Signal to Noise...

New Single: Lights 

It's been a lonnnng time since I've released any new music, so I'm pretty excited to finish recording this tune. I suppose a pandemic can be good for something?

The song is called "Lights." Here's a bit of the backstory, in case you're interested...

When my mom was nearing the end of her time here on Earth, she started to see people who had already passed- those she loved and who were so important to her. It started about 10 months or so before she died. She'd wake up from a snooze in her recliner and just start laughing; when I'd ask what was so funny, she'd say, "Your father's outside looking for the dog, but he's right there!" (pointing to the floor where the dog was, with a big smile). My father had died three years prior, and we hadn't had a family dog in about fifteen years, so it was a little weird to hear her say all this. She would suddenly realize the same thing, and I'd say, "It's okay, Mom. You were still dreaming."

This happened with increasing frequency over the summer & into the fall, and by the time she was in hospice (at home) in early December, folks were coming through the room on a daily basis. In one instance, a bunch of us were gathered around the bed and she said, "Elizabeth, aren't you going to get my mother a chair? She's been standing there all morning!" She pointed to the space behind me. For the record, my grandmother (Ada Pearl) died in 1975, but I brought a chair from the kitchen just in case. My mother looked satisfied, and added, "I think she'd like a nice cup of tea."

My father was a constant visitor. Not surprising, as they'd been happily married for 63 years, taking care of one another through thick & thin. They'd met when they were 16 & 17, working together at the "Bridge Tables" in Lowell, MA. I'm sure the company had an actual name, but I'd only ever heard it referred to by what they made: tables used in the game of Bridge. Shortly after they met, my dad joined the Navy (having lied about his age, as so many young men did at the time) and went off to fight in WWII.

When he returned to Lowell after the war, he spotted my mother at the Commodore Ballroom one night, dancing with another guy. The Commodore had a beautiful dance floor, and many of the greats played there in the Swing Era- Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, among others. (it stayed open until 1982 and many prominent rock acts came through later, but let's stick to the story). Dad asked to cut in, and thus began their 63-year journey together. They were the couple who cleared the dance floor at every wedding, doing the Jitterbug to Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" with such exceptional grace & a fluidity of motion that somehow escaped my DNA. 

As a Navy man, if my father told us to be ready to go at 6am, we knew damned well we'd better be ready at 5:50. So, when my mother stated one morning in early December that "Daddy's got everything set for the 17th," we didn't know exactly what that meant but we knew we'd better be ready for something.

December 17th came, and she slept soundly all day and into the night. Finally around 11:30pm, she opened her eyes, looked at me, and asked the date. My sister and I exchanged a look, I took a deep breath, and told her it was the 17th... "Okay." She nodded off to sleep again. Nothing happened that night, or for the rest of December. Mom died on January 7... That's 1-7... Maybe the numbers got muddled in translation, but I guess Dad probably did have everything set.

Who knows what it all means? Maybe changes in brain chemistry caused my mom to see things that weren't there? Maybe they really were there, but only visible to her? Of course we can't know the answers, and frankly it doesn't matter to me. What I do know is that, at a time that must've felt so stressful and scary for her, my mom was comforted every time she "saw" her loved ones there with her. So whether they were real or imagined did not matter. The light of their love will carry us home.

I hope you like the tune. It's available for download on the MUSIC page. Stay well, my friends!

Update- March 16, 2020 

As everyone knows... COVID-19 is here in the U.S. and spreading fast. 

We KNOW this thing will end at some point, but it's going to be a while. If we all work together, we can do this. 

I will be remembering which venues, businesses, and individuals took it seriously and did their best for the community at large, and which were willing to put their customers, audiences, friends, family, and all our front line hospital & medical workers at risk. I hope you will too. 

Live performance is a big chunk of my income and the next few months are not going to be ideal, but I'll figure something out because the people who take time out of their day to come to one of my shows mean WAY more to me than money. 

I'm looking into doing some online shows to help folks beat the boredom. :) I'll keep you posted as soon as something is set up. In the meantime, be safe, stay healthy, and STAY HOME so we can get back to normal soon.

All the best to you & yours. -Elizabeth

Awakening Sound 

Throughout 2019 and into this new year, I've had the good fortune of working on a ton of new music with some really talented local artists. My humble project studio is called Awakening Sound. (I thought about calling it Awakening Sound Studios but the abbreviation for that would be A.S.S. and that just didn't seem like a good idea.)

At the moment, I'm currently in the middle of several projects:

SpyTones - ridiculously cool instrumental surf rock. We record the band as a group so that presents a fun challenge in mic'ing up the different pieces & getting separation. (i.e., so that you don't hear a bunch of guitar in the drum tracks of vice-versa). I play some keyboards with the band too, so I'll overdub my parts later on. Really fun stuff!

Carol Winge - a local songwriter with a knack for very funny & clever lyrics. Carol's entire family is quite musical, so we often incorporate tracks sent via the internet from siblings who live in other states. How cool is technology?!

Flaire - This band was founded by my dear friends Lee & Roger, and I played keyboards with them for several years. We had such fun in rehearsals & created a ton of great memories together. Tragically, Lee passed away last January after a brief battle with a very aggressive brain tumor. She was simply a wonderful person and a beautiful soul and I miss her very much. We all do. Roger and I are finishing some of the recordings we started before her illness. It's difficult to listen to her beautiful voice and know that near the end of her journey on earth, she was unable to use it. We must push through the work, though, so her golden voice will sing again for all her friends, family, and fans.

Elizabeth Lorrey - (hey, who's that girl?) Yes, there has been progress on some new material! I'm almost done recording a new tune called "Lights," for which a video will be directed by my good friend and film maker, Rick Grogan! Josh Tarrant (my bandmate in Radio Roulette) put down a fantastic drum track; Shawn McGovern (my former bandmate in Radio Roulette) added his rock-solid and tasty magic on bass; and Bob Conroy (of the Spytones) sprinkled some awesome guitar work throughout. I have a few more bits to add (just little things here & there) and then it's ready for mixdown/mastering. Stay tuned!

New Year, New Website 

I've been using the same company to host my website ever since I set it up in 2004 (side note: holy crap, that was 16 years ago!) Recently the company sold the web hosting part of their business to another (better!) hosting company, so everything's been transferred over & here we are: the perfect time for a site overhaul. There are lots of cool features available here, so I'll be looking to take advantage of some of them this year (hello, podcasting? that might be fun!).

Speaking of companies and change... Concert Window, the platform where I was broadcasting the "Sunday Nightcap" shows for the last few years, went under. So, no more online concerts for a little while until I find a new platform that I like as much. (if you use one you like, let me know)

Most of the live shows- hmm, scratch that- ALL of the live shows I've been playing lately have been with my band, Radio Roulette. I play keyboards and sing backup vocals and it's a blast. It's been a great learning experience for me, figuring out how to program synths and keyboards, getting to play my main instrument most of the time (I do play some guitar in the band too, but it's mostly keys), and learning a bunch of songs that would horrify my 21 year old self. You know, stuff people can actually dance to!

I'm really getting the itch to get back to my own stuff, though. It's been way too long since I've released new music. Happy to report that we've been doing some recording in November & December, with more sessions coming up on the calendar too, so keep an eye out. 

Okay, time to get back to setting up the new site. Drop me a note & let me know what's happening in your corner of the world if you feel so inclined!