Lisa Loeb, a Grammy nominated artist, is coming to Tillsonburg Thursday.
Jenny Berkel will open the Thursday, Feb. 16 show at Sammy Krenshaw's (51 Broadway) at 8 p.m., followed by Loeb, perhaps best known for her 1994 platinum-selling No. 1 hit Stay (I Missed You). General admission tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Tickets are available at www.OurEvent.ca, Sammy Krenshaw's, The Bell Store (Tillsonburg), and Grooves Records (London). It's an all-ages, licensed event.
A VIP experience is available with a 'meet and greet' dinner for $60 from 6-8 p.m.
"There will be chances to win tickets through Heart FM Woodstock and Free FM London (98.1)," said Ben Andress, from Blacktop Records in Tillsonburg, noting the event is sponsored by Mobile Mend Tillsonburg (5 Baldwin Street).
Andress produced a 7-inch vinyl record Loeb, which will be available at Feb. 16.
"We did a really cool limited edition vinyl of a single that I did for a movie, Helicopter Mom," said Loeb. "It's a song called 3-2-1 Let Go and on the flip side is one of my most popular kids records called The Disappointing Pancake. It's been on an illustrated kids book I did, as well as a summer camp songs record that I sell to send kids to summer camp.
"It's a 45 (rpm), so it's really cool. I'm very excited about it."
Loeb, who will be performing in Oakville and Ottawa after her Sammy Krenshaw's show, will sing some of her favourites, as well as fan favourites. She often uses Twitter to ask fans which songs they would like to hear.
"I think I always look at my set list from a fan's point of view. And also what I enjoy playing because I'm a music fan, and I think about what I like when I see musicians I've known for over 20 years. I play lots of songs from my first couple of records because people really hearing enjoy those - and I like playing them too. Songs people know that have been singles on the radio, the ones that people like to sing along to. And I always play newer songs from my newer records that are out, available, and recorded, as well as playing some songs that aren't even recorded yet. So it really varies from show to show.
"When I was a kid, it was a dream come true when musicians would play some of those tracks that were really important to me, but I didn't know if anyone else knew them very well."
Loeb went to many live concerts growing up in Dallas, Texas.
"It was my thing. I loved The Police, David Bowie, Hall and Oates, and... so many bands.
"I was always a huge music fan, always interested in what was going on behind the scenes as well. My friends and I used to be able to get back-stage passes by finding managers and we used to interview bands - find where they were staying and interview them. I had a radio show for three years when I was a kid in high school. I had ways to get promotional records for free. I was just always interested in it."
Looking back, she said a career in singing and songwriting made sense.
"As a listener, I was always interested in picking apart the lyrics, the mystery of the songs, and really listening deeply to the production, even when I was a really little kid. I would listen to some of the production elements and wonder how they got the fades at the end of the songs. Like the Wings, I thought, 'gosh, I wonder if they're copying, somehow not singing this live but they're making copies of it and recording.' Basically like copying and pasting, and creating loops at the end of the song or something. I had all these thoughts about music growing up.
"So it makes sense that I would be a musician because I was so entrenched in it and always choosing it as one of the main things in my life."
She started acting and singing at school, and when she was in high school she was playing local concerts, festivals, talent shows, and even recording some of her own music. But she wasn't dreaming of growing up to become a musician.
"Summer camp was a big part of it for me... really important to me growing up. Initially I thought it was the performance element but when I think about it, what we really loved was picking songs and changing the lyrics. Saturday Night Live was really popular when I was growing up and I think we were really influenced by that - an idea that you could make up funny things and change lyrics.
"Summer camp was also the first place that I performed live serious, heartfelt songs and cover songs. So it was a great place to perform. It was also a really social thing to be able to sit around, hang out, and play music with people. So I think that is where music really - performance and being a musician - felt like something..."
She remembers borrowing a guitar ("it was missing a string") while attending school, and writing music in her dorm room.
"Some of the other kids would stop by my room and listen to me play. They would ask for certain songs, and then they wanted recordings of those songs, so I would make little cassette tapes for them. It felt like, 'wow.' It felt like the real deal. There was this connection there - people enjoyed listening to the music and I liked writing it and singing it."
She formed a band with her friend Elizabeth Mitchell while at Brown University, graduated in 1990, and by 1994 had a song that was No. 1 on the radio.
"I had been making records all through college with my friend... and we had a really great following in college and in New York City. We went our own separate ways at a certain point. She (Mitchell) has a great band called Ida, and she also makes kids' music under the name of Elizabeth Mitchell."
Loeb started recording her own songs in New York, got one of them (Stay - I Missed You) into a movie soundtrack (Reality Bites), and on the radio, and 'the rest is history.'
She released her debut album Tails in 1995, followed by Firecracker in 1997, and both soon reached Gold certification. Her career also branched in other directions.
"I got to experience having huge hits on the radio, which is awesome, and I got to glide into just being a working musician, which is pretty great to be able to continue playing concerts and theatres all over the world, making records, and exploring different things."
Loeb started her own line of eyewear in 2010, she has had a couple of TV shows, she makes music for TV and film, and released music for children and 'grownups.'
"There's so many things I'm focused on... there's so many things on the list. It's nice to be able to have that freedom. I think in the 90s when I started I had so many different interests but it wasn't considered 'focused.' But now I think it's more acceptable and expected from musicians and other people that you would have all different kinds of projects that you're involved in. Nobody blinks an eye if you do philanthropic work, different kinds of music and work on different kinds of projects. I think because it's so much more affordable and easy to record now... rather than in studios with real tape. Everything was more expensive and time consuming. Now we get to pop into a studio and record in digital format, and it's so much easier that you're able to do more projects, more quickly."
Although it's easier for young musicians to make music, she said it's important to pay attention to the 'craft' of it, and honing their talent.
Loeb wrote or co-wrote all of her songs, with more collaborating in the mid 2000s.
"I had a couple opportunities to do some co-writing, one on a trip to Cuba. I got to write a song with Burt Bacharach. In those collaborations it wasn't for a particular album, and I thought, 'wow, it's really interesting to work with other people,' to hear what they have to say and hear what they have to say about what you're doing and your ideas. It's just a nice way to connect with people. Writing by yourself can be pretty... solitary. Sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes you ignore the ideas that you have, and other people sometimes see the things that you don't see. So you get a lot of ideas when you're working off someone else's mind and ideas."
Loeb, who has a brother-in-law living in Ottawa (his father Wilbert Keon is a former heart surgeon and Senator in Ottawa), and friends in Oakville, enjoys her trips north to Canada.
"I love playing in Canada. Generally, it seems like my fans up there are great listeners and have a really good sense of humor and a good heart. And that's what I need in a good audience."
Loeb is currently working on an adult record, as well as another children's record for Amazon.
"I'm making all the music for an animated series called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It's being produced up in Canada, but it will be released on Amazon as well. There's just a bunch of projects going on, but those are a few of the music ones I'm focusing on right now.
"And then I have an eyewear line that I'm continuing with, always having new frames coming out."
Loeb's new album, Feel What U Feel, is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/feelwhatufeel), a followup to her third children's album, and her first original for Amazon Music released last year, 'Nursery Rhyme Parade!'
Feel What U Feel features guest appearances from actor and musician friends, including Ed Helms (The Hangover) playing the banjo on Wanna Do Day; Craig Robinson (The Office) on the title track; Renee Stahl Dektor (of Renee & Jeremy), and Kyler England (The Rescues).
It was inspired by Loeb's childhood memories and her experiences as a parent. The collection of 12 songs 'blur the lines of traditional children's music to create an album that can be enjoyed by both kids and parents alike.' Additionally, a video including various songs from the album will be released later this year.
"It's really family friendly," said Loeb. "I think a lot of people, if they didn't know it was for kids, they wouldn't know that it was geared toward kids. The music is all up to par with just regular music.
"I think it's important to have songs like that, that everyone can listen to and have good melodies, and seem to talk about things like respect and can be encouraging to people. My kids listen to a lot of pop music, so I'm really focused on 'kids just like regular music.' People just like to hear music with good melodies, that have a good feeling. My kids remind me of that because that's the kind of music they love the most."