Exclaim! ~ Toronto ON
February 3rd, 2005 ~ by Jason Schneider

Although Melissa McClelland may be the most known of this collective vocal quartet, her voice and songs are only one aspect of this talent-laden group that also includes Toronto-area singer-songwriters Lisa Winn, Erin Smith and Janine Stoll. Why they would all take time out from their own individual careers to sing together is obvious from the first notes of this album, as the soaring four-part harmonies are heart-melting. They’re all equally great songwriters as well, somehow managing to fuse their four distinct perspectives on life and love into a cohesive and thoroughly compelling package. As the album goes on, you realise you’re not rooting for one of them to emerge as the dominant voice. I’m even reluctant to point out specifics for fear of slighting one of the others. Suffice to say, Ladybird Sidebird is a true collaboration in every sense of the word, and four of the most powerful female voices in Canada right now.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
November 25th, 2004 ~ by Ric Taylor

Sassy, sultry and self-effacing, the Ladybird Sideshow are self-described women with an edge. Melissa McClelland, Erin Smith, Janine Stoll and Lisa Winn are individually developing names as standout performers, but when they come together as The Ladybirds their voices intermingle in harmonic delight, weaving frank, incisive, engaging and humorous stories in a wash of soulful song.

A flurry of activity envelops the Ladybirds this week. Hot on the heels of her Hamilton Music Awards performance (where she won Best Female Artist), McClelland's new video and single, "Pretty Blue," are released from her Stranded in Suburbia this week. Meanwhile, LBSS partner Smith celebrates the release of her own new solo CD, Swagger. But most importantly, the long-awaited debut from the collective, Live At The Orange Lounge, is also celebrated this week with a Hamilton return.

"We are so excited," says Smith about the new recording. "It has been a long time coming because of all our hectic schedules, but we really wanted to get this recorded and out to all the people who have been waiting patiently for it. Some of these songs are new and some you will find on our other records, but these versions are layered in stunning harmony and differ from any other you'll find." Recorded over two nights in front of a live audience at the Orange Lounge, a studio housed at McClelland's Toronto label, LATOL captures the raw simple beauty of four voices and a couple of acoustic guitars. Each Ladybird has their own distinct personality when they solo but the accumulative amalgamation of the four is angelic. The album showcases each individual songwriter, and is accented by a hidden barbershop quartet track and (gasp) an Alice in Chains cover.

"Our voices are so diverse and they just sound freaking gorgeous together, and that is the beauty of the Ladybird Sideshow," laughs Smith. That, and the fact that we're all best friends and like to take road trips together. I'm so thrilled to finally have a record with these girls. 'Cause I love them and their music so much it's just dumb."

"It's a perfect representation of what we do live," McClelland smiles. "And I think we're all happy to see the ladybirds CD out. But Erin's CD is amazing. She really stripped it down and has really grown so much as a songwriter. We're all so proud she's put out such a great piece of work." Recorded at Michael J Birthelmer's Hamilton studio, Swagger might veer from the funk-centric, danceable themes of her previous forays, incorporating sounds more personal for Smith.

"Swagger has some of that straight funk-soul to it, but encompasses a lot more of what makes me tick," explains Smith. "I think it was time for all of those sides to be put on display. It's sultry, it's playful, it's old-timey, it's soulful and it's tongue-in-cheek. All of that is in me and are things that just came out naturally when I took the time to really focus on song writing. I think I've just recently found my voice, and this is the album where that shines. "For the record, though, I really do credit Neener (Smith), Melly (McClelland) and Lease (Winn) with helping me find my voice as both a vocalist and a songwriter," Smith adds. "We all have really influenced each other a lot and we are very aware of that. I don't think I would've taken the time to stretch and really get into my groove if I hadn't have done the Ladybird project."

If songs like "One of the Boys" are any indication, Smith can go from a soft purr, build to a Radiohead-like esoteric lament and end with a Beatle-esque unresolved resolve all within one song. Swagger delves into the saintly and sinful dichotomy that makes up her vulnerability and her power simultaneously. "I think the dichotomy in the lyrics comes from growing up with a love of old-timey images and sounds, mixed with a love of pop culture," says Smith. "I listen to Billie Holiday as often as I listen to Mos Def, Cyndi Lauper orBeyoncé. I have lazy days of painting and making soup as often as I'll booze it up with my peeps. I think my entire generation is bipolar. If you listen to the lyrics, a lot of the songs ended up being stories told by girls who have an edge to them: hard drinking, hard working girls. Small town girls pining after unattainable loves, female mayors crashing cars, a woman dealing with a fella who tries to off himself so often that it's become comical. Seemed to me like the stories themselves had swagger, so I went with that."

With Smith flying off this January to Hawaii for a weekly stint in Kihei, the other Ladybirds are afforded a winter meeting place to stretch their wings. "It's not a Ladybird swan song at all," she clarifies about her departure. "The Ladybirds will sing again. I have made the most solemn pinky swear to return for the summer touring season, so the 'Birds will be back in action by then. But until then, I keep joking with the Ladybirds that they should move down and we can start an awful lounge act."

the Ladybird Sideshow returns to the Pepper Jack Cafe for one night only this Thursday, Nov 25 with Ali Bartlett opening. Cover is $8 with a 9pm start.

Echo Magazine ~ Kitchener ON
October 26th, 2004 ~ by Patrick Finch

I first heard Lisa Winn’s sublimely sweet voice drifting airily around on Shannon Lyon’s Summer Blonde record. Since then, she’s sung with the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Lindy, released two critically acclaimed solo albums, toured across Canada, through Europe, and started the collective Ladybird Sideshow. Luckily for us, Shannon’s bringing her back to town for his increasingly popular singer–songwriter series at Victoria Park’s Boathouse. Joining Lisa will be fellow Ladybird Melissa McClelland, who boasts an equally fine resume. A Toronto scenester since she was only17, McClelland has played alongside Hawksley Workman, Martina Sorbara, Danny Michel, and released Stranded In Suburbia, (her second full–length), this past April for the Orange Record Label and Universal Music Canada. Like Winn, there aren’t many places that McClelland has not toured, (either solo, or with the Ladybird Sideshow). There is no cover, and Shannon Lyon will also be playing, so maybe you should thank him for continuing to bring this glut of talent to our little town. Catch all three performers October 21st. Doors at 8pm.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
May 6th, 2004 ~ by Ric Taylor

“We offer straight–up good, original music in four delicious flavours,” smiles Melissa McClelland, one–quarter of the Ladybird Sideshow coming to town this weekend.

Two years ago, McClelland hooked up with songbirds Lisa Winn, Erin Smith and Janine Stoll with a plan to gather resources with like-minded souls. The four realized an ethereal bond and translated that to the stage in song. The project took flight, and the Ladybirds were born. Four stellar voices intermingle into a resounding mix of pop, blues, funk, folk, soul and comedy from a different vantage point.

“We've had tons of fun together right from the very first day in the van, so right off the top there was one of those strong girlie–bonds that people write so many bad movies about,” quips Smith. “We were four friends wanting to travel together and play music,” explains McClelland. “We started messing around on each other's stuff and suddenly we were coming up with beautiful parts, being completely inspired by each other's music.”

“When we first started we mostly left each girl alone to sing their own song and we would play in turn,” adds Smith. “Now we’ve spent time crafting really intricate four–part harmonies and add all kinds of nuances and sass to each other's songs. We can be witty, we can be bawdy, and we can just be doorknobs. But it seems to work in our favour.”

Touring nationally, the Ladybirds have experienced the folksinger’s blues—they document their world as they deem fit. Still, it’s a few steps away from popular folk convention. “I bring in a little pop flava’, Neen [Stoll] plays edgy folk, Skee [Smith] is all about the funk and Lease [Winn] writes the stunning folk ballads,” exclaims McClelland on the elements that make this Sideshow special. “First and foremost we're all singer/songwriters placing huge importance on words and stories and the format in which we choose to deliver varies from one artist to the next.”

“There are lots of vivid stories painted in our set—everything from a girl on her way to being a porno queen, to a mining disaster in Northern Ontario,” offers Smith. “We've got fictional murders, we've got straight up catchy tunes with some saucy language, and we've got a few unconventional love songs.”

These Ladybirds write and sing from their particular perch, poetically and honestly. Yet, some more stoic audience members might malign such forthright women. “The music speaks for itself and as for our stage banter we're simply ourselves,” says McClelland. “[We’re] X–rated and vulgar if we feel so inclined. Some nights we put on quite a respectable folk show.”

“That doesn’t mean we should act like serious-minded music-heads when really we are awfully silly quite often,” Smith interjects refering to the occasional use of more bawdy language. “I think we just figured we’d give our fans a glimpse into what we talk about when we're in the van touring around. We’re all musicians with the clout to be taken seriously, but a little underpants talk now and then keeps things all in perspective.

“We do work as we see fit and use language as it pertains to our point and purpose,” Smith adds. “Sometimes the swearing is tongue–in–cheek, sometimes it’s the best way to get the tone of a story across and sometimes it just feels good to say, ‘I'm not fucking stupid.’ But ultimately, art that challenges in one way or another is often the best kind of art.”

These Ladybirds seem to turn heads wherever they go; they’re currently attracting the attention of some labels courting for their debut full–length. In the interim, the Ladybird Sideshow continues to tour, inspire, delight, incite and smile. “It’s sickening how much we truly adore and support each other,” McClelland laughs. “It’s such a pure thing and it continues to astonish me. We have yet to have any nail scratching, hair–tearing fights—although we have had a few drunken wrestling matches.”

“How often do you get to hear/see four songbirds of stellar talent collaborating and playing alongside one another,” Smith asks. “ Not often, and certainly not with the kind of charisma that you’ll see at a Ladybird show. Plus if you’re lucky, we’ll talk about underpants some more.”

The Hamilton Spectator ~ Hamilton ON
September 3, 2003 ~ by James Hayashi-Tennant

Winn's second CD release is entitled Out From Under. Though it has been available in stores for a short while already, Winn's show at the new downtown club, Absinthe, will be the official release party. The album differs from her 2000 debut, Mother Earth, in that Out From Under is more stripped down and folk-oriented, with the focus on Winn, her guitar and the occasional guest voice or musician. Mother Earth, on the other hand, combined that approach with more rock-influenced material, which was true to Winn's varied tastes but not always representative of her performances.

"I wanted to have something that represented a live show a lot better," she says. "Somebody would come see me play and I'd be up there with a guitar singing and then I'd sell them Mother Earth ... I imagine some people would go home and say 'What the hell's this?'"

Out From Under also sounds different because of the songwriting itself. Learning about herself, learning about the process of writing music and simply growing more comfortable with her own work all had an effect on her material. Mean Shot Garden and Tug of War are possibly her catchiest songs to date; That Train and Cover My Eyes possibly the most melancholy and mournful.

Though Winn is proud of her newest album, there are always concerns and insecurities when an artist releases music. With a sophomore album, there is often pressure to match or surpass your debut.

"There's a bit of that, for sure," says Winn. "With that second record or movie or whatever you do as an artist, there's always pressure there, but I don't really focus on it too much."

Winn has spent the last year living in Vancouver, and her decision to return to Ontario was largely due to the fact that her side project, the Ladybird Sideshow, was heading eastward. Having spent the summer here, she hopes to continue moving -- the Ladybirds (Winn, Melissa McClelland, Erin Smith, and Janine Stoll) are hoping to arrange a festival tour in Australia, and Winn also hopes to head back to Europe where she had done three previous tours.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
September 4, 2003 ~ by Ric Taylor

It’s been almost a year since Lisa Winn last performed in the city. It was her farewell performance as she headed west on her first solo outing. A learning experience, a journey towards self awareness, a coming of age — Winn has come back Out From Under with a new album of the same name and celebrates its release this weekend.

Winn is blossoming into quite the songwriter, with an album bristling with heart–wrenching agony and bittersweet beauty, a beautiful and sombre document of Winn’s growth since her last album, Mother Earth, released three years ago.

“At the time I wrote these songs, there was a lot of crazy crap going on in my life,” says Winn of the confessional nature of Out From Under. “It’s just me and my guitar and the songs that I wrote. It’s very personal and it’s from my heart and soul. It’s about stuff I’ve been through and stuff I’ve witnessed. Basically people are going to be reading my diaries.”

The album contemplates the complexities of life, from the monstrosities of human civilization (the 9/11–related “Cover My Eyes”) to the monuments of love’s desire (“Almost Alright”). Winn has developed a strong outing that has pushed her own creativity to the limits.

“The first song on the album, ‘Mean Shot Garden,’ I wrote from magnetic poetry on my refrigerator,” the singer says of the occasionally mundane explorations involved in her process. But it wasn’t always so detached or that easy. The album resembles a travelogue where we can visit Hamilton, Mount Hope, Guelph and even Arnheim, Amsterdam in raw and very personal musical vignettes of the people, places and situations Winn has lived through.

“I feel like I have to do it,” she confides. “When I was in Vancouver there was an open mic night for women. And there was one night where everyone seemed to be testifying or releasing something. There was one really good spoken–word artist who had written for ten years and just threw it all away because she felt she had to get rid of it and start all over again. Everybody seemed to be on that kind of wavelength. “I got up and sang a song I had written that month which was also kind of a release for me. When I got offstage, this girl came up to me and thanked me for the song. She said. ‘Everything you said in that song I was thinking I wanted to say to this person in my life — and you said them all in that song.’ That’s why I do it — because maybe there’s one person that can understand where I’m coming from and gone through the stuff I’m going through. And it’s easier for me to get something off my chest in a song than it is to do it any other way.”

Winn continues to write and will return to touring across Canada but for now she’s nested in Guelph as things develop for her Ladybird Sideshow project with Janine Stoll, Erin Smith and Melissa McClelland. “I’m here — for now,” Winn stipulates. “The Ladybird thing is starting happen — we hope to go to Australia in the spring — and we’re going to do some recording so I need to stick around for that.” While you can catch Winn as part of the Ladybird Sideshow opening for Shannon Lyon September 18 at The Underground, you can also catch a solo Winn for the CD release. She’s bringing a bunch of friends for her return to Hamilton, including Bob Doidge, Melissa McClelland Erin Smith, Jacob Moon and Moon’s Gospel Girls — all reported to guest with Winn.

But beyond any such cameos, this show spotlights Winn’s talents: her voice, her guitar and her inimitable presentation.“I end up including a lot of humour when I play because it’s fun. You have to because you can’t just sit up there and be a big lump on a log,” Winn jokes about her light–hearted stage demeanor that compliments some of the more somber material. “I’m not the same person I was three years ago but somewhat back at the same place. You have to come back to your roots — your hometown, once in a while. But I’m still moving forward in my own way.” Lisa Winn celebrates the release of Out From Under Saturday, September 6 at Absinthe with Jacob Moon and the Gospel Girls (Juliet Clarke, Marion Clarke and Chantal Hendricks) as well as Les Cooper. Cover is $6.

Real Roots Cafe ~ Netherlands
August 2003 ~ by Jan Jansen

Twee jaar geleden kreeg ik een telefoontje van een persoon, waarvan de naam mij helaas is ontschoten, die mij vroeg of ik zin en tijd had Lisa Winn die zelfde avond nog in ons programma op te nemen. Ik had zoiets van “what the hell, lets see what happens”. Lisa deed ons versteld staan van haar buitengewone mooie stem die ze tijdens haar unplugged sessie liet spreken. Wij vergeleken haar toen zonder blikken of te blozen met lady’s zoals Jewel, Patty Griffin of Sarah McLachlan. Winn, afkomstig uit Hamilton, Ontario was vaak in achtergrond koortjes te horen. Zo was ze onder andere te beluisteren op albums van Rob Lamothe, Shannon Lyon, Jamie Oakes, Gordon Lightfoot en Jacob Moon. Niet zomaar een paar artiesten zullen we maar zeggen! Wij waren echter erg benieuwd of ze de opvolger, van haar solo debuut Mother Earth (2000), met Out From Under zou kunnen overtreffen. En wat dan direct opvalt is dat Winn dit keer nagenoeg een geheel akoestisch album heeft gemaakt. Met het veel belovende en schommelende “Mean Shot Garden” opent ze het wat sober aangeklede schijfje. Toen live en nu val ik direct weer voor het prachtige en vertellende “Cover My Eyes”. Dit onthullende liedje zat dus al drie jaar in haar pen. De knagende en wonderschoon harmony gezongen liedjes “Tug Of War” en “Walk In The Park” ( met Erin Smith, Melissa McClelland en Janine Stoll), die ze op Out From Under heeft staan, hebben de kracht van de onsterfelijke Aphrodite die niet alleen de dochter van Zeus betoverde met haar klaagzang maar ondertussen ook mij. Het slot akkoord “Heading West” (Cindi Lauper), dat overigens in Nijmegen werd opgenomen, is daar wederom het onomstotelijke bewijs van. Lisa Winn stapt naar mijn menig definitief uit de anonimiteit met Out From Under.

Kweevak's Tracks ~ New Jersey
July 2003 ~ by Laura Turner Lynch

Out From Under is the sophomore release from singer, songwriter and guitarist Lisa Winn. Lisa has worked with many artists in the role of supporting vocalist but is once again at the forefront on this eleven-track CD. Lisa's second release is stark and more serious than her debut CD Mother Earth which was a spirited blend of rock and pop. This CD is more solemn with soft acoustic guitar work and subtle instrumentation. Winn's arrangements are simple and straightforward but her lyrics and vocals are rich and complex. Lisa is a powerful singer who expresses herself with passion and poise. The theme of the CD is relationships or more specifically a broken bond. As in her first release she spins natural environmental imagery into her stories thus adding to the depth and symbolism of her songs. A mournful somewhat melancholy vibe is captured on moving tracks such as 'Cover My Eyes' and 'That Train'. The live bonus cover of Cyndi Lauper's 'Heading West' closes this deep collection of songs. Lisa is maturing as an artist and Out From Under is a fine example of her growth.
• Recommended Tracks: (3,6,11)

Rocknet ~ Netherlands
July 2003 ~ by Eef Vink

About two years back, I was hugely impressed by Lisa Winn's debut album "Mother Earth". Her voice and songs grabbed me instantly, and right now, to years later, they still do and haven't lost any of the magic. Each song has two backbones: subtle acoustic guitar, and Lisa's mesmerizing voice. This acoustic approach is somewhat different compared to the debut album, where pop, rock and folk were the key ingredients. Here, Lisa steps back, and lets you focus better on the song and lyrics. The simple but subtle arrangements provide the perfect vehicle for the storytelling Lisa's doing. This might make this album musically uninteresting to some, but personally I enjoy a good *song* a whole lot more than a clever song structure or instrumental virtuosity. And if there's one skill Lisa Winn has mastered as far as I'm concerned it's songwriting. Open your mind, and let the words to "Mean Shot Garden" come flow your way, or try to decide if the mid-tempo song "Almost Alright" is written out of confidence or heartache. There's lots to be found here folks and the good thing is that Lisa actually points in the general direction, but let's *you* decide which way to let this take you. I have never met Lisa Winn in the flesh. The one time she visited my hometown I was floored by a pretty shitty case of the flu, but if and when I ever meet her, something tells me we'll get along just fine. Aside from the fact that this is the feeling I get from the music, I like to think that she appreciates people who actually *listen* to her songs. Lisa; if and when you read this... please keep me posted on your touring plans. I'd hate to be the one to pass up another opportunity to catch you performing your songs! To the world: try and get your hands on this if you are or have ever been into wonderful songs, wonderful words and a wonderful voice.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton, Ontario
July 3rd, 2003 ~ James Hayashi-Tennant

One of Hamilton's prodigal daughters returns with Out From Under, a collection of acoustic material that shows the songwriter has matured and sharpened her skills since her debut release. Winn's voice is still crystal clear and strong, but she puts it to even better use this time out; instead of trying to fill up the space around that voice - which might be a temptation - she keeps the arrangements sparse, which is exactly what the material demands. "Mean Shot Garden" and "Tug of War" are possibly her catchiest songs to date; "That Train" and "Cover My Eyes" possibly the most melancholy and mournful. Nothing that ruins the mood; even her choice of covers (the unexpected Cyndi Lauper tune "Heading West" for one) is on the mark. For fans of acoustic music (be it folk, anti-folk - not-folk? - whatever you choose to call it) should check it out.

Edmontonplus.ca ~ Edmonton, Alberta
May 12th, 2003 ~ by Steven Sandor

Ladybird Sideshow Songwriters' cabaret promises a mix of musical styles. What if four songwriters, each with dissimilar influences and backgrounds, got together for a musical cabaret? The result would be something like the Ladybird Sideshow, which sees the musical talents of singer/songwriters Melissa McClelland, Erin Smith, Janine Stoll and Lisa Winn unite for musical celebration which will see the ladies move from musical genre to musical genre, from hard rock to glitzy show tunes. From folk to funk, the ladies want to try it all. The four Toronto-based women first decided to pool their talents for a series of lives show in 2001. Originally called the Mother Folker Tour, the ladies adopted the Ladybird moniker and decided to stay true to the almost-lost art of the musical cabaret. They received warm reviews and audience feedback throughout their early Southern Ontario tours, so now comes the move to bring the Ladybird cabaret experience to a wider Canadian audience. Expect to see a Ladybird Sideshow CD sometime in the near future.

CJUM 101.5 fm ~ Winnipeg, Manitoba
May 10, 2003 ~ Jeff Robson

This year’s top discovery so far is the Ladybird Sideshow. Four totally divergent singing/songwriting styles combine to form a highly energetic and enjoyable group. There’s the high energy rock/funk/fun of Erin Smith, the energy and delightful attitude of Janine Stoll, the magnificent pop of Melissa McClelland, and Lisa Winn, oh, Lisa Winn (folks, if you haven’t heard Lisa’s new CD “Out From Under,” RUN on over to www.lisawinn.com. Lisa, I’m blown away. I don't mean to take anything away from the other super talented girls, of course.) I spoke briefly with Erin Smith as the girls traveled through the mountains on their Western Canadian tour, which brought them to Winnipeg on May 15. These girls are wonderful on record, but together in a live show, it’s fun and exciting, and totally totally amazing. Don’t miss the Ladybird Sideshow (or any of its members) if they come to your town.

Vue Weekly ~ Edmonton AB
May 7th, 2003 ~ V Jenny Feniak

There’s a plethora of beautiful voices across our vast country. But when four Toronto friends and singers decided to join forces and start their own group, they decided they had no choice but to leave that noisy hub if they wanted to be heard. Melissa McClelland, Lisa Winn, Janine Stoll and Erin Smith are touring together as the Ladybird Sideshow, showcasing their stunning vocal harmonies while embracing genres as disparate as lullabies, country, rock and funk. “Because we all have such different sounds and vibes up onstage, it helps us to appreciate the role each one of us takes in the group,” says McClelland. “We all add something of equal importance to the overall show and we all realize it takes four Ladybirds to do that.” But the show isn’t over when the four ladies sing. “Because it’s four friends up onstage together as well as four musicians, there’s a lot of interaction and laughing,” says McClelland, explaining the “Sideshow” half of their name. “We’re not afraid to make fools of ourselves and be a little offensive—or really offensive.” Each Ladybird has another musical project outside the group and recording credits of her own, but they all managed to record a few Ladybird tracks together before going out on tour. Those songs will be available when they come through town next week, so you can take a little bit of the Sideshow home with you.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton, Ontario
October 17, 2002 ~ by Ric Taylor

For the last decade, Lisa Winn has performed in the Hamilton area with the likes of Rob Lamothe, Jacob Moon and even done some backing vocals for a Gordon Lightfoot recording, as well as the occasional solo stint. This weekend she takes years of memories and embarks on quite possibly the greatest trek of her life, leaving her hometown nest to explore her own abilities and spread her musical wings. 

She bids adieu to her hometown with a farewell performance. Dubbed the Headin’ West Farewell Concert, the gig is also a CD pre–release party, Catherine North Studios will cater to a bon voyage fête that will eventually get you Winn’s soon–to–be–released album and a myriad of Hamilton singer–songwriter guests offering musical farewell toasts.

The singer finds a new wanderlust stirring in her, a yearning for perhaps “change... nicer scenery, less pollution.” Hopefully Winn will find what she’s looking for and more.

“I’ve been out west a bunch of times and it’s a beautiful, peaceful and spiritual place. I feel like I need some of those things in my life right now. [I’m going] to stay with a friend in Vancouver to start with, then — who knows — wherever the music takes me,” says Winn. “This drive out is just me, my dog Jake, and my guitar in the old pickup truck.” She has a couple of shows already booked — Sudbury October 21 and Regina October 24 — and is working on filling out her tour schedule along the way.

But first, a farewell.

“They are some of my favourite local performers and some of the most talented people I’ve ever met,” Winn says of her farewell support artists. “I’ve been lucky enough to share in their music over the years and am honoured for that privilege. Not only will having them perform that night be fun for me, but also it will be an added bonus for the audience. In the spirit of the supportive nature of Hamilton musicians, I thought it appropriate to have some of the people who have supported me so lovingly over the years, share the stage with me for this night.”The new album is reportedly more of an intimate affair, focusing primarily on Winn and her guitar, live off the floor with few overdubs. Recorded at Grant Avenue Studio with Bob Doidge, Out From Under is the first new recording from Winn since her Mother Earth, released nearly two years ago.

While some classic chestnuts and rarities will be included in Friday’s set list, the performance might offer a taste of the change of Winn’s newfound musical spark.

“Some songs I have been playing live for a while, some are songs I’ve never played in front of an audience... and there will be a cover or two that might be familiar to some. Old stuff, new stuff, other stuff.”

With all things running on schedule the CD will hopefully be ready before the end of the year and your ticket at the door will be traded for a certificate good for the CD. Certificate holders will be notified by e–mail or phone when the CD is finished, and will then be able to pick up the finished product at Dr. Disc. 

So we can bid a fond farewell to the local songbird and help her fund the completion of what might be her last album of “the Hamilton years”. Money raised from the door will underwrite the pressing of Out From Under.

“Some people are confused about the ticket money for the show,” Winn says. “That money is going towards the manufacturing of the CD, not to pay for my trip out. If I wasn’t having this show, I wouldn’t be able to afford to get the CD out there.”

But while Winn may be leaving town, she expects she’ll find it difficult to forget her roots.

“Hamilton is my home,” she says, “so I know I’ll be back to visit my friends and family, but I’m not making any set plans at this point of where I’ll be living or where I’ll settle.” 

Lisa Winn’s Headin’ West Farewell Concert happens Friday, October 18 at Catherine North Studios (Park St. at Murray St.) with appearances by Jacob Moon, Ralph Michelli, Jamie Oakes, Melissa McClelland and Janine Stoll and opener Michelle Titian. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets (available through Dr. Disc) are $20, which secures a pre–order of the forthcoming CD.

The Hamilton Spectator
Everyone's favourite backup singer packs up
October 16, 2002 ~ by Tom Hogue

Hamilton singer Lisa Winn gives a farewell concert Friday at Catherine North Studio before she heads west.

Our attention is normally devoted to musicians coming not going.

Local singer Lisa Winn is leaving, headin' west she says. But before she goes she will perform a farewell concert Friday with a few high profile friends, who have come to appreciate her talents.

Winn has an angelic voice that drapes easily over folk and blues arrangements, and she has been featured prominently on a variety of albums. She was everybody's favourite backup singer. Of particular note, she provided backing vocals on Gordon Lightfoot's A Painter Passing Through.

The concert, at Catherine North Studio (Park Street North and Murray Street.), will bring together some of Hamilton's most promising new singer-songwriters: Michelle Titian, Ralph Michelli, Jacob Moon, Jamie Oakes, Melissa McClelland, Janine Stoll and others. After building up a formidable reputation in the city during the past decade, Winn says she wants to move on. Vancouver appears to be in her sights.

"Everyone has been very supportive in this city. It's not as competitive as other cities," she says. "But I'm a sensitive singer-songwriter -- I don't want to play in smokey bars anymore."

The Halifax Herald ~ Halifax NS
Musical postcards from the alt-folk edge
Toronto gals with guitars hone harmonies

Wednesday, June 19, 2002 ~ by Stephen Cooke

Mother Folkers storm the Velvet Olive tonight at 9 p.m. Toronto singer-songwriters Janine Stoll, Erin Smith, Melissa McClelland and Lisa Winn (seen here with pal Mike Macdougall from Jimmy Swift Band) unite their diverse voices on the Halifax stop of their tour. 

Imagine Thelma and Louise, times two, with guitars instead of guns. You'd have a pretty clear picture of the Mother Folkers Tour, a quartet of Toronto singer-songwriters who've joined forces for a special East Coast tour that touches down tonight in Halifax at the Velvet Olive.

Janine Stoll, Erin Smith, Melissa McClelland, and Lisa Winn are each busy performers in their own right on the Canadian alterna-folk scene, but in the interests of spreading their music a little further afield they decided to take a page out of the Lilith Fair book, pool their resources and head out across the country. 

"We're all friends, we met in the Toronto music scene," explains Smith from the Halifax home of Jimmy Swift Band's Mike Macdougall, who's putting the foursome up for a couple of days. "I've known Janine and Lisa for years, and Alyssa has known them for years, so we go pretty far back. "We decided this would be fun, and our music is so different and eclectic that it would be an interesting roadshow. So we packed all the girlies in the van and here we are." 

It's turned into a part-concert tour, part-vacation adventure for the quartet - chronicled with daily updates on their web site: www.ladybirdsideshow.com with some sisterly bonding along the way. They perform back-up on each other's songs, and have constantly been trying out new harmonies and instrumental parts, both on stage and in the van. 

"It's a nine-day jaunt, and it's been going really well," says Smith. "We've got some cool four-part harmonies happening. Melissa sort of plays pop stuff, and Janine is bluesy rock, Lisa is more folk and I'm the funk one. "It's pretty wild, in terms of the mix. We just do it up on each other's songs. They doo wop on my stuff, we do some lovely harmonies on Lisa's songs, and it all sounds cool." 

Besides their guitars, the Mother Folkers take turns playing rhythms on a djembe hand drum, accompaniment on the fiddle or chords on a cheap Casio keyboard from Value Village, while their between-songs asides and commentary frequently puts the crowds in stitches. 

"We get pretty silly when we're on stage," she admits. "We're very chatty and we like to involve the crowd, getting them to sing along. We get really naughty . . .

"We had a pre-show for the tour in Dunnville, Ont., and we got pretty out of control. Almost all of our parents were there, and we're like 'Are you proud of us NOW?' " 

HERE Magazine ~ Saint John NB
A mother folkin' good time
June 13th - 20th, 2002 ~ by Chuck Teed

Call them what you will, these touring Toronto divas are a diverse yet cohesive group of performers

'We were sitting around joking about the name, " said Janine Stoll on the upcoming Mother Folker Tour.” We were going to call it the eight-tit tour."

Call it what you will, the upcoming female folk extravaganza, set to hit the Whitebone Lounge at UNBSJ on June 20, is sure to be an entertaining evening. Stoll, along with Melissa McClelland, Erin Smith and Lisa Winn, are presenting their tunes in the round, a unique setup which lets the artists perform on each others material.

"Sometimes we do stuff solo, but we sing on each other's stuff," says Stoll.

"There's a lot of funny stage banter. It's pretty different."

The four performers have varied styles, but compliment each other well.

Stoll's sound is stripped down and earthy; Winn leans gospel; McClelland moves towards sophisticated pop; while Smith is a little more rough around the edges.

Stoll believes the quartet will appeal to a wide audience. "It switches up so fast that even if you don't love one of the performers you do not get bored. There are so many talents and styles, it's great."

But it might not be for the easily offended, warned Stoll. "I have a little potty mouth. I say fuck and shit and ass sometimes. I have a review where the writer said I would get the Order of Canada if I wasn't so naughty."

Stoll also denounces the quick assumption that the concert is geared towards females.

"We're women, but we don't look at it that way. We’re four like-minded people who respect each other musically." "Plus," she jokes, "It's easier to pitch. Four perty gals is easier to pitch than three perty gals AND one awkward looking boy."

Initially planning to take their troupe out West for three weeks, The Mother Folkers decided, "it might not be practical. It's a long trip and a lot of money, so we decided to do one week on the East Coast."

Alberta's loss and New Brunswick's gain. The Maritimes may be new territory for the quartet, but all four are well known in the Toronto scene. Smith has shared stages with pop star Nelly Furtado and college queen Sarah Slean. Winn has pulled off three successful European tours. McClelland has worked with veterans Moxy Fruvous and Hawksley Workman while Stoll has performed alongside up and coming acts such as Martina Sorbara and Andy Stochansky.

"We're all Toronto divas," laughs Stoll. "We're all pretty well known in our own right around here, but none of us have been out east to play. We all eventually want to come out solo to perform but this way was easier to put together."

Landing gigs east of Toronto was relatively simple, says Stoll. "The bookers were really warm, easy to deal with and sweet. It was like, 'We like music, come out and play.'"

The quartet prepared for the tour and raised funds through highly anticipated concerts in Toronto and Dunnville. They raised $1000, which enabled the Mother Folkers to make their trip possible. "The shows went totally successfully, everything worked out."

The Mother Folker Tour sets sail Friday June 14th towards Ottawa and will be in the East Coast by the end of the weekend. The group is especially excited about hitting Halifax, our Maritime music capital. "We've heard the scene there is pretty cool and we want to come check it out." says Stoll.

It's about mother folkin' time.

Rocknet ~ Netherlands
Mother Earth Review
August, 2001 ~ by Eef Vink

As I am writing this, it's early evening, July 10th 2001. Sitting up here in the attic has a few disadvantages. First of all; it's mighty hot up here. Second: it's raining cats and dogs which makes a whole lot of noise. But do I mind? Nope. Why not? Because of Lisa Winn.

About a week or two back I sent Lisa an email message and I got a short but very kind note in return telling me that her CD was on the way. I, quite bluntly, asked for a copy to review, but also in conjunction with this Rob Lamothe special thingy I've been toying with. But this is Lisa Winn. Oh sure, Mr. Lamothe has had quite a bit to do with this album and her career in general, but it's the girl herself who deserves to be complimented up and down, twice around if you ask me.

I remember reading somewhere that this album was largely funded by Lisa's father, and besides Lisa's I'd be honored to shake this man's hand, cause that must surely have been some of the best spent money ever. Seldom have I heard a girl singer perform this well, without *ever* flaunting it. She just sings her (and others') songs best as she can, and that's it. There's no Mariah Carey vocal escapades, or screaming or yelling whatsoever. Then again, why on earth should she? She simply has one of the most compelling voices I have ever heard.

Now all you RockNet regulars know I'm not a big fan of female singers. Now hold your horses please... I have heard quite a few excellent female singers in my life, like Jewel or Bette Midler, but they don't compare to this. Somehow Lisa manages to sound like someone you've known all your life. She sounds like a friend. A friend with a story to tell. And she's bringing a few friends of herself along for the ride.

During the first two songs I couldn't help but notice the rich bass guitar sound. Bass was played by a certain Jay Schneider and he does a *great* job. This, of course, in no way means the rest of the musicians are any less talented, but somehow when Mr. Schneider plays along it adds a little something. The same goes for Mr. Rob Lamothe. Lots of instrumental credits to him throughout the album. Not just guitar and (excellent) backing vocals, but even drums and keyboard on "Brave". Other than that Mr. Lamothe shares writing credits with Lisa on "Brown Haired Angel" and "Forgive Myself".

A nice little distorted touch to Lisa's vocals on "Gone Too Far" makes for some change on an otherwise excellently balanced album. If you want to know if she could ever sing like this in a live situation? Check out "Love", recorded live at the Hamilton Place Studio Theatre. Face it people: this girl can really sing. As a matter of fact, she can sing and write with the best of them. If you're into down to earth rock tunes with a 'folky' feel to them this is your album.

I suggest you visit www.lisawinn.com to get your copy, or find a record store near your home that has it. Cause trust me: you'll want it. And you'll never let go of it once you own it. I know I won't.

Rock-e-zine ~ Netherlands
Mother Earth Review
March 2001 ~ by Ron Schoonwater

You sing on his records, he's clearly present on your CD, he even produces it and when the man is on tour, who's with him? The who person is, off course, LISA WINN. The man is no other than Rob Lamothe. This way you got a pretty good idea of the music of LISA WINN. Mostly acoustic, but emotional and beautiful performed singer/ songwriter music. The peaceful, but strong, voice of Lisa and the background vocals of another masterpiece (Rob Lamothe) guide you through a dreamy, but also melancholic, landscape filled with relaxed songs. This "Mother Earth" is filled with songs about relationships, love, Mother Earth contra dollars and the fate of the native Americans. That's exactly what makes this music so special. The lyrics are directly taken out of live and you can feel the sincerity behind it. The live recorded songs 'Brown Haired Angel' and 'Love' fit perfectly in the other songs. The pure mood this record contains is absolutely brilliant. LISA WINN shows, again, that Rob got a BIG nose for talent. Love this. Hanta Yo (make way for), LISA WINN.

Hamilton Spectator ~ Hamilton ON
Centre of Attention
Thursday Feb 8, 2001 ~ by Glen Nott

Lisa Winn and her amazing voice have already enjoyed a career backing up many musicians. Now she's front and centre as a solo artist with friends backing her up.

"And you say you can see right through me, I don't think so, boy 'Cause I'm not that shallow And you're not that deep..".-- from See Right Through Me, by Lisa Winn

Human creatures have had their way with her heart before, so maybe that's why Lisa Winn has such strong affections for critters of the non-human variety. And those critters love her right back. Heck, a devoted kitty named Ernie basically answers the phone when it rings at Winn's Hamilton home. But Winn, 27, isn't giving up on people yet. Her debut album, Mother Earth, came out last summer, and soon there won't be any left to sell. That means people are noticing.

For someone more used to blending into the background, such attention can be daunting. Winn's talents and friends are prodding her to the front and middle of the stage. The album, in essence, is a patchwork collection of writers and players from this area's rich well of singer/songwriter talent, with Winn's incredibly smooth, emotive vocals soaring or swooning over each cut."We solicited all our friends, and everyone we asked was great," she said. "Everyone was happy to offer a song or help out." When Winn speaks in "we" she is talking of Rob Lamothe, her performing partner and probably the strongest arm of the many hands helping Winn establish a career in music.

Her amazing voice already enjoys a career. Her harmonizing can be heard on works by Mike Trebilcock, Jacob Moon, and Lamothe among many others. "I think I have to attribute my abilities at harmonizing to my dad listening to Peter, Paul & Mary while I was growing up," she says.

But Winn is more than a backup singer, just as Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris were capable of more in that same position years ago. Lamothe and Winn have toured Europe twice -- in 1996 and again last year -- and will travel there again this summer along with Shannon Lyon. A swing through western Canada is also on the itinerary, as are a whack of summer festivals. Lamothe played a prominent role on Mother Earth, toiling on a bandful of instruments and sharing writing credits with Winn on two songs, including the very beautiful Brown Haired Angel. The album's title cut is a Ray Materick song, and guitarist Mike Daley contributes the disc's last officially listed song, Wishing On The Moon, and some guitar. Other notable players include guitarists Les Cooper and Jamie Oakes. See Right Through Me, the album's first song, is a rather angry little love song that belies the gentle, rootsy flow of the remaining numbers. "People used to call it a man-hating song. It isn't," she says.

The very last bit on the album is a sort of makeshift autobiography plucked out by Winn on acoustic. It is self-conscious, charming and naturally sweet, and says more about the singer than she probably realizes. She was born and raised here, attended Hill Park for high schooling, and sang in theatre productions and band battles there. "I think we did a Sinead O'Connor song and a Concrete Blonde song," Winn recalls. She sang in a band called Sunflower Honey after school, but her talents are emerging, as a solo artist. She's quick to credit Lamothe, a transplanted Californian with a formidable following in pockets of Europe, for much of that. "Having Rob as a friend and as a believer in my music has been so encouraging."

So tomorrow night's singer/songwriter fest on the Casbah stage, featuring Winn, Lamothe, Trebilcock and Lyon, has her near sleepless in anticipation. The evening will even be recorded for posterity.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
Songwriting 101: Four of the Areas Brightest Songwriting Talents Converge on the Casbah
Rob Lamothe, Shannon Lyon, Lisa Winn and Mike Trebilcock

Thursday, February, 8th 2001 ~ by Alex Ersami

The good ones make it look easy. The rest either get lucky once in a while or in the worst cases, remind us that it is not as simple as it looks. I'm talking about songwriting, that elusive skill where one assembles various chords, melodies and lyrics, turning them into a cohesive whole. However, in the end, it is more than just bringing those elements together that makes a song transcend its collected parts. Somehow, those who can do it, infuse something deeper which binds all of the components, allowing them to meld and interact in a way that something unique and hopefully original emerges.

Tomorrow night, four prominent, independent singer/songwriters will come together to showcase their various musical compositions in a stripped down setting. It will be a rare opportunity to see some very different but equally talented composers perform their varied works and with luck, give the audience a little glimpse into the essence of the songs themselves. "The parts that jump out and grab you are easy," explains Mike Trebilcock, the former Killjoy who has recently released his first solo CD Shield Millions about how much work goes into writing songs. "The rest is sort of like doing a crossword puzzle - just making all of the inspired parts fit together."

"Starting to write a song is easy," agrees Rob Lamothe who has been composing music for decades and has released several albums of original material. "It's usually a thought or theme floating around in my head that won't go away until I write it down. The craft part comes when you're trying to actually form it into a song" Depending on the songwriter, it is whatever comes first that shapes the song. Some base their music on the lyrics while others do it in reverse. But there are no rules when it comes to inspiration and some do not break songs up into neat, separate sections.

"I tend to write both the lyric and melody together," adds Shannon Lyon, a Kitchener-based talent whose recent album Summer Blonde was released to almost universal acclaim. "For me the lyric and melody are not independent of one another. They co-exist."
"It's different for every song," reflects Lisa Winn, a highly respected area performer whose still emerging talents seem to become more vivid with each passing performance. "Sometimes it will just happen at once and sometimes it comes in pieces."

Burgeoning or frustrated songwriters should also know that even if you have been doing it for years, songwriting is not a skill that you can always count upon. Inspiration hits even the pros a irregular intervals. "It was easy when I wrote that bulk of songs for my CD Mother Earth," continues Winn. "Since then it has been the worst case of writer's block. It was a piece here and a piece there but I didn't get anything down until three nights ago when I finally finished a song."

"Sometimes it falls together fairly easily," says Lamothe who will be recording his solo set for possible inclusion on an upcoming live album. "Sometimes, though, it can take months to feel like I've got something that communicates those first thoughts." Even when a song is "finished," even when a seemingly definitive version has been recorded and released, it may not signal an end of the creative process. That is because songwriting can not only reflect the moment of conception, but in the best cases, the moment of performance as well. That is why some performers will never play a song the same way twice.

"Songs can be set in their ways, " states Trebilcock, "but certain songs lend themselves to many interpretations. "Songs never really stop writing themselves," concludes Lyon. "They are always changing." Rob Lamothe, Shannon Lyon, Lisa Winn and Mike Trebilcock will each do a half-hour solo set followed by a rare on stage summit between all four performers.

From The Rock Reunion ~ Germany
Mother Earth Review January 2001 ~ by Thomas Schmahl

The CD of Lisa Winn perhaps isn't what you would expect on a rock site, but due to the class of this girl and the fact that the CD was produced by Rob Lamothe of the Riverdogs I simply had to mention it! Lisa finally managed to finish her CD which has been announced a long time ago. Or should I say Rob finally managed to finish it? I first noticed Lisa on Rob's tour with Lenita Erickson and Bruce Kulick (Kiss, Union). Her voice was fascinating. Rob told me that he was producing her CD at this time, and now here it is. What can I say? Lisa's voice is still outstanding. Besides having produced the CD, Rob is also playing acoustic guitar on almost all tracks and sings backing vocals. The atmosphere on the CD is similar to the one on Rob's solo CDs: Relaxed singer/ songwriter acoustic tracks. I just want to mention some tracks (they are all great!): "Similar Likeness" with laid back guitar picking and huge vocal harmonies. "Forgive Myself" with smooth percussions and baritone guitar makes me dream! "Love" only features Lisa's vocals in the foreground and a guitar in the background. Incredible! Of course I could mention every song, but I strongly recommend you to get this CD through Lisa's site www.lisawinn.com. Or try to contact Rob at www.roblamothe.com. It's a beautiful piece of acoustic pop/ folk. You will love Lisa's voice! Support Lisa and Rob!

Rating: 10 out of 10

Kweevak's Tracks ~ New Jersey
2000 ~ by Laura Turner Lynch

Lisa Winn has worked with a variety of artists. She has been the lead singer for several local Hamilton, Ontario bands and a backing vocalist on a number of CDs. She brings a broad range of experiences to her music. The Mother Earth collection is her debut as a songwriter. Lisa wrote six of the ten tracks, two were collaborations with producer Rob Lamothe. First-class musicians support this rock and roll CD. Mother Earth is filled with philosophical lyrics. Each song has a different mood and tone, which ranges from vulnerability to hope. ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Brave’ are environmental anthems. Lisa Winn has a wide range of vocal styles and inflections that brings diversity to the collection as a whole. ‘See Right Through Me’ and ‘Gone Too Far’ are edgy and captivating. ‘Mother Earth’ has a great hook and solid instrumentation. Overall, Lisa Winn’s first solo CD is a varied mix of songs that showcase great vocals. • Recommended Tracks: (1,3,8)

The Record ~ Kitchener, ON
Canadians with European flavour
Hamilton's Rob Lamothe and Lisa Winn share the songwriting spotlight
November 23, 2000 ~ by Jason Schneider

The description ''big in Europe'' is usually met with some cynicism on this side of the Atlantic, but with even Canada now becoming part of planet pop, honest musicians have to go where the audiences are. For Hamilton songstress Lisa Winn, it's helped that her performing partner Rob Lamothe has already built a substantial European following through years of hard work. 

"We just got back from doing seven shows in Holland and Germany. I took 100 of my CDs and by the fourth or fifth show they were all sold,'' she says. "This was my second time going over with Rob, but he's there all the time so it's amazing to see the fan base he's got. People travel hundreds of kilometres to see him and then come out three nights in a row. It's easy for us to get spoiled over there. I've been lucky to be able to build my own fan base through his fans. It's a bit of riding his coat tails for me." 

Winn doesn't need to be so modest. Her first album, Mother Earth, released last summer, is a stunning collection of organic folk-rock. While her style often veers between traditional songwriting icons like Joni Mitchell and more contemporary figures like Ani DiFranco and Jann Arden, the common thread is in purely expressing personal experiences.

"That album is definitely a time period thing, something that was happening in my life at a certain point," she says. "You put it on a CD and people then take what they need from it. I wouldn't say I'm definitely ready to move on yet, but there are different things going on in my life that I can write about now."

Winn and Lamothe have been sharing stages for the past several years, ever since Lamothe settled in Hamilton with his family after gaining some notoriety in the early '90s playing with American hard rock band the Riverdogs. Once in Hamilton, he formed Project Hum which included Winn on vocals and percussion, which eventually was scaled down to just the two of them. Since then his solo albums, the most recent being I Am Here Now, have received international acclaim despite limited exposure in Canada. Winn admits it's a challenge being a traditionally based artist in Canada right now since the best showcases are often the limited slots at folk festivals. However, she hopes fans will eventually find her music in the same way she discovered her favourite artists.

"I've always used music as a healing tool. I can listen to certain songwriters and get an understanding of who they are, so if people can relate to something I'm singing, that's amazing. I've had people ask me a lot of questions about a lot of the songs and some of them I can't answer. But just the fact that they've been moved by a certain song to ask me about it means that a connection is there, and that's the greatest thing in the world if you're an artist."

Yet, despite her recent success in Europe, there's one thing Winn doesn't miss. "Everybody over there smokes. It's unbelievable. We got some pictures back and you can barely see us on stage. It's just one big cloud." Playing in Waterloo should be a nice change then.

Shock Value Music Webzine
Mother Earth Review
November 2000 ~ by C.J. Cauley

Raw, natural beauty and inherent musical talent are attributes rarely found together in this business but you'll find it all in Canada's Lisa Winn. Lisa's CD, Mother Earth, has the chutzpah of Alanis Morissette, the charm of Jewel and the humor of Finona Apple mixed with the daring of Tori Amos and the honesty of Meredith Brooks. Quite a range, eh? (Get it, she's Canadian, eh?)

The first cut, See Right Through Me, establishes the uniqueness of Lisa's style right away. "Tell me what you want from me / Cause you're freaking me out... / So don't f--- with my heart" - words that are just the beginning of the roller coaster ride that is Lisa's journey. The title track's message has sincere sentiment, displaying that Lisa hasn't yet relinquished the '60s to history. Of course the message is saving the earth, but it's delivered magnificently with harmonies that would do any 60's folk singer proud. Forgive Myself is a gentle song about love lost but it doesn't get stuck in emotional and rhythmic quagmires like some female artists tend to do. It's filled with sweet vocals reminiscent of the legendary Karen Carpenter (a compliment I do not hand out lightly), accompanied only by keys, baritone guitar and a rich drum track. In the search for C.J.'s favorite track, we have a winner in Forgive Myself.

Similar Likeness once again brings out beautiful harmonies, assisted by Rob Lamothe. Lisa and Rob have a harmony that is usually reserved for an immediate family relationship, like that of Naomi and Wynonna Judd. Joining Lisa and Rob is Jamie Oakes, continuing the harmony loud and clear in Brown Haired Angel. John Denver would be smiling in his grave if he heard this tune. It has that simple elegance that he strove for and met during the highlight of his career. Simply titled Love, the sixth track could definitely give Jewel's Foolish Games a run for it's money.

Dirty gets down, and you guessed it, dirty, with a story of desire. The full band sound is a break from the less accompanied tunes without being over- powering. Gone Too Far is a commanding rock ditty that manages to combine powerful vocals with biting lyrics about the pangs of love. That's followed by a powerhouse ballad about Native Americans, Brave, which proves Lisa is much more than just a pretty face and a good voice. Her sensibilities are deeply rooted with compassion for all living things. In Wishing on the Moon, with only a guitar and a voice, Lisa manages to take you into her world making her metaphors reality, with the outside world a dimly apprehended rumor: "On the banks of a station and a circular track / a circular train runs forward and back / never arrives, cannot be possessed / I'm like that train, no station to rest."

Her charm will envelope you, her voice will captivate you and her music will leave you breathless. To order Lisa's CD, please visit her website: www.lisawinn.com and be sure to tell her you read about her in Shock Value!

From "The Northern Light" Web Site
Mother Earth review
September, 2000 ~ by Lennart Hedenström

When Rob Lamothe sent me his "I Am Here Now" CD he slipped Lisa Winn's "Mother Earth" into the package too. Lamothe has been heavily involved in Winn's CD; producing, songwriting and adding harmony vocals.

So first off, who is Lisa Winn? In the early 90s she fronted several local Hamilton bands including "Sunflower Honey". Since 1995 she has among other things performed hundreds of shows with Rob Lamothe in Canada, the United States and Europe. So she's certainly been paying her dues.

On "Mother Earth" we're treated to Winn's beautiful and strong voice in a setting that is extremely tasteful. There are a lot of folk ingredients, but still there's a rock music heaviness about it. The arrangements are often sparse and spacious. The production, by Rob Lamothe, is clear and just perfect for the music, allowing us to hear every note and every breathe. Winn's lyrics are like small poems in their own right and adding to the whole earthbound vibe of the CD, and she deals with everything from her own thoughts, to environmental problems and the situation for the North American Indian culture.

Let's have a look at some of the tracks. The opener, "See Right Through Me", is a twanging rocker with some incredibly powerful lyrics. Here's a sample...

"Just tell me what you want from me
cuz you're freaking me out...
so don't fuck with my heart
cuz it's a good heart"

"Mother Earth" then sets the mood of the album more in the direction of the CD as a whole, ie a warm more folkish sound with layers of harmony vocals. Beautiful! Other highlights are... "Brown Haired Angel" is perfect country/folk music the way it should be, with all those chilling harmony vocals executed together with Rob Lamothe. On "Dirty" she comes through as a folk version of Alanis Morrisette as she goes from the softest of voices and slowly builds up towards a crescendo of furiousness, and back again. My fave track though, is "Forgive Myself", a soothing and laid-back track with more beautiful singing from Winn and nice "Twin Peaks guitars" added by Shannon Lyon (baritone guitar).

All in all, "Mother Earth", Lisa Winn's debut as a solo performer, certainly is a strong CD. The musical direction contains a lot of folk and also threads of country but always in a singer songwriter type of rock music costume, and as said above mostly in very sparse and spacious arrangements. Not one for the rockers out there, but if you are into genuine, true musicality and heartfelt performances you should definitely get hold of it.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
September 14, 2000 ~ by Alex Erasmi

A dynamic singer whose range and power are only exceeded by her warmth and genuine understated soul, Lisa Winn proves she is both a musician and artist every time she opens her mouth. Mother Earth is her solo debut album and it offers an often intimate and revealing portrait of this understated personality. The title track (by hypercreative local songwriter Ray Materick) is a poignant without being preachy environmental folk anthem while Winn's original "Brave" is a mournful ode to the destruction of North American Indian culture. Mike Daley also contributes the brief but eerily touching acoustic ballad "Wishing On The Moon". Scattered throughout the album are Winn originals that tell a cathartic tale that begins with the bitter venom of an imploding relationship as heard on "See Right Through Me", later followed by the heavily introspective and emotionally naked ballads "Forgive Myself" and "Similar Likeness". The stark "Love" finds the singer at her mournful best while the tone of "Dirty" and "Gone Too Far" prove to be transitional ending of her personal saga. "I'm 25 and I'm still alive," she affirms on the latter-not quite a happy ending, but a start. Musical contributions by Jamie Oakes, Jacob Moon and Les Cooper among others only compliment Rob Lamothe's restrained production, which gives Winn support only when appropriate. The balance between personal and social observations occasionally interrupts the flow of Mother Earth but the high level of musicianship and of Winn's own presence easily make this one if the summer's better offerings.

The SamTheRecordMan.com Music Newsletter
Review of Lisa Winn: Mother Earth

September, 2000 ~ by James Porteous

The intro of the opening track washes over the listener like a day at the cosmic beach, but it soon becomes clear that the singer has something else in mind. "You say you can see right through me/ I don't think so boy/ 'cause I'm not that shallow/ and you're not that deep,"  the voice sings out in rare, raw power on "See Right Through Me." Lisa Winn has one of those rare voices that can rip the paint of the wall or melt your heart, all within a heartbeat. This debut album weaves musical magic with the passionate cover of Ray Materick's title track, the simple joy of "Similar

Likeness" and the native-influenced "Brave." Wonderfully produced by the equally talented singer/songwriter Rob Lamothe, who also provides harmony vocals and guitar work throughout.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
August 3, 2000 ~ by Alex Erasmi

Lisa Winn is one of the most respected names on the local music scene. Best known as a supporting vocalist, this Friday, August 4 will mark a major turning point in the singer’s career as she will officially launch herself as a solo artist.

Mother Earth is the title of the long-awaited debut. It was worth the wait. Produced by her long-time musical cohort Rob Lamothe and featuring such guests as Shannon Lyon, Les Cooper, Mike Daley and Jamie Oakes, the album is personal and provocative, showcasing Winn's striking vocals in a variety of settings.

To celebrate her artistic triumph, Winn will headline at the Hudson with musical support coming from many of the same people who perform on the album. Opening the show will be Killjoy Mike Trebilcock, who'll undoubtedly be previewing material from his own soon-to- be-released solo album. Cover is $5, and for this gig only, you can pick up a copy of Mother Earth for a measly $10.

View Magazine ~ Hamilton ON
October, 1999 ~ by Alex Erasmi

If Hamilton’s music scene could be described as a miniature version of the history of rock and roll, then vocalist Lisa Winn would probably be Emmylou Harris.

While Harris has gone on to make a name for herself as a distinctive artist, she really began her career as a harmony singer, accompanying the legendary Gram Parsons on his landmark early-’70’s recordings and later joining Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton on their Trio recordings.

I’m not saying that Lisa Winn sounds like Emmylou or that she has a particular country slant in her material or her delivery-it’s just that, like Harris, Winn has proven herself a natural harmony singer, one whose voice instinctively melds and compliments the voice of another.

More than just a back-up vocalist, whose role usually is to support and echo the lead, a harmony singer acts as a second voice for the lead singer, augmenting and colouring whatever they are doing.

It is a distinctive and unique ability and for the last few years, it seems to be the role that Winn has adopted among Hamilton’s musical elite.

Jacob Moon, Shannon Lyon and Ray Materick, among others, have all solicited Winn’s talents for their own recordings. Her voice was also utilized when the finishing touches were being put on one of the tracks from Gordon Lightfoot’s 1998  album A Painter Passing Through, recorded at Grant Avenue.

“ I never met the man,” laughs Winn about the highest profile gig on her resume.

The bulk of her time, however, has been spent in the company of area singer/songwriter Rob Lamothe, who has featured her on his last four recording projects and has taken her on tour, both in western Canada and Europe.

It is at least partially thanks to his support and encouragement that Winn is on the verge of stepping out from the side of the stage and becoming a solo artist in her own right with the release of her forthcoming debut album Mother Earth.

“It’s bizarre” says the 25-year-old singer about what it’s to take centre stage after several years as a support player.

“It actually started when I was on tour with Rob in Europe. His record company offered me a contract. It took a while to get the paperwork written up and when it was finished, the deal fell through because the guy didn’t have the money to do it. I just figured ‘Oh well, another time’.  Then someone locally stepped forward and asked Rob how much it would take to do an album. That’s why we decided to do it now.”

Produced by Lamothe, Mother Earth (which is in final stages of preparation) is made up of 13 songs which includes originals by Mike Daley, Flux’s Bill Majoros and Ray Materick as well as some of Winn’s self-penned compositions. Based on the recent live performances of her solo material, the album promises to be revealing and dynamic glimpse at this normally soft-spoken performer.

While Mother Earth will announce the presence of another about her debut musical statement.

“This is something I’m doing more for myself,” smiles the singer after a moment of reflection.

I’m not looking for a big record company to pick it up or anything. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I just hope that people will like it.”

Lisa Winn’s Mother Earth  is due sometime next month with what will sure to be an all-star album release party to follow in December. Watch this space for details.