With a promising future ahead of her, Liz Longley is a humble individual, full of thank-yous and smiles, complete with a genuine, easy to get along with attitude. The "folk-pop-singer-songwriter" ("with hints of country and jazz," she explains laughing) is so easy going; talking with her is like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in years. In the midst of standard questions and answers ("How many songs have you written?" "Maybe 200?" "When did you write your first song?" "14."), we giggled and chatted like any other pair of 20-something girls, mixing in some girl-talk and stories.
Longley majored in songwriting at Berklee College of Music and "loved it!" Of the opportunities this created, she explains, "I really jumped on every [one]" and considered all of them "serious chances to grow and learn." She elaborates, "they [professors] give you a bag of tools. You still write from your heart, but if you need those tools, you have them."
There's no other way to describe where Longley's songs come from than her heart. Her songs share a level of honesty unlike any other artist. She explains, "I draw from life experiences and thankfully I've had a lot to process." "I hope [my] honesty really draws people to it, even though [the songs are] really specific."
This honesty could create potential problems for Longley, especially when the songs are less than loving. To this she responds, "it's worth the risk to write honestly. In my life I'm open about everything. There's no reason to hide." She also "loves that honesty allows people to connect to me on a deeper level. It's worth it!"
And connect they do. Longley played her acoustic set to a captivated audience who couldn't get enough. One fan in particular erupted with applause before she fully finished her cover of Van Morrison's "Moondance." Longley was spectacular, her hauntingly beautiful voice echoing through the venue. Playing staples like "When You've Got Trouble," "Unraveling," and "Free," (all from Hot Loose Wire) plus other favorites ("Out of My Head," "Bird on a Wire" and the duet "Peace of Mind" with Jesse Ruben), the audience was undoubtedly pleased with her set.
If you missed the show, fear not. You can taste a sample of the set with Hot Loose Wire. A stripped down, acoustic record, it illustrates how she currently performs. "I [laid] down those bare tracks and had enough for an album; that's how I’m playing them." What you get live is what you get on the album, and vice versa. But, perhaps only for now. Longley says she "definitely" wants more production on the next album, for which she has a "fever" for; "I’m getting album fever and I can't wait to make another!" Until we have a new album, we'll just have to catch Longley out on the road as she plans on "touring constantly."
Longley's name is followed by a hefty list of accolades (including the 2010 John Lennon Scholarship Winner), which should come as a surprise to no one. She. Is. Fantastic. See for yourself. Check her out on iTunes, lizlongley.com and her Facebook fan page. Liz Longley is a melodic gem of an artist who you cannot miss.
No adjective in all the world’s dictionaries and thesaurus’ can accurately describe Liz Longley’s voice. The recent grad from Boston’s Berklee College of Music is, simply put, phenomenal. Every ability, from her voice to her songwriting skills, is nothing short of genius. Longley’s 2010 release Hot Loose Wire is a necessity for any music fan. It’s impossible to choose just a few standout tracks; they are all so good. Longley has so much artistic depth; she covers everything from love and break-ups, growing up, Alzheimer’s disease, and Van Morrison. Oh, and who could forget? Cookie dough. Yes. Cookie dough.
Jesse Ruben's new release The Ones That Matter delivers more than music; his lyrics are pure poetry. Laced with longing, loss and a little bit of love, Ruben has an uncanny ability to capture universal feelings and emotions in individual ways. He is a story teller, taking a common theme and building a unique story with memorable characters. Unlike other artists, it is not always apparent who is singing the song. Is it Ruben, or a character of his imagination? Take the ballad "The Lives of Others." Beautifully somber, it follows the interwoven stories of once-lovers as they lose, find and again lose love. Ruben, as an individual is no longer a part of the story. Much like a narrator of a third-person novel, Ruben becomes omniscient and shapes his characters around the universal theme of loss. The same is true of "Bleeker and 6th." However, instead of dealing with lost love, "Bleeker" is all about finding it. Ruben, though, is removed. Again, he becomes the narrator and sings of a man and woman finding each other after meeting on a street corner.