June 19, 2017
Lisa Biales is jazz artist and a fine interpreter of songs from a number of different traditions. She has now returned with her ninth album titled The Beat Of My Heart.
Two years ago she came across a 78 rpm record recorded in 1947 by her mother, Alberta Roberts. “Crying Over You” begins with her mother singing the first verse and then Biales finishing the song. It is an emotional ride.
She transforms Eric Bibb’s gospel-tinged “Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down” into a subtle jazz classic. Carrie Newcomer’s “I Should Have Know Better” is a little more edgy. The old Nina Simone tune “Be My Husband” is a smoldering cover. The best song may be “Messin’ Around With The Blues,” which has a cadence and clarity that is at the heart of her approach.
Biales has developed into a secure artist, who is secure in who she is as a vocalist. The Beat Of My Heart is another building block in her legacy.
April 12, 2014
Belle Of The Blues
Big Song Music 2014
Review by David Bowling
Lisa Biales is about a decade into her recording career. She has one of those voices that are just God-given. It is made for the blues and is so good that many times one focus’ on it rather than the music. When she applies that voice to the blues you are in for a treat. Her new album, Belle Of The Blues, will be released March 4th.
Some blues are raw and are made for a smoky lounge late at night. Biales is very smooth and while she sings the blues, think more an up-scale club and a glass of wine.
She has assembled an eclectic group of songs that vary in tempo and message. A talented group of musicians provide the foundation for her vocals but never intrude or overwhelm. Of particular note is electric & acoustic guitarist/slide guitarist/ and dobro player Tommy Talton who shines on just about every track.
The title track leads off the album and establishes her ability to sing the blues. It is mid-tempo song that just percolates along with her voice in the forefront of the track. She then slows everything down with “Sad Sad Sunday,” which allows her give an emotional interpretation of the lyrics.
She has always had an affinity for the classic female blues artists that preceded her. She pays homage to Bessie Smith with “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” plus a tribute song written for Smith by music historian Dalton Roberts titled “Black And White Blues.” She also pays homage to Memphis Minnie with a duet with EG Knight on “In My Girlish Days.”
The songs are pure American blues as they present heartbreak, betrayal, humor, vulnerability, and tough women. Lisa Biales has recorded an album that will provide hours of listening enjoyment.