro area, but wea€™re hoping this article will change that. The photograph we found online for our a€?Radara€? July ad showed a drop-dead beautiful face, and we wondered if there was matching talent to back it up.
High school proved to be the seeding ground for this musical maelstrom, this force of nature. Your browser needs to have Javascript enabledin order to display this page correctly.Please activate it now then refresh this pageor Contact Us for further help.
We headed for another room in the High School where the concert was held and listened to them both for another hour.


The production is sheer perfection, showcasing Lynn's voice and melodies without going too far. She tours in over 150 concerts and workshops a year, singing contemporary folk and Jewish roots music in Hebrew, Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish. As a kid, Laura always loved the strong, poetic lyrics of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and others. It features songs about lost jobs, group home buddies, sudden deaths, ancient texts, notorious NYC canals and long-haul relationships. During the pot luck lunch before the concert and during the break, it gets even friendlier when the Blixt's two big, gentle dogs come 'round to see who'll give in and offer them a snack. Wednesday night, finish the July issue, then get two hours of sleep; Thursday, pedal-to-the-metal from NYC to Fall River, Mass. Newly appointed chair police at the main Custom House stage prevented attendees from saving seats for hours at a time.
Seats opened up after each act and the first attendees to dash to freshly vacated chairs near the front became winners. As usual, we arrived at the festival at about 9:00 am and the first show didna€™t begin until 11. Liz was scheduled to perform 10 days later on July 12 at the Living Room in New York Citya€™s East Village. From the very first notes, it was obvious that we were going to want to see and hear a lot more from this brilliant 23-year-old. I would not be jumping from tent to tent, looking for the best seats, hoping to find something near the front at the big Custom House tent. For her first eight years her family lived in West Chester, Pa., then they moved a little further west, to Downingtown. Her mother was an aspiring singer, but lacked the time and opportunity to pursue it as a career. Through her dad, shea€™d gotten exposure to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and they were her favorites, the ones she focused on.
Other events included the high schoola€™s talent show and the senior prom, with both girls performing in their prom dresses. Liz said that she entrusted major decisions in the studio to producer Glen Barrett and enlisted feedback from her parents to help her decide what, in the end, would be the right sound for her on each track. These include a€?Little White House,a€? seemingly a farewell to her childhood, and a€?Unraveling,a€? another farewell of sorts to her grandmother, suffering from Alzheimera€™s. Her dad told her, a€?If youa€™re going to learn to have a career as a musician, youa€™d better start now.a€? Actually, performing after college was a continuation of what shea€™d been doing since high school and during her four years at Berklee.
As an aspiring songwriter, long ago, compulsively and with very limited results, I tried to emulate Gordon Lightfoot.
Her voice is soft but enormously expressive, with the barest hint of a catch in her throat.
Again, she spun tale after tale, weaving her voice through songs with more hooks than a tackle box. I loaned him my copy of Night in a Strange Town and he promptly went out and bought two copies of the first CD of Lynn's that he could find, her previous album, Slightly Haunted, and gave me one. Then, with breathtaking suddenness it darted upward, taking the hollow in my chest along with it.
The chairs were empty and there were no chair police to prevent us from saving a couple of seats for the first act. Wea€™d see her then, of course, since we never miss WFUV DJ John Platta€™s monthly a€?On Your Radara€? series. Instead, I followed Liz from one stage to the next, seeking the best photos and videos of her that I could get (below). Her earliest memories involve driving around with her father in the family VW convertible with the top down and music blasting from the car stereo.
The lone cover, a€?People Get Ready,a€? demonstrates a command that allows her to take ownership of the song. While it did come up in our interview, her Facebook page states it more succinctly: a€?In high school, I was a marching band nerd.


Other giants to come south across that northern border and blow people away have included Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn and Sarah McLachlan. It's just her voice and her acoustic guitar with a bass in the background and just the right amount of echo added. All were exciting, but it was Lynn, who I'd never seen live before, that I was most eager to watch. Belatedly, I decided to run out to the front lobby where the CDs were being sold to get her latest, Night in a Strange Town. She's scheduled to play Nashville, Philadelphia, Winston Salem, North Carolina, San Louis Opisbo and Santa Barbara, California. As she states on her Facebook page: a€?I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell and Karla Bonoff. James Taylor, Karla Bonoff, Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan were among the names she cited.
I was surprised that she hadna€™t sought feedback from anyone at Berklee, but kept to the formula stated above. One is a version of Joni Mitchella€™s a€?Rivera€? in which Liz hits some high notes that Joni herself might not be able to handle anymore.
Her words show that she's seen those late afternoons with the long shadows that coat the loneliness with a wistful amber light. The guitar and mandolin set up a mantra-like rhythm and the pedal steel sighs in the background. We got to hear a bunch of great new songs and Lynn worked a sardonic brand of humor on the living room full of guests. Her back-up musicians on the album include some wonderfully familiar names: David Hamburger, Mindy Jostyn, George Wurzbach, Greg Anderson and others. But we didna€™t know her, so we figured it would be a good idea to get acquainted before seeing her at the Living Room. The first two use a full studio band, complete with drums, bass, lead guitar backup, pedal steel a€” the works. The second is Van Morrisona€™s a€?Moondance,a€? which gives Liz a chance to show off her jazz vocal skills. When I wasna€™t on the field, I was writing music (on piano & guitar) and playing shows. Every song, one after another, was movingly satisfying, filled with surprising melodic turns and articulate phrases.
When she mentioned that she'd gotten a feature spot in November in the main showcase at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference in the Poconos, we thought it would be a good idea to do a feature on her, sharing our fondness for her work with the others in attendance at NERFA. Some favorites who've appeared there include: Cheryl Wheeler, Cliff Eberhardt, Hugh Blumenfeld, Vance Gilbert, Lucy Kaplansky, and Richard Shindell. This included a a€?concert night,a€? wherein the school invited students and parents to come to a performance solely by Liz and Sarah. In contrast, her third album, the latest, Hot Loose Wire, completed right after graduation, is stripped down a€” just her, solo, with either guitar or piano a€” pretty much what we see in concert. It didn't hurt that she's also attractive, with a mantle of dark hair framing a striking face with eyes that seem to brood in their intensity. Enormously popular with Cabin-goers, Richard is booked for two shows on Sunday, January 16th. Theya€™d bring in a song and other students would dissect it, asking questions like why a word was used in a particular place. There were classes where songs by famous writers were analyzed, and Liz loved it all, soaking up every learning opportunity that came her way.
John Flynn is pencilled in for December and Pierce Pettis and Michael Smith are scheduled for the spring of 2000.



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