MP3 Lori Lieberman - Monterey
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10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: like Joni
"It's just a superb disk in every way- the vocals, the arrangements, the songs-- Lori's done it again!"
Billboard Magazine: "One of the finest voices of any female vocalist on the scene today".
New York Times: "Lori Lieberman possesses one of the most attractive and unusual voices in music..."
Music's best kept secret, Lori Lieberman has remained in the shadows of the spotlight since the early seventies, quietly gleaning the respect of an industry and a devoted base of fans. As the one responsible for such hits as "Killing Me Softly With His Song" she consistently recorded album after album for Capitol Records, RCA, EMI, Pope Music, and currently, Drive On Records.
Throughout the years of ever-changing styles and fads, one thing has remained constant in Lieberman's music-- her honest and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with her haunting, and beautiful melodies, always cutting right through to the heart of the listener.
Born in California, but raised in Switzerland, Lieberman felt the isolation and loneliness of growing up a foreigner early on, and as a young girl, turned to her writing as a form of connection, expressing her feelings in journals and in songs. In the much lauded Pope Music recording, "Home Of Whispers", she writes:
" I ride my bike at nine years old through even streets and fields of corn
My mother waits, the sun goes down
With half my heart, the wheels go round...
I ride beside the swollen stream, where there is no reflection of me
And I know I'm safe at last
Far from my home of whispers...."
One of three sisters, and the daughter of a chemical engineer and a homemaker, Lieberman's earliest influences were her parents, singing their favorite songs from the forties during many an endless drive in the front seat of the car--- Sinatra, Bobby Short, Dinah Washington. But it was her older sister, Susan, who, from her college in Maine, sent Lieberman her greatest and most life-changing gift of all, then current music from the states: Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, Jefferson Airplane, Tom Rush. Their music and sensibilities propelled Lieberman on a course that felt tangible and accessible for the first time, and inspired her writing even more.
Landing her first record deal with Capitol Records, amongst the collection of songs was a simple folk song, detailing Lieberman's experience of sitting in the back of a nightclub, transfixed by the musician onstage who seemed to sing right through her. The album, simply titled, "Lori Lieberman", garnered both critical and audience appeal, and as it crept up the charts, it was Roberta Flack who heard Lieberman's version featured on an American Airlines music channel. She immediately contacted her producer, Joel Dorn, and recorded the now classic, Grammy award winning song,"Killing Me Softly".
Working alongside her producers, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, Lieberman went on to record four more albums ("Becoming", "A Piece Of Time", "Straw Colored Girl", and "The Best Of Lori Lieberman"), touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. It was, however, on a little known New York based record label, Millennium, a subsidiary of RCA, where Lieberman was most encouraged to step away from the mainstream. Under Jimmy Ienner's guidance, she wrote one of her most candid collections of songs, entitled, "Letting Go". There, disillusioned, and caught up in the rat race of the city, she wrote about auditioning for a Burger King commercial:
" "Come on", I said, "you can do it after all--
You've got records in the stores and you've sung at Albert Hall
Well, okay, so you never got that big hit single
But you can try out for a Burger King jingle..." "
As the styles of the music industry changed from James Taylor to disco, Lieberman retreated from the spotlight to enjoy a quiet life, becoming the mother of three children, and living a settled country existence in the hills of California. For many years, her music took a back seat to her busy day to day life, and it wasn't to come forward again, until a neighbor happened to recognize her as someone he had listened to and admired. Joseph Cali, an actor and producer, coaxed a reluctant Lieberman out of the shadows, and got her singing again. In the time spent away from the music business, Cali was surprised to see that she had continued writing, consistently putting her thoughts and music, like secrets, in her treasure trove. Together they released her first of three cd's on the Pope Music label.
"A Thousand Dreams", marked Lieberman's return to the music industry. A two mic live recording, engineered by Mark Levinson of Red Rose Music, her performance garnered her critical acclaim, and was nominated for The Golden Note Award, for the best original recording of the year. The Ceatured performances by Amanda McBroom, Paulinho da Costa, Chuck Delmonico, The Gay Men's Chorus Of Los Angeles, and Dean Parks, to name a few. Followed by two more cd's on the Pope Music Label, ("Home Of Whispers", and "Gone Is The Girl"), Lieberman established herself amongst a devoted following in the audiofile community, and re-united herself with her large fan base once again.
Once again, Lieberman turned to performing, headlining "An Evening With Lori Lieberman at the Smother's Theatre to sold out crowds in two consecutive years, the featured artist at WFMT's Midnight Special with Rich Warren in Chicago, extensive airplay on John Platt's WFUV, and heralded by Christine Lavin on her website, recommending her recordings and featuring her on "The Stealth Recordings".
"Monterey", her recent CD release, holds a particular importance for Lieberman, the artist. She not only composed the songs, but plays the piano, the guitars, and co-arranged the string quartet on the song , "Hallie". With Joseph Cali engineering, together they've produced her finest work to date. Enlisting the help of such superior musicians as Greg Liesz, John Leftwich, Stefanie Fife, Timothy Drury, each song is a rare gem. Exploring themes of family abuse as in the heartbreaking song, "Hallie", about a sister who flees a damaged home, she writes,
"She was everything to me
A place for secrets, a place for dreams
Somewhere safe, she was somewhere safe you could go....
Well I don't dream much anymore
For fear or boredom, I'm not sure
Is she calling me, will today be the day?"
In "The Letter", Lieberman writes of a child's letter found in a time capsule somewhere in the future...it is both a prayer and a plea for a better world following the events of 9/11:
" This was America
This was my home
Where the eagle flew again and soared above our country's fallen stones
This is the way it was
The tears and the rage
This was America
Made us older, older than our age...."
Whether driving in your car or curled up in front of the stereo, "Monterey" will reward the listener with deep imagery, colorful arrangements and heartfelt lyrics. The sound quality is stellar, creating the sense that Lori and her musicians are in the room with you playing live, time and time again.
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