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Lisa Germano

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Lisa Germano is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and arranger from Mishawaka, Indiana.

After years playing violin as a session musician with the likes of John Mellencamp, Indigo Girls and Bob Dylan, Germano embarked on a solo career in 1991 with the understated but occasionally brilliant On the Way Down From the Moon Palace on her own label, which led to a deal with Capitol, who released her second album. Although Happiness was a massive step up in terms of confidence and songwriting, troubles at the label led to her buying back the rights. In 1994 4AD released a re-sequenced and remixed version of Happiness with a new sleeve and a few different tracks (including a gloomy version of the formerly scintillating ‘… Dresses’).

She turned out to be not just a great musician (she plays most of the instruments: piano, guitar, percussion and tape effects, as well as her trademark violin) and a wittily melancholy if kooky songwriter (‘I Love A Snot’, indeed), but a phenomenal arranger whose innovation and breadth of expression is comparable to PJ Harvey at her tape-mangling best.

As her style developed, so the music’s potential commercial appeal increased without compromising its uniqueness. Bright kaleidoscopes during an otherwise dark time in 4AD’s history, the following three albums, Geek the Girl, Excerpts from a Love Circus and Slide all won critical acclaim, but sadly failed to reach the wide audience they deserved; Germano was dropped in 1998, and announced her retirement from the music business.

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