by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces
Open Spaces had the good fortune of recently catching a set in Toronto by Castlegar B.C. native Lisa Nicole. Lisa has a strong set of pipes which she aptly demonstrated on songs from her recent CD ‘Come Find Me’, and on well-chosen covers like Martina McBride’s ‘When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues and the Johnny Cash – June Carter duet ‘Jackson’ in which her guitarist assumed vocal duties for the Man in Black. This was her last show in Canada before heading to Nashville for a few dates and to do some song writing. She has already lined up such notable song writing partners as Bruce Wallace who co-wrote Dierks Bentley’s ‘Gonna Die Young’ and Dave Pahanish who co-wrote Keith Urban’s ‘Without You’. Speaking of Urban, Lisa made a bold move on the Aussie hunk that resulted in an impromptu duet.
“Yeah, on my last trip to Nashville I heard that Keith was doing a pop-up show,” she begins, calling in from a road stop in upstate New York. “I went to the venue and while I was waiting in line I signed a copy of my CD to him. I went to the concert and made my way to the front of the stage and gave him the CD and he said ‘Is that you? What do you want to sing?’ We ended up doing ‘We Were Us’ which is one of my favourite songs by him.”
The YouTube video of that performance has racked up a ton of views and the clip for her latest single ‘Mad About It’ is starting to gain momentum as well. The song and the video, in which Lisa displays her wrath toward an unfaithful lover, certainly confirms the old adage that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I asked Lisa whether she was more like the gun-totin’ female in that song or the positive person behind the upbeat ‘Something To Be Happy About’.
“I’m typically a very positive person” she says. “With Mad About It, I think there’s still some truth in there because if you get cheated on you’re bound to get pretty mad. Personally, I would deal with it in a positive way and probably go to the gym. That’s what I do when I get mad about things. Painting is also a great release and that’s kind of why I used the guy in the video as my canvas.”
The sparse banjo in ‘Come Find Me’ and twangy guitar in ‘Gonna Be Rich’ suggest that Lisa is a little more old school than pop/rock country. She says that even if she’s working with a more rock-oriented writer the results will come out leaning toward country. Regardless of who she is writing with, Lisa likes to put a spin on things when it comes to matters of the heart.
“I love writing from a unique perspective and I think it’s important to come up with something that is different than the usual run-of-the-mill love song. For me I really love to paint a picture or take a photo with my songs. That’s what I’m looking for in Nashville and that’s what collaboration is all about.”
Given her positive attitude and boldness, Lisa’s next record should be a doozy.
Other Country News: Open Spaces is sad to report the passing of Canadian country music legend Ronnie Prophet. The singer, musician and comedian, who charted 23 singles from 30 albums in a career that spanned 60 years, died on March 2 at age 80 following cardiac and kidney failure. The versatile Prophet was not only a country music singer, but also a gifted impressionist, an entertaining storyteller, and an emcee. In the early 1970s, he made his television debut on the long-running CBC series The Tommy Hunter Show. Eventually he had his own show, which ran until 1981. He next hosted Grand Old Country on the CTV network and the British series Ronnie Prophet Entertains. In 1975, Prophet made his recording debut when his first hit single “Sanctuary” made the Top 30 and was quickly followed by three more charted hits. Over the next 40 years he continued to appear on television and toured internationally throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand as well as with the USO in Europe.
Vancouver-based Shawn Austin has released a new single ‘Get Me There’ as a follow-up to his Top 10 single from last summer ‘Paradise Found’. Austin will be performing selected dates with North Carolina native Chris Lane this month, followed by an Ontario run with Alberta sibling duo High Valley.