This Friday, June 27, at Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park, a free concert will take place as part of the Edensong series. The artists performing that night will be Lisa Biales, Neil Jacobs, Noah Wotherspoon & Jessi Bair, The Tillers and Ricky Nye. The show starts at 8 pm and ends at 10 pm—and make sure you get there in time, because Lisa Biales will be opening the show with a solo performance. Lisa recently released her seventh CD, Just Like Honey, and recently I had a chance to chat with her about her new CD, touring, and her recent appearance in a Francis Ford Coppola film.
I’m making sure to tell everyone to show up on time for the concert, because you’re kicking it off.
I’m kicking it off, and I’m asking Ricky Nye, who’s closing the show, to sit in with me.
Tell me about your new album Just Like Honey. Is it in any way a departure from your previous work?
It is. It’s a blues album, and it’s the first time I’ve ever had a producer.
And that is…
E.G. Kight from Georgia.
How did you end up choosing her?
We chose each other. We met in September of last year, and we instantly loved each other’s music. She asked me about a song, and she said, do you have that one recorded, and I didn’t, and she told me I should record it. Well, I had recorded six albums and it’s such an arduous task. She said have a producer, that way you don’t have such a hard time.
So is it a less arduous task when you have a producer?
It was for me. She helped me decide the songs. She said, don’t worry about playing, although I play guitar on the record. I didn’t have to make any phone calls. I just showed up and started singing.
Did you know who the other musicians would before you showed up?
I had no idea.
Does the record sound different to you?
It sounds more polished, more professional, a really universal sound. The players did a fantastic job. We were able to explore the different colors of the blues.
How do people buy it?
Go to cdbaby.com or go to my website, lisabiales.com
A song off your first album, Playing With Angels, went to #1 in 2008 on the Australian Indie Radio Charts. How does something like that happen?
I have no idea. I’ve been sending my albums to radio for years, and it was kind of one of those things; it ended up on the charts for an entire month.
You recently acted in Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt Now And Sunrise; I’m curious about how that happened as well…
I was in the right place at the right time. I met Francis Ford Coppola in Carolina. I was staying at Duke University for a fitness and health retreat, and he happened to be there while I was there. I played my guitar, and about eight or nine months later I got a call from his assistant, would I take this call from Francis Ford Coppola. He said I have this movie going on, would you be interested…
What kind of role did you play in the film? Were you a killer, or were you killed?
No, nothing terrible happens to me.
Have you seen the movie yet?
I have; we went to Toronto and saw it.
Were you scared?
No, because I knew what was going on.
Any other acting plans in the near future?
No plans, but my dream is to sing in an animated film.
How did you end up using cello? It sounds so natural with your music, but on the other hand it’s rare in this kind of setting…
Michael Ronstadt is the cellist. He opened up a show, and like many times I’ll invite other musicians to do a couple songs with me. It worked out so well, he was able to play the rest of the evening with me. We ended up recording that entire trio album, Closet Hippie.
I ask everyone I interview for the website what their favorite concert ever was. What was yours?
I would have to say it was Guy Davis, a blues guitar man. He was mesmerizing, and I met him, and he’s wonderful.
Where did the concert take place?
We do concerts at my house. We had seen him on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, and I liked what I did, so I contacted him on Facebook and we booked the show and I told him how inspiring it was being able to see him up close and personal with seventy people.