Interview: Lisa Redford
Norwich singer-songwriter Lisa Redford is making a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH catches up with her on a visit back home.
Spring and summer on one side of the pond — and then back to Norfolk for the rest of the year.
Singer songwriter Lisa Redford is enjoying the life of a successful musician as she writes, records and performs at home and abroad.
Norwich-born Lisa is seeing particular success in America at the moment, where she has recently recorded songs for her latest EP.
'I probably spend about half my time in New York and half my time here in Norwich,' she says. 'I do plan to be here for a few months this time, however, to line up a few gigs and festivals. But these days, with the internet, it is possible for me to be based almost anywhere.'
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Influenced by artists such as Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Josh Rouse, Mindy Smith, Tift Merritt and Kathleen Edwards, Lisa, who has released three acclaimed studio albums, has a style, which has been described as 'delicate acoustic roots pop'.
She became interested in music as a child — writing and singing songs from the age of about 13 — but it was not until she went to Kent University, to study English and American Studies that she realised she wanted to make a career of it.
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'That was when I really got into it, writing songs as well as playing and performing,' she recalls. 'I started playing acoustic guitar and it was really an organic thing from that point.
'As I got older, I found I had more to write about — the longer you exist, the more you have to say!'
Lisa released her first album, Slipstream, in 2003, and the same year, her acoustic track Turn Away also appeared on the EDP's compilation CD Guide#1.
Lost Again, produced by musician and songwriter Gabriel Minnikin, a former member of acclaimed Canadian alt-country band The Guthries, followed in 2005 and the Clouds with Silver in 2008.
Clouds with Silver was co-produced with respected musician and producer Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) and recorded live in the Brooklyn studio with just Lisa's voice and acoustic guitar.
Tracks Makes Your Heart Sing and Here Alone feature strings by one of Nashville's most highly regarded producers, David Henry, and New York-based violinist Claudia Chopek created the lilting arrangements on NY Song and Live Your Life.
All Lisa's albums have received airplay across the world, including on the Radio 2 show of 'Whispering' Bob Harris. Her track Dragonfly was played on his Best of British show, which featured nominated songwriters.
'My music has a very acoustic base,' says Lisa, whose latest EP has yet to be named. 'It also has a pop flavour and feels very current. It is very radio-friendly and melodic.'
Since 2009, following a publishing deal with a much respected publishers in New York City, Lisa has had a home in the US.
Two years ago, however, saw her first UK solo headlining tour and a second invitation to do a live session and interview on the Bob Harris Show.
And January 2011 saw the release of her first live album, Lisa Redford Live, recorded during her homecoming concert at the Norwich Arts Centre.
'It was wonderful to be able to come home and do that,' she says. 'It was a wonderful concert.'
The new EP includes two acoustic tracks and two recorded with a band. 'The songs are very much my own flavour but at the same time, they have a fresh sound, which is very exciting,' she said.
'I worked with a producer on it, who had previously worked with Rufus Wainwright and Teddy Thompson.'
Lisa's tracks have appeared in films and she has also written the score for a new, short American movie Q to the 6 Train, which is currently playing in New York.
'This was a great project to be involved with and a real challenge too,' she says. 'Writing film scores is something I would definitely like to do more of.'
For now, however, Lisa is enjoying being at home and catching up with family and old friends.
'It is a chance to reflect on what I have been doing in New York,' she admits. 'It gives me the opportunity to listen to music and go to gigs — and to be inspired and to write. It is nice to be back.'
? For details of the upcoming EP launch and Lisa's summer UK live dates visit: