Both of Liz’s CD’s, the newly released What if? and her debut album Home Before Dark (2007), are richly orchestrated creations delivering a powerful poetic fusion of pop, folk and rock. Painter's work induces vast cinematic landscapes infused with romance, irony and elemental insights. Liz’s crystal clear voice and mysterious poetry define the essential magic of each unique song.
Painter could very well belong to a line of troubadours from waybackinthenight, traveling the lands spreading poetic messages and moody melodies, raising heartfelt questions. Her songs span a rich variety of styles but on first listen you might think of Colbie Callait or Sara Bareilles, who both have similarly good vibrations elevating their work. “The primal core of what I am really focused on is revealed in my lyrics”, Liz relates.
Liz grew up in New York, and her first influence was Simon and Garfunkel and the melodic themes of Broadway show tunes. She has a BA in Music from the University of Arizona in Tucson, but in the early nineties, fresh out of high school, Painter adopted a hippie lifestyle and hitch-hiked with her guitar, traveling to folk and craft festivals. Liz would pull out her guitar and play songs for comrades she met on her journey, inspired by the vast starlit skies of the American Southwest, unfettered by city lights, infused with the sound and energy of the ancient elements. “Elemental earth images and sacred journeys are all very much inside of me, and expressed as poetry and melody in my words and music”, Liz explains.
Liz’s life in the southwest and New Mexico has led her to participate in numerous Native American Indian Ceremonies and sweat lodges. These tribal experiences inspire images throughout her music as in Cactus Tree, about a peyote ceremony, where Liz incorporates a traditional peyote song into the composition.
Liz lives in the remote wilderness of Northern New Mexico, three miles up a dirt road in an adobe house surrounded by a pristine forest of Ponderosa, Cedar and Pinon. Liz heats her home with wood fire and enjoys hot tubs under the Milky Way. Her home studio is a rustic room opening to garden and forest where she composes songs and conducts rehearsals. Liz is currently performing, new unrecorded work. Her acoustic trio is comprised of upright bassist, Colin Jenkinson and guitarist, Chris Burton. And everybody sings! Frequent guests also include Don Richmond who plays a variety of instruments. Chris Burton also performed lead guitar and co-produced Liz’s debut album, Home Before Dark (2007).
For the new CD, What if? Liz teamed with co-produced Don Richmond of Alamosa, CO. “It's a fine album – wonderfully creative, varied, catchy and moving - all the stuff a good record ought to be”, says Don. What if? features 14 original songs that have contagious melodies. “Seabird trips along like the happy flow of a mountain stream, the lyrics swell like the cheerful notes of a warbler’s song” wrote Ariana Kramer of the Taos News.
The principal tracks on What if? were recorded in a marathon one-day "live" band session then expanded into a full length studio CD. Rodger Cloud of Cloud Microphones pitched in contributing a number of his award-winning high quality ribbon microphones. Some songs were touched up and/or re-cut in the studio by Co-Producer/Engineer Don Richmond who also contributed to the instrumental richness of the songs by performing trumpet, violin, harmonica, guitars, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, accordion, electric guitar, electric violin, American Indian flute and castanets.
The physical CD, What if?, is really a treasure worth owning as it comes in an eco-pak with a 12-page lyric booklet of luscious imagery designed by Heather Sparrow of Sparrow Photography.
Liz has a bottomless back-pack bulging with original songs still to be released. For Liz, each song is a valuable creation, no song a throw-away. “A song is like an insistent alpha child, prodding me, inspiring me to perform it, record it and release it into a life of its own”.