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IT DON’T HURT - Lisa O’Kane - CD Review by Preshias

 
European fans of roots and Americana music have know something for a long time that American listeners are about to discover for themselves: Lisa O’Kane is a superstar.
 
Or at least she would be a superstar if radio programmers in the USA could think outside of their narrow formats. British and European radio stations are more open to airing music based on its quality and originality, rather than because it sounds like everything else they’re playing. Lisa has had several chart-topping singles in Europe where she plays to SRO crowds whenever she tours.
 
“I had some really great airplay (in Europe), so it was the DJs who brought me over,” Lisa has been quoted as saying. American DJs and programmers, take note!
 
Best bet: don’t wait for radio to catch up. Grab “It Don’t Hurt” and see what you’ve been missing.  Lisa’s talent is greatly admired by her peers, as you might guess from some of musicians who join her on this CD. For example: Brit guitar virtuoso Albert Lee (known as “Mr. Telecaster” and a veteran of bands with Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, etc), guitarist/mandolin picker Kenny Edwards (Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt), pedal steel player Jay Dee Maness (Vince Gill, Bonnie Raitt, Buck Owens), and many more top musicians.
 
But despite the illustrious company with which she’s surrounded, it’s Lisa’s own star that burns brightest on this album. With a crystal-clear voice that’s brimming with emotion, she draws comparisons with vocal giants such as Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, while solidly maintaining her own distinct style.
 
Tracks on this CD run the gamut from “I’m over you” songs (“Ain’t Done Nothin,’”) to “please don’t leave” songs (“Give Me This Night”) with some “what happened to us?” songs (“Paper Thin”) along the way. One can only hope that these heartbreaking slices of life don’t all reflect Lisa’s own life experiences.
 
The plaintive acoustic title track, “It Don’t Hurt” is a classic of its genre, penned by acclaimed storyteller/songwriter Ernest Troost, who also plays guitar on this cut.  Lisa sings, “Shut all the windows / Pull down the shades / Daddy’s in a mood tonight / Daddy’s in a rage.”  It’s a story of a woman who’s pretty much seen all of life’s meanness, but after a while, she shrugs, it don’t hurt. Heartbreaking…
 
“Ain’t Done Nothing” is the lead-off of the eleven total tracks.  This could be a monster music video hit in heavy TV rotation with the right treatment. An up-tempo song with a strong backbeat and the closest thing to a Country toe-tapper on the CD. In this self-penned song Lisa wryly tells her ex, “Well I don’t like your family I know that’s unkind but it’s true / You treated me badly and even my dog don’t like you.”  You can’t argue with that.
 
But Lisa’s poignant voice is best-suited to bittersweet ballads such as “Give Me This Night” in which she begs her lover to stay with her just one more night.  “Let my last memory be a picture of you loving me,” she sings; but you know and she knows that he’s leaving anyway.
 
Eleven strong outings here and not a dud in the bunch. Give a listen to IT DON'T HURT and see what those Euro-kudos are all about.
 
“It Don’t Hurt” – Lisa O’Kane
Label: New Light Entertainment/Universal
Release date: Oct 23, 2007
 




 

 

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