Content with following her own muse, the independent-minded singer/songwriter Lisa Cerbone has quietly built a strong body of work since the 90’s. Lisa, also a full-time mother of two and a former teacher, has always made a conscious effort to create music for the love of art and writing. In her new collection of songs, she continues this quest, while also balancing motherhood with her songwriting craft. Recorded when her children were at school, or asleep late at night; and written during the edges of her days, she has created another intimate and lovely recording.
Lisa’s fourth recording, We Were All Together (Little Scrubby/Ocean Music, 2008), is her newest work to date. A spare, hushed collection, We Were All Together, peels back layers to explore love, loss, and family bonds. Her sometimes melancholic, yet highly literate lyrics are buoyed by uplifting melodies and Lisa’s sweet, graceful vocals. Her acoustic finger-style guitar-playing reference older influences like Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Young; while the velvety textures and minimalist approach reference newer indie influences such as Maria Taylor and the Great Lake Swimmers. Lisa’s particular gift is the humanity and wisdom that belies the subtle nature of the songs, making the listening experience a rewarding one full of meaning.
In 2003, Lisa worked with musician and producer Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters) on her third release, Ordinary Days. From this experience, Lisa learned to shape a more authentic, organic musical landscape and to explore mood to better complement her delicate voice and poetic themes. On We Were All Together, the songs explore these ideas even further. All the musical and lyrical elements work sparingly to speak of those things that sometimes go unsaid but are frequently felt by all, bringing the listener in close. Since many of the songs were written after the loss of Lisa’s father, Lisa’s songs prove to be a more personal outing than those of the past, yet at the same time, continue to cover universal ground (“Tiny Patch of Earth”, “Change the Ending”). Still, there is also a whimsical quality found in songs inspired by her children (“Mia Noelle”, “Humming”, and “You Are So Loved”). These songs masterfully exemplify the redemptive nature of life she explores. Whether the songs are joyful, or melancholic, or anywhere in between, at the forefront of Lisa’s work is an attempt to hold onto fleeting moments with love and hope.
Adding to the beauty of the recording were some of Baltimore’s finest musicians. Frank Marchand III (The Thermals, Bob Mould) added his expertise on producing and engineering, Brian “Jonesy” Jones (Telesma) played upright and electric bass, Warren Roes (Almighty Senators) played electric guitar, and David Durst, a composer in his own right, added keyboards. Lisa played guitars, glockenspiel, keyboards, and percussion, which rounded out the luminous recording with her signature sound.
Along with Lisa’s work in the studio, Lisa has also toured France, Portugal, Canada, and the United States. She has earned two WAMMIES (DC area GRAMMIES) for best alternative female vocalist, and has had her music chosen to be on Network TV shows and movies. Her music has garnered wide critical praise in the states and in Europe from press and music lovers alike. She has also had the opportunity to perform with Ben Harper, The Cowboy Junkies, and Patty Griffin.
Lisa currently resides in rural Maryland with her husband and two children. She plans to tour Europe and the US in 2008 and continues crafting her songs of timeless beauty.
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