HOLD THAT TIGER Lissie

As her Catching A Tiger tour gets ready to restart for the new
year, the songstress still has the musical world by the tail.

 

BY
NANCY DUNHAM

 

If
you just zeroed in on Lissie’s performance at the last 2010 Lilith Fair date in
Washington, D.C., you might have thought she was
performing in front of an amphitheatre-size crowd, not on a side stage in front
of a few hundred. Forget that temperatures and humidity both hovered near triple
digits on that August day; Lissie and her band gave all out head thumping, hard
charging, guitar banging performances as they worked their way through a
30-minute set.

 

“This
is a nice crowd,” she said to the assembled group midway through her
performance. “We’re getting to evening now. I want to see some dancing. No
excuses.”

 

Although
Lissie only performed at one Lilith Fair event and was one of the least
well-known performers on the Lilith Tour – which included such household names
as Lilith founder Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, the Indigo Girls, and Grace
Potter – she was arguably one of the Washington show’s brightest lights.

 

Lucky
for the U.S.
she remembered to come home.

 

Ever
since June when her debut album Catching
a Tiger
was released in the U.K, her world has been full of sold-out shows,
musician jams and songwriting collaborations.

 

“Everything
is going so great. It’s really, really thrilling,” she said from the U.K. just
before her Lilith performance. “I came over here last winter and did some
shows in London.
They went well but there wasn’t much buzz. Now my shows are sold out, they play
me on the radio, there are posters of my face all over the city. Really good
things are happening.”

 

Tough
to imagine a year ago the Rock Island,
Illinois native had just released
her Americana EP Why You Runnin.
Although that EP was lush, set to an acoustic/rock/indie folk musical
background, the debut album is even richer and more emotive.

 

Credit
that to her ever-growing musical prowess plus her collaboration with the two
producers she worked with on this album that was released in the U.S.
in August  – Jacquire King and Bill
Reynolds, who also produced Lissie’s EP.

 

“Jacquire
insists on perfection in certain ways. I would sing and sing and sing and sing
until he thought he had everything he needed to work with. He wanted to push me
to learn and challenge me. He brings a total professional and credibility to
the project with his passion and how good he is at it,” she says noting
his multiple Grammy Awards. “Bill and I had been friends…and usually he liked
what I did enough that I would only sing once or twice. He said, ‘After you
sing it [a few times] you start losing the emotion’…Maybe there were a few
notes that could have been sung better, but the emotion is what he goes
for.”

 

It’s
easy to see how Lissie, as an artist, is something of a mix of those two
styles. She’s a perfectionist, writing new songs for the album even though she
already had more than 30 from which to choose. She’s also all about the
emotion, as evidenced by the clear passion she brings to her playing and
vocals.

 

“I
think sometimes even comes down to something like I love that song and I almost
think I have it but I haven’t done it quite right. That’s when I will put it
aside for the next album,” she says. “The truth, too, in talking
about it now is that I didn’t start out to make an album in a way I thought I
was being intentional and deliberate. I didn’t over think it. It worked
out.”

 

Lissie’s latest leg on the Catching A Tiger tour starts this weekend, on Jan 15, in Los Angeles. Tour dates at
her official website.

 

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