the She Shells
Underground Music Cafe / Sunday July 24th, 11am Link to Venue
The Toms (Lisa, Linda Tennison and Em Anton)
Underground Music Cafe / Saturday August 20th, 7pm Link to Venue
2016 will be a musical year for Lisa Kane. Rehearsals for the new studio project are already under way.
Songs on the upcoming release are different from Lisa’s previous work. She is undoubtedly following her heart back to the edgier/electrified guitar riffs and hypnotic grooves that sparked her career.
The new material is a natural fit for both The Current and KFAI. From edgy pop melodies reminiscent of Missing Persons and Husker Du to back beat guitar riffs inspired by a lifelong love of Cowboy Junkies, Patty Larkin, Emmylou Harris & Spyboy and Jimmy Hendrix. On this recording, you’ll hear what you’ve always known; Lisa Kane dances to her own drummer and her drummer likes to rock!
While Lisa was away from the Twin Cities (2006-2015), she spent as much time writing short stories as she did playing guitar. Musically, she engineered and self produced a currently unreleased compilation. The few people who have heard this recording call it her “Nebraska” album. Lisa had held down a day job as a sexual assault advocate in a women’s shelter while she was away. After that she became the director of a nonprofit dedicated to reproductive justice and access to rural health care. Given this, the “Nebraska” reference makes sense.
In 2005, Lisa released Armstrong Avenue. It was a self produced recording she engineered on a Roland VS880. Local talents like Gabriella Sweet, Charlie Van Stee, Crystalline Ruby, Dan Rumsey and Karen Mueller lent a hand. The result was a well received compilation of songs still played on community radio and internet stations today.
In 2002, Lisa released Surroundings.
Tracks from this compilation stayed on KFAI’s rotation for 15 consecutive weeks. One, Mother Nature’s Pace, was featured on MPR’s Living on Earth. This album was nominated for Acoustic Album of the year with The Minnesota Music Academy as well. Randy Gildersleeve at GilderSound Studios engineered and co-produced Surroundings. Thea Ennen, Tim Lyles and Crystalline Ruby are a few of the many talented musicians who accompanied her.
In 2001 Lisa released Sooner than Later… This project was engineered by Terry Eason. It was the first and only time Lisa released a compilation of songs where she played solo. One woman, one voice, one guitar. It was a limited release, but quickly became a fan favorite.
Lisa’s debut album Old Strings & All was released in 1999. It was engineered and coproduced by Randy Gildersleeve at GilderSound. Kari Larson, Jay Cook and Tim Lyles accompanied her on this project. This album received a lot of attention on KFAI’s WomenFolk, KTNA (Telkeetna, AK) and KAXE. A few songs made their way to Twin Cities compilation CDs as well. Most notable are: Minnesota Homegrown and Voices in the Wilderness.
Lisa emerged on the Twin Cities scene in 1995 as a co-lead guitarist in the all female metal quartet (hair band) Zelpha Trippe. ZT, previously known as Two Real Eyes, recorded several cassette tapes with Brian Bart at Logic Studios.
There is no doubt Lisa’s time with Zelpha Trippe impacted her playing. ZT, was often referred to as the all girl version of RUSH.
The early years influenced Lisa’s live performances as well. ZT often shared stages with other female bands, No Man’s Land and Hester Mofet to name only a few (only because there were only a few back then to mention).
Playing with other women influenced Lisa’s wardrobe as well. Here she can be seen wearing an outfit loaned to her by ZT’s bass player, Wendy. She can’t remember who helped her with the makeup, but knows for a fact that her hair was actually this long.
Before ZT, Lisa played in a high school rock band called Fair Warming (named after a Van Halen song). FW had one concert to mention; Parent’s Nights. Those who attended agreed. Fair Warning should play country.
Lisa’s music can be found at:https://soundcloud.com/lisa-kane-344185105
My breech baby. A compilation of songs I refer to as the verse/chorus compilation or prose put to sound.
I don’t really know what prevented, or still prevents, me from releasing this disc. The pieces are all there – even the artwork. Dawn Yemma had once again volunteered her amazing talent and design – which I absolutely LOVE. Thanks again Dawn. YOU are an amazing friend and extremely talented person. You see light in the darkest places.
The cover comes from a photo of a Zimmy’s marquee promoting a solo gig I had. Zimmy’s was always a lot of fun. Linda and Bob were very good to me. I came in as a top three finalist at Zimmy’s, two different times, in their Dylan Days Songwriting Competition.
The first time I competed, I qualified with a song called Northland Girl. It came to me on the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s my take on who Dylan’s Northland Girl was and where she might be today. I took second place with this song. Then it turned out the first place winner couldn’t accept the prize; an opening slot for Maria Muldaur at the Hibbing High School. So, I was given the opportunity and I performed on the same stage Dylan was booed off of as a kid. I’ll attach a pic. Thankfully, I was warmly welcomed by the audience. I think I felt a touch of Dylan’s residual energy floating around as well.
I qualified in the top three at Dylan Day’s a second time. The song I performed was called Old Man Raven. I wrote this song during a late spring (aka Duluth’s mud season) cold snap. I went out early to check on the tender little starts in our greenhouse, bringing my backpacker along with the idea of singing the little sweeties a song (I was desperate for them to survive) and the melody for Old Man Raven appeared. I must have gone out right after our neighbor dumped some kind of kitchen-scrap concoction in her open air compost bin, because while I wrote my song a handsome flock (Murder of Crows?) swooped and cawed out in gratitude. I was equally grateful. I have always loved singing and playing Old Man Raven.
The engineering of this project did not come as easy as the songs. When I first moved to Duluth, I kept a couple dozen guitar students in St. Paul and commuted. Wonderfully generous folks like Gabriela Sweet, Mike Bruns, Barbara Spenader and Tom Roark let me crash on their couches. And, seeing how I was already in town, I decided to record this project at a studio in Minneapolis. I had a really nice Yari that the engineer was willing to trade for studio time. The tracks from the sessions were amazing. I flaked out a bit on the producer though and completely dropped off when I ran out of funds and guitars I could afford to offer. I’d also started grad school by then and was EXHAUSTED. Still, something kept gnawing at me, so between classes and a new part-time job in Duluth, I recorded several more songs in my basement using a Roland VS880. These recordings sounded almost as good as the studio sessions. The combined result was a compilation of songs I believed to be strong enough for print. Plus, the vocals turned out the way I’d hoped they would. I performed solo almost the whole time I lived in Duluth and had started putting more emphasis on melodies. Here’s a pic a solo gig in Two Harbors at an annual art fair.
I still can’t tell you why I didn’t release the album. It had artwork I loved, vocal tracks I liked, and two songs good enough to win songwriting competitions. And, I had contributions from local artist who added a lot seasoning. Pat Eliason, whom I’d met at Zimmy’s, played an amazing harmonica track on Margo’s Song. He was in the competition too and we become fast friends. Still are. Then there was Waabi Furo. I sold him a tenor guitar (Sadly, I sold all but two instruments from my collection to pay for grad school). While Waabi was testing out my tenor, I grabbed a guitar and offered up a jam that we later recorded and called Esther. Waabi, I still owe you a nice dinner. I haven’t forgotten. Last but not least, was Rachel Nelson. We were special guests at an Echos of Peace concert when we met. I’d already booked Homegrown and asked her to join me. It went so well that I asked her to sit in on a recording session. She said yes and brought a prose/ramble of mine to an incredibly new place. Rachel always does an amazing job.
So, even though I can’t get past my hesitation to release the latest album, it has been very nice to have this opportunity to explain to you the decade of dead Lisa Kane air. Well, not dead air, more like radio silence. There were quite a few noteworthy gigs with Thea Ennen that I’ll write about at a future time.
Okay, I’ll head over to SoundCloud now and load the songs that Rachel, Pat and Waabi contributed to. And, just for the heck of it, I’ll add one of me accompanying myself on tenor. Here’s my SoundCloud link: https://soundcloud.com/lisa-kane-344185105. I hope you will like what you hear.
All photo credits belong to Carrie Chomicz (except the tenor pic).
This year is off to an amazing start. We’re less than two weeks in and I’ve had the honor, pleasure, and priviledge of cowriting with Ms. Thea Ennen and Mr. Tim Lyles.
Both Tim and Thea have been extremely influential on my musical style, writing, all around approach to guitar playing, and life. I feel blessed–to say the least.
The songs are different from what I’d normally write, which is such a gift. And the point. Collaboration is truly an amazing process. I like it a lot. I feel like I’m stretching and reaching new places on guitar, vocals, and with song structures/formulas.
With Thea I’m learning to intentionally harmonize (some of you will know what I mean by this. Sometimes harmonies come naturally and give you shivers, other times, they are work and take concentration and intension). I’m accompanying Thea’s piano playing and alluring vocal melodies with a little bit of lead guitar and tenor. Sprinkles of flavor – here and there.
With Tim, we take song structures and chordal movements to a whole new level. In fact, my fingers and hands ache after sessions with him. I can’t tell you how wonderful this is to feel. Aches and all. Tim’s got that back on the beat guitar playing style that I absolutely cherish. And, how wonderful is it that Tim is the one musician who I’ve played with the longest in my life? I remember making a decision to buy a really nice acoustic over a decade ago and asking Tim to play it for me so I could hear it from the front and then decide. He made it sing and I still have it. And, he still makes it sing.
My goal over the next few months is to record demos of the songs Tim and I create and make them available on SoundCloud. Thea and Lisa songs will hopefully be compositions you can hear us play live at a venue near you. We just need to land a few gigs. Anyone have any recommendation of places we should/can play? Microbreweries and happy hours are hands down my first choice for venues right now.
As always, thanks for the amazing support you give. I’m in love with music and so grateful to have the chance to share my passion with y’all.
Blessing and best, Lisa
(photo credits can be found on Thea and Tim’s Facebook pages.)
Welcome to the new Lisa Kane page. I will be updating it soon with information about a few new projects I’m working on. My musical moments these past few months have been filled with old friends and a few new ones too. I’ll also add a link to a Soundcloud account so y’all can hear a little bit of what I was up to during my ten year hiatus. Expect to hear some different sounds, more electricity, grooves reminiscent of earlier days, and lyrics about living outside the Twin Cities.
Thanks for tuning in and I’m excited to see you soon.
(Photo by Carrie Chomicz, Nosara, Costa Rica, Solstice 2015)