MP3 Liz Carlisle - Big Dreams
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11 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Modern Country, COUNTRY: Country Folk
Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, Liz Carlisle paid her way through Harvard University in just about every way imaginable. "I took a snow shoveling job my freshman year and spent my first college Thanksgiving cleaning dorm room toilets,â she remembers.
Missoula knows Liz as a talented high school athlete and a dedicated volunteer. They remember when she appeared on The Today Show to share the inspiring story of her blind physics teacher. So, her hometown wasn't surprised when Liz graduated Summa cum Laude from Harvard. Nor were they surprised when she returned home with a finished album in hand.
From her earliest years, Liz remembers singing along with her father, who played acoustic guitar. She led the drum section in her high school marching band and sang soprano in choir. At age 17, Liz began taking guitar lessons from her father and brought her first used guitar with her to college. "That was probably the one thing that saved me from being homesick," she said. "I could take that guitar out and play 'Just To See You Smile' or 'Fire and Rain,' and feel like I was home somehow."
When Liz started writing her own songs, her father's folk music blended with the country music she'd always loved on the radio in Montana. She began working with producer Russell Wolff in Boston, adding additional influences and a strong musical underpinning to her impassioned stories.
When Liz began performing live in Boston as a sophomore in college, she simply won people's hearts with her genuineness, energy, and passion for human stories. Within a year, she was a familiar face on the local music scene, fast gaining national attention as well. Her first CD, Five Star Day, garnered considerable radio play and press attention from major media like the Boston Globe, Associated Press, Washington Post, and BBC. During her last year at Harvard, Liz attended classes, completed a senior thesis, and played over 100 shows. "It wasn't easy," Liz admits, "but I really believed in what I was doing."
After graduation, Liz left her books behind to pursue music full time. While continuing to perform acoustic shows, she got her first opportunity to open for the country artists who had inspired her since childhood. First it was a concert with Sugarland, then a show with The Wreckers - soon Liz was opening for LeAnn Rimes, Travis Tritt, Lonestar, Diamond Rio, Steve Holy, Miranda Lambert, and Hal Ketchum - in venues all over the country.
What you've got here is Liz's first Nashville record. She is releasing it less than a year after she turned in her last college paper. And what else could she call it, really?
CUT BY CUT (by Liz Carlisle):
Love I'm Leaving (Wolff)
Russell has a sneaky way of slipping a break-up song into a fun, up-tempo pop tune. I love performing this one, because I get away from the guitar and just dance around like crazy. I wanted to start the album with that energy.
Maybe in the Next Life (Carlisle/Wolff)
My mom and dad's wedding was the second time for both of them. They had me about a year later, and I grew up in the most loving home there ever was. I have so much respect for what they have made of their lives together.
Let Me Be The One (Carlisle/Wolff)
This song was a creative first for me. Usually when Russell and I write together, I bring him a couple verses and a chorus of something, and he helps me refine it and flesh it out. This time, Russell gave me all the music and a couple key lines and asked me to write the story. I think it reflects a lot of both of us. We are very direct, no-frills people. Good luck trying to catch me in heavy make-up! I've always felt very strongly that the most important things in life don't need to be dressed up: love is love. And if it works in the everyday, in the trenches of work and traffic and whatever else, it's the good stuff.
The One You Talk To (Carlisle/Wolff)
Man, do I love waltzes. And man, do I hate superficial dating relationships. This title pretty much sums it up for me - this is my idea of what a great partner is - the one you talk to. The one you can tell anything to.
Hey California (Carlisle/Wolff)
My brother lives in LA, so just for the record, I've got nothing against Californians. But there are a few who seem to give the place a bad name. Growing up in Missoula, MT, I saw firsthand how a community can be threatened by wealthy outsiders who price local families out of the housing market and out-muscle longtime local businesses. But you have to find some humor in everything, so I wrote a tongue-in-cheek song about it.
Love Ain't Enough (Carlisle)
Country wouldn't be country without brutally honest, sad, love songs.
Where Do We Go (Carlisle/Wolff)
This is Russell's pop handiwork again â my second go at writing a story from his music and chorus. We got the album title from a lyric in the bridge of this song - and it says a lot about who I am. Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles, whatever the outcome: I believe in Big Dreams - and the people who chase them.
I've had this song for a couple years now. I was in college when I wrote it. I had just watched the movie Friday Night Lights and I felt so inspired to write. I went racing down to a practice room in the basement of my dorm, still in my pajamas. I was midway through the bridge when the security guard knocked on the door and told me he had to lock the room. I begged him to let me finish the song and told him I'd lock the door when I Ieft. He let me.
Rest for a While (Carlisle/Wolff)
My dad plays guitar and sings, and I was raised on a lot of James Taylor. One thing I love about James' writing - he will often anchor songs in a feeling, rather than something more concrete - so the verses take you so many different places without leaving that feeling. This is a little more narrative, but it still jumps from the fatigue of a long drive to a relative's battle with cancer. I also learned fingerstyle guitar from dad, which I play on this track.
We went classic country with this in the studio, and I love it. That is exactly the spirit in which I wrote it.
When I get to this point on the record, I like to pretend that the show is over, the stage lights are dimmed, the drummer's gone - everything just looks sort of naked as the last bartender closes the place. As we're packing up, the piano player starts this song - and I sing my heart out for just that one bartender. The steel player isn't gone yet, and neither is the guy on upright bass, so they join in.
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