Lizz Wright "Dreaming Wide Awake", Lizz Wright new album out June 14, 2005 (on Verve).
Combining timeless originals with striking interpretations of Neil Young, Joe Henry, Ella Jenkins, and others, new album heralds an artistic flowering after "regal soulfulness" (Vibe) of Lizz Wright acclaimed 2003 debut "Salt".
Jesse Harris, Toshi Reagon, Mark Anthony Thompson, Bill Frisell and others contribute.
On her 2003 debut, "Salt," Lizz Wright was hailed by People Magazine as "one of the year's most promising new voices," a "smoky, simmering" talent, according to USA Today. Lizz Wright's new album "Dreaming Wide Awake," set for June 14 release on Verve Forecast, finds that promise fulfilled.
Lizz Wright recorded "Dreaming" at Allaire Studios in Woodstock, NY, with Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang) producing, and a deep well of New York talent contributing: guitarist Bill Frisell, Grammy-winning songwriter Jesse Harris, Mark Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius), Ollabelle organist Glenn Patscha, and Toshi Reagon among others.
Three of the eleven songs on "Dreaming" were written or co-written by Lizz Wright, proving that her "rapidly burgeoning writing talent" (LA Times) has now fully blossomed. From the deep-in-the-pocket, earthy soul of "Hit The Ground" (co-written with Jesse Harris and Toshi Reagon), to the buoyant Fender Rhodes groove of "Trouble," or the hazy, aching title track, each of Lizz Wright's original compositions casts an unforgettable spell.
Elsewhere she lends her "pitch-perfect, full-bodied voice" (NY Times) to a gorgeous, melancholic reading of Joe Henry's "Stop" (first popularized by Madonna on her "Music" album); turns Neil Young's "Old Man," into a dark cautionary tale; strips Ella Jenkins' "Wake Up Little Sparrow" down to a spare, zen-folk meditation; imparts the Aquarian anthem "Get Together" first popularized by the Youngbloods, with a new urgency; and recasts the Ric Marlow/Bobby Scott tune "A Taste of Honey" - best known as an early Beatles hit - as a haunting delta blues.
Lizz Wright was born in the small town of Hahira, GA. The youngest of three children, her father was a Holiness Church pastor, her mother the church organist. Wright grew up traveling the south, singing with her parents and siblings. She first came to national attention in 2002, when she played a series of tribute shows to the great Billie Holiday. Reviewing one of those shows, The LA Times proclaimed, with only a hint of hyperbole, "she walked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl a virtual unknown. Fifteen minutes later, she walked off a star."
Since then, Lizz Wright has toured with some of the greats - Ray Charles, Al Green, The Neville Brothers - and she recently headlined New York's Zankel Hall.
Lizz Wright "Salt" CD: ORDER IT NOW.