Lisa Sandell,
Little Reason
(self-produced, 2003)

When I think of musicians who play lap-sliding acoustic guitar, I can't recall too many women. On her debut CD Little Reason, self-taught guitarist and singer Lisa Sandell proves that this style isn't just created by men.

Based in Princeton, N.J., Lisa combines jazz, traditional folk tunes and original songs. Her musical influences range from jazz legends like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to folk artists like Greg Brown and Gillian Welch. You can hear influences from Kelly Joe Phelps in her guitar playing.

Little Reason includes just Lisa and her guitar. The CD opens with Eubie Blake's "Memories of You." One of the CD's best songs, "Falling Down," is a folk- and blues-flavored song. "Little Wicked" and "The Perfect Cure" are both original nice instrumental tunes.

On the more traditional side is a slightly more bluesy version of "Saint James Infirmary." With her arrangement of "She's Like the Swallow," the song is sped up a little and seems to loose some of its Celtic flavor for more of a bluesy sound.

Little Reason is a CD that offers very good guitar playing, a decent voice, a tasteful mix of jazz and folk-influenced music and good songwriting, and proves there are no gender biases with a lap-style slide guitar.

- Rambles
written by Dave Townsend
published 12 June 2004

[ visit the artist's website ]