Lisa Bastoni’s new album, “Backyard Birds” comes out on 6/25 but NineVoltHeart got some previews of this heartfelt intimate release yesterday. Late in 2019, Lisa released her amazing “How We Want To Live” album which reached number One on the Contemporary Folk Album charts. It was also a NineVoltHeart Top Nine for the Year. She’s been nominated for a Boston Music Award in 2019 and 2020 and won Grand Prize at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival.
“Backyard Birds” was recorded during our national “pause” this past year with her co-writer and producer Sean Staples who also joined her for our in-studio visit. Our setlist includes “Silver Line” from last years release. Lisa and Sean then played the first single from “Backyard Birds” called “Bring It On” which is a powerful mission statement which asks us all to leave our “baggage” behind, start fresh, be bold, and bring it on! The studio version of “Beautiful Girl” follows from “How We Want to Live”; a lovely song with a motherly touch. One of my favorite songs from the new disc is “Sorrow’s A String” which details a visit to a cherished grandparents home only to discover so much has changed. Lisa and Sean did a lovely live version with delicate mandolin touches from Staples. Another premiere of “Hidden in the Song” from the “Backyard Birds” CD followed by a live take of “Nearby” from “How We Want to Live” which concludes our charming visit.
Our conversation includes topics like upcoming gigs(!) at Pulaski Park in Northampton’s Summer Music Series on 7/9 as well as a live stream CD release party from Club Passim on 6/26. We talk about Lisa’s grandmother’s influence in her life and songs, the autobiographical nature of her songwriting, her hobby of visual art projects and of course, the songs. This batch of beautifully crafted, intimately recorded songs are charming, insightful and even (gasp) cheerfully upbeat! It’s always a pleasure to reconnect with Lisa and her work and it was a treat to have multi-instrumentalist Sean Staples to give his insight on this music which he co-write and produced. Give this set of music and interview a listen. You’ll be as charmed as I was sitting face to face.