Reviews for Lisa Bigwood
AMG EXPERT REVIEW:
Lisa Bigwood is an engaging and impressive singer songwriter. She speaks to a broad streak of individuality with her confident, discerning and probing songs. Determinedly, she trudges through the imperfect world, encountering pitfalls and sharing her soul, Her playing on the Resophonic guitar is supportive and economic, sometimes offering apt blues changes. A bit of fiddle and banjo add more dressing to the varied and artful peace in her songs.
Tom Shulte writes for: http://www.detroitmusic.com/outsight/
Album Title: Like No One Else
AMG Rating: 4 1/2 stars
October 3rd., 1997
Label: CEG (47868)
Album: Like no One Else
Label: CEG (49878)
Producer: Dick Weissman and Robert A. Case
What you should know!
What you should know: Lisa Bigwood is a musical purist. She thrives on the music of our forefathers. The music that came from the mountains and from the farm. She's been playin' and singin' this music she loves for a while now, but has only begun to enter the national spotlight in the past few years via her performances at music festivals such as Telluride, Kerryville, the "Merlefest" and many others. The beauty to Lisa Bigwood's music is her attention to history, but she's not afraid to bring modern elements into her sound. It's plain and simple. Lisa Bigwood's music is the real deal. The folks at CEG have placed two tracks on Totallyadult Tune up#24. One from each of the two albums listed above.
Suggested Songs: "Backwoods Woman" (from Like no One Else): "Woodland Band" (from Woodland).
Contact: Robert Case 719.632.0227
January 20 – February 2, 1997
Lisa Bigwood, Woodland
Producer: Dick Weissman
Top Cuts: "Saturday Night," "Mama’s Shoes," "No Shame."
Summary: The rustic acoustic based album moves from soulful attitude ("Backwoods Woman") to plaintive folk harmonies ("Carolina") and campfire instrumentals ("Making Jam"), but Bigwood’s sedate style makes it all work together. Also effective is the wry "Livin’ On A Budget," which features some cool jazzy inflections. Bigwood is an often commanding vocalist with a deep, sultry voice who has put together a project that isn’t bound for chart contention as it slowly runs out of steam over the thirteen tracks, but this is a welcome and pleasant addition to my collection. – Steven P. Wheeler
Music Connection July 22 – August 4, 1996
Disc Reviews: Lisa Bigwood
Like No One Else
Producer: Dick Weissman
Top Cuts: "Backwoods Woman," "Livin’ On A Budget"
Summary: This low-key acoustic-based artist has rebounded from last year’s Like No One Else with this eleven-song collection, but like her previous release, she fails to carry the spark throughout the entire recording. In fact, Like No One Else and Woodland would have made one strong album, but instead we have 24 tracks spread over two albums. The talent is there, but Bigwood would be well advised to take more time and make the one album that could help bolster her career. My fingers are still crossed for this often compelling artist. – Steven P. Wheeler
Review: CROSSROADS November/December 1996 REVIEWS
LISA BIGWOOD – Like No One Else
Listening to Lisa Bigwood, one gets the sense that the music she’s creating is an insistent force that she could no more hold back than a passerby could resist listening. Singing contemporary songs in a timeless folk-country style with a deep rich voice, she visits moments of pain and aspiration with such precision and clarity that they can only be deeply rooted in personal experience. Although her voice and style is as deep and woody as a Tennessee holler, Bigwood hails from Rochester, New York, and her live shows and album promotion has tended to focus on the Northeast. Most of the cuts on this debut release reflect judicious arrangement restraint, emphasizing an acoustic, folksy sound, guitar and subdued flat picking guitar, bass, fiddle, mandolin, occasional pedal steel, slide guitar and banjo backdrops. "Livin’ on a Budget," is the one delightfully jazzy exception.
Magazine: Dirty Linen
Lisa Bigwood - Like No One Else
"This promising debut from songwriter Lisa Bigwood plays upon the themes of darkness and loss a little too much for its own good. Superbly produced by Dick Weissman (who adds guitar and banjo). Bigwood’s blues/old time country sound works well within the context of her lyrics and voice, but the stark sameness of most of the tracks ultimately distracts from the recording. Enough going on to make it worthwhile to check out, but probably best if taken in smaller doses." (Jle)
Vol. 26, No.1,
April 26, 1996
Lisa Bigwood is all about surviving and healing. She not only speaks of it in her music, she lives it in her daily life.
Having escaped a verbally and physically abusive marriage and broken out on her own with her two daughters, Bigwood's music relates pain and regret with the strength to overcome. Although her music can
best be classified as folk-country, make no mistake: this lady can sing the blues.
Her music appears to be an outlet for years of frustration once bottled up inside her and finally set free. On Like No One Else, her debut album on CEG Records, the part-time nurse sings of the pain of abusive and
loveless relationships in "Seems Like Another Life," "Livin' On A Budget" and "Love's Not Made." And she sings of wanting to escape and wondering where her life is headed in songs such as "I Wish I Knew," "Carolina" and "Waltz With Me Joe."
Like the emotions welled up inside of her, Bigwood is ready to burst onto the scene. With a strong performance April 25 at Kudzu's in Memphis during Crossroads '96, she could do just that.
"That could be a very big tool," says CEG President Robert Case. "The big thing is maybe getting a major label to look at her. The exposure could take her to the next level. This is the icing on the cake. A year ago
nobody knew who she was, and now she was just voted No. 1 Entertainer in her area by Rochester (N.Y.) Chronicle."
While Crossroads could be the breaking event for the singer, Bigwood is no stranger to showcases. The Rochester, N.Y. native was one of 30 artists selected from a field of 800 to perform at the Kerrville Folk
Festival in Texas last year. And she was selected from a group of about 500 to showcase her talents at the 1995 Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.
"She did those things and did some shows around her hometown," Case explains. "In September, she began her second album, Woodland, which we finished in October and is tentatively scheduled to be released in
In addition, she played at NACA East Coast Region Showcase last month in Albany, N.Y., and is looking to book more college dates this year. Case says he is currently in negotiation with colleges in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and the New England Region.
"We've been getting wonderful success up there," Case says, "and I've geared my efforts toward that region because sales are doing well. She hasn't gone anywhere else in the country to play colleges, but she has
played festivals. That's been another outlet to expose her.
"We're just playing it by ear," he continues. "One of the things we're planning for the fall is to try to get her into the Heart of America Conference Showcase."
Case has been in the music industry about eight years. He earned a degree from the Colorado Art Institute and began promoting bands. He started in the business to serve as a management function with Case
Entertainment Group Inc., but decided in 1993 to establish CEG Records.
Not only is Case hoping to expose Bigwood to audiences in the United States, he is also working on deals to expand her fan base internationally.
"There are some things we are doing outside the United States," Case explains. "We are trying to do some deals in Asia, which could be profitable. There are three or four countries I want to take her product into and distribute it over there."
And if her product does well, an international tour might follow close behind.
"Possibly," Case says. "If we can get someone over there who's interested in distributing it and manufacturing it, we've talked about taking her over there and touring."
But for now, the concentration will be in the States. Case, who is a member of NACA, NARM, NARD and NARAS, says it is hard to break an artist.
"It's very difficult." he admits. "If you don't get a lot of airplay, it's hard to sell records. You have to go to the retailer and have her do in-stores and start the buzz that way."
People seem to be listening. Her record release party at Milestones drew more then 500 fans - the largest turnout ever at the Rochester club. She has also played at clubs such as McGinnity's, Java Joe's, the Cactus Cafe in Brighton, N.Y., and Buffalo's Left Bank Cafe, among others. Case submitted Bigwood's material to the Grammy association, who included her on the Grammy's nomination list.
"We are looking at doing a lot more projects with her," Case notes, "so I'm hoping some good things happen with this release. I'm hoping that we'll get another Grammy nomination, and this time we'll go and win the
Case says that although Bigwood will stick to her roots and true feelings, the second album will be slightly more upbeat and mainstream.
"We're hoping that we just keep moving ahead. I just hope the people in Memphis like her, and we continue to be more successful," he adds. "My company as a whole has done a lot of good things for her, and I hope we can get her the exposure she needs."
Vol. 40 #3 (November-December 1995)
LISA BIGWOOD, Like No One Else
Her deep voice recalls Tom Walt's, yet her tunes are designed around the "one song-one idea" concept. The Bigwood guitar is even and traditional, the themes varied and interesting (persistence of love, difficulties of geographic change). Best line, about the blues: "You don’t learn it in music school you scrape it off your shoes." (LP)