Sittin’ In With
By Robert Putignano
Oct 26, 2012
Lisa Mann resides in Portland, Oregon, and has been a mainstay of the Pacific Northwest music scene for several years. She was inducted into the Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2011 she and her Really Good Band represented the CBA at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis where they were semifinalists. Mann plays bass, sings, contributed nine tracks and covered four tunes on her latest CD, Satisfied. Lisa also produced this fine (and diverse) disc. Her solid band is made up with Jeff Knudson’s guitar, Michael Ballash’s drumming, and Brian Harris’ keys. Fellow Northwesterner Lloyd Jones also makes an appearance adding his distinctive voice and guitar.
I caught up with Mann not long after she released her second CD.
Robert Putignano for BluesWax: Are you doing alright, Lisa?
Lisa Mann: I am.
BW: Satisfied is your second release?
LM: Yes, but I’ve done a few other releases before that were compilations. Plus I write stuff that’s all over the map that I’ve released locally here in the Northwest, too. I’ve recently decided to narrow things down and market to the blues and blues-rock. That’s when things started to change and took off for me.
BW: I’d say! Before hearing Satisfied I hadn’t heard of you, but one of our WFDU DJs [EB Fisher] mentioned you and I then saw your CD on the Blues Revue list for potential review and I got it from Art Tipaldi [Blues Revue editor]. I was pleasantly surprised. Chip Eagle [Blues Revue and BluesWax publisher] also had previously mentioned your name, so I asked him to put us in touch, and very quickly – you called me!
LM: I actually was at a diner in Jersey when Chip called me, can you believe it? I am originally from West Virginia, so I have some redneck roots. I was raised in a Jewish family, we had a bumper sticker in West Virginia that said: “Shalom You All.” There’s actually a pretty big Jewish community there. My folks broke up and I moved out here with my mom so I pretty much grew up in the Northwest. I now consider myself a “Webfoot.”
BW: A Webfoot?
LM: They call us “Webfoots,” like a duck, because it’s raining here all the time.
BW: Okay, but getting to your latest CD, it’s really a good one.
LM: Well, thank you!
BW: Has this band been together for a while?
LM: Yeah! We’ve been doing this for a while with this configuration, Brian Harris on keyboards, Michael Ballash on drums, and Jeff Knudson (who has been with me for the whole time) on guitar. Prior to this band we had a different keyboard player and drummer who ran off to run with the Insomniacs band for Delta Groove. I was tied down for a while taking care of my mom, but now I’m free to travel a bit more and get out to do some festival gigs around the country.
BW: But, like Lloyd Jones (who appears on your record), you keep pretty busy regionally?
LM: Exactly. Lloyd and I run into each other often. That’s how that duet song with Lloyd Jones, “Always Nobody,” unfolded. It’s based on some hilarious things I heard him say. He likes to tell stories like when he travels overseas where there he attracts larger audiences, but when he returns back home, no one shows up. So I thought that would make for a great song. So a year later I run into Lloyd again and he was telling me that he would tell people to come to his gigs because there’s plenty of parking! So with that comment I finished the song. If your WFDU radio listeners and readers at BluesWax go to www.CDBaby.com, they can download “Always Nobody” for free. But hurry as it will only be there for another month or so.
BW: And people can find out more about Lisa at www.LisaMannMusic.com, too.
(for the rest of the interview, please visit: http://bluesrevue.com/2012/10/the-ezine-lisa-mann-10-26-12/#)