RAPID RIVER ARTS Review (I love Asheville!)

Lizanne Knott Excellent Day Proper Records

Badass rocker meets wounded bird, with a heavy dose of unapologetic lust thrown into the mix. Supported by a hugely talented and simpatico band Knott pretty much knocks every track out of the ballpark, and while her own songs carry the day the standout here is her ethereal cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Stolen Car”, which might just be the best reworking ever of a song from The Boss. Credit also goes to producer and support musician Glenn Barratt for adding just the right touches-muted trumpet, banjo, and guitar loops among them- as needed. The result is an adventurous and multi-layered delight that lives up to its name and bears repeated spins. *****

- J. Cassara

PROPER
LIZANNE KNOTT/Excellent Day:  
Well looky here, this is the Lucinda Williams album we’ve been waiting for as the follow up to her white album.  Perfectly capturing the smoky vocals that enticed us to want to share some passionate kisses backed by some solid industrial folk - bottoming heart touching writing, this is a perfect example of the kind of stuff excellence ears demanding the crème of the crop demand.  On point throughout without a wasted note, Knott has proven herself to be the new belle of the ball.  Killer stuff throughout.

Chris Spector 
Midwest Record 
830 W. IL. Route 22 #144 
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047 
www.midwestrecord.com

ALBUM REVIEW

Lizanne Knott takes me to Paris

Lizanne Knott - Excellent Day

Lizanne Knott is a folk singer. I know because I saw her at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Ok, so that isn’t a defining activity for anyone who plays there….but close. Actually categorizing music or musicians is not only not my strong suit but also not something I agree with too much.The point I’m making is that this album from the first listen to the last, and believe me the last is way far off, makes me feel like I am sitting in a smoke filled cafe in Paris listening to a wonderful singer sitting on a stool pouring her heart out. OK, so kill the smoke, except for Lizanne’s voice of course. I have heard it described as smoky and it is. Smoky, infectious, sexy and just plain enjoyable. Believe me any album that takes me back to Paris is a winner in my book butExcellent Day is much more than a memory invoking treat. It is one of those easy to listen to, warm, thought provoking efforts that you can listen to over and over.

It seems that a long time friend guitarist, Jef Lee Johnson, encouraged Lizanne to dig deeper and the result is the blues and jazz flavored Excellent Day. Thank you Jef Lee Johnson. Your influence has resulted in an album I enjoy and I am sure you would as well. Lizanne covered one of his songs for the title track “Excellent Day” which has a syncopated drum beat bed and a soothing guitar as the foundation for a strong suggestion not to mess with her excellent day. I wouldn’t dare. Knott also covers a Janis Ian song, ok so I guess she is a folk singer after all. “Sometimes” is absolutely a folk song, and a good one. Another cover is “It Ain’t Necessarily So” the George and Ira Gershwin classic.

The covers are great but I totally love the way the album starts “Come For The Kill” is a hard driving intro to the album that tells you right off that Lizanne Knott is about to open up her heart and pour it out for your enjoyment. I could easily comment on each and every song but I won’t. I have to leave something for you to discover and experience for yourself. And, I hope you do. I am pretty damn sure you will enjoy it. See you all in Paris.

Mark J. Smith

CD REVIEWS: New music from Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’ and Philadelphia’s Lizanne Knott

Lizanne Knott: Excellent Day – Album Review

by  on 5 APRIL, 2016

in ALBUM REVIEWS

facebooktwitter

excellent-dayAnative of Philadelphia now based in Nashville, Lizanne Knott has built a dedicated following both in the States and here in the UK for her sultry brand of Americana; however, for ‘Excellent Day’, her fourth album, the recent death of guitarist Jef Lee Johnson prompted her to dig back into her blues and jazz roots, the result is a stew of the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans and vintage Nashville. Indeed, the laid back, brass coated, lazing blues title track is itself a Johnson penned number.

It’s not the only cover here. Sometimes, a melancholic, hushed voice and acoustic guitar ballad about love’s often brief nature, is an unreleased Janis Ian number only available as a download worktape on her site, It Ain’t Necessarily So is a smoky blues reading of the Gershwin classic with horns, fiddle and upright bass while she carries the world weary resignation of Springsteen’s Stolen Car on an arrangement of fiddle, slide, organ and drum programming.

 

Save for a collaboration with Bill Reveles on the percussion, piano and trumpet based mid-tempo New Orleans gospel groove Not This Time, the other tracks are all self-penned, kicking off with the tribal stomp beat of the seductive snake bite of Come For The Kill, taking a dusk-hung jazzy sway through the sweet chorus roll of Why You Wanna Break My Heart and the spare break up of Goodbye with its upright bass and muted trumped washed mood of lights reflecting in rainwashed city streets.

There’s a rootsier feel to the equally stripped down Tennessee, its wistful air etched out on simple acoustic guitar, the chorus embellished with dobro and pedal steel while, with its trumpet and Wurlitzer piano, the easy shuffling upbeat Someday Love leans more to a countrypolitan ragtime vibe and, as you may guess from the title, the steady rolling Lay My Burden Down is vintage roots gospel, complete with line echoing background vocals and featuring tasty slide from Pat Wictor and special guest Steve Martin on banjo.

Excellent Day is one for those albums for late summer nights filled with the smell of woodsmoke, the taste of a good bourbon and the glow of fireflies.

Review byMike Davies

Lizanne Knott review…March 14, 2016….

LIZANNE KNOTT

EXCELLENT DAY

COME FOR THE KILL–WHY YOU WANNA BREAK MY HEART–GOODBYE–IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO–RAINBOW CROW–TENNESSEE–NOT THIS TIME–LAY MY BURDEN DOWN–STOLEN CAR–SOMEDAY LOVE–SOMETIMES–EXCELLENT DAY

One cannot help but be drawn in by the enticing, smoky-sultry vocal style of Lizanne Knott.  A true world traveler, she has put her musical stamp not only here in Music City, but in Philly and over in the UK as well.  Her latest album, “Excellent Day,” has her delivering twelve originals dealing with love, loss, and redemption at the end of the day.

She begs the question, “what drives a cheating man” in “Why You Wanna Break My Heart?,” and defiantly takes a stand against another cruel lover, vowing “Not This Time” for any more of his transgressions.  It features excellent piano from John Conahan, and banjo from Glenn Barratt.

That buttery-smooth vocal breathes life into the Biblically-themed characters of “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” done with a cool Peggy Lee vibe.  The wistful “Tennessee” features Tom Hampton on pedal steel and dobro.  The upbeat positivity of “Someday Love” recalls that vintage Nashville “countrypolitan” sound, and she closes the set with a Meters-inspired, jazzy shot of New Orleans strut, warning us all, “don’t mess with my Excellent Day!”

We had two favorites, too.  That’s Steve Martin on banjo on the gospel sweetness of “goin’ home, Lord, and Lay My Burden Down.”  And, one of the most powerful break-up songs you’ll ever hear is Lizanne’s poignant “you’re mine no more, Goodbye.”  Adding to the ambience of this cut is muted trumpet from Josh Lawrence.

Lizanne Knott is quite a creative songwriter who can easily transport the listener into the world inhabited by her characters.  Add in her stellar vocal reads, and “Excellent Day” is a brilliant outing from a very talented lady!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

 

"a voice as capable of beautiful clarity as it is of conveying whispering sensuality. Filling the grand old hall throughout, it raises hairs and spirits alike"  

Knott’s understated style yet astute observation take audiences on an emotional as well as musical journey, from smiles to tears and back again.

Properganda Review (UK)_resized

"Absolutely gorgeous music. We've rarely had as big a reaction to any artist in recent years that we've had for Lizanne Knott"
Proper Records -Properganda Issue "Lizanne Knott is one of an increasing number of singer-songwriters that deserve to be household names."
"Lizanne Knott is a beautiful talent. Soft spoken words, intelligent poetic lyrics and a voice that defies any age. A class act all the way around and beloved by her friends and fans alike. A rare artist."
"Hauntingly delicate vocals. For some would-be singer-songwriters, life often gets in the way of their dreams. But for Lizanne Knott, it was life that paved the way for her music, opening doors in the most unexpected of places - and creating a small fervor that would lead to an enamored following in the Philadelphia area."
"Listening to Lizanne Knott is like a drive through Swindon's Magic Circle. You know you're going to go round and round for a while, never sure where you're coming to. Take it from me, it'll be someplace good."
"Intoxicating; Her voice pulls you into her music and takes you deep into yourself. I can imagine that even people that are not truly intensive listeners, will be hooked. An uncut diamond, she shines away with her many facets."
" A fearless writer, undeniably gifted with a voice to call on angels and a smile that could light a stadium".
"With melodies and lyrics that are finely crafted, Lizanne Knott forges a strong connection with her listeners. Her voice, stage presence and performance style make even those who don't enjoy live music gravitate toward her. No diamond in the rough....she's shining through with a lot of natural bling."
"Lizanne's voice is sweet and emotional - you feel every word she sings. Her vocals have an almost hypnotic quality and her writing is exquisite"

CD Review | Lizanne Knott – Excellent Day

Album | Excellent Day

Artist | Lizanne Knott

Label | Proper Music

Americana\Folk

 Singer/songwriter Lizanne Knott found the inspiration for her fourth studio album during a period of reflection which followed the unexpected death three years ago of her long-time friend and guitarist Jef Lee Johnson. Their shared love of American ‘roots music’ – infused in Country, Blues and Folk – is the connecting thread in this wonderful 12 song collection. It includes ‘Excellent Day’, the Johnson-penned title track; ‘Sometimes’ a beautiful ballad by Janis Ian (a fan) who gave Lizanne exclusive rights to record it; a mellow-blues interpretation of Gershwin’s ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ and a wistful version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Stolen Car’, the other tracks are Lizanne’s own compositions.

The album opens with ‘Come For The Kill’,  a superlative piece of Americana-noir featuring the evocative drumbeat of Erik Johnson; ‘Why You Wanna Break My Heart’ is a mournful country torch song enhanced by Ken Prendergast on Upright Bass; ‘Goodbye’ is a beautiful melancholic heart-break number featuring Brian Ashley Jones on guitar and Josh Lawrence on muted trumpet.

The roots influences are diverse – ‘Not This Time’ (co-written by Bill Reveles) has a feel of New Orleans soul, while ‘Lay My Burden Down’ takes us to Gospel Blues territory, and is augmented by the banjo playing of none other than Steve Martin.

‘Someday Love’ is a feel-good, gently defiant song of hope and is a counterpoint to the rueful lament ‘Tennessee’. The musicianship on ‘Rainbow Crow’ is a sublime fusion and creates a sound that perfectly enhances Lizanne’s knowing vocals.

This is an exceptional album by an artist who is becoming revered on both sides of the Atlantic. Championed in the UK by Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2, she is building a rapidly growing fan-base over here, who will be looking forward to her all-too-brief tour in Scotland this June (details here).

facebook

Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/lizanne.knott

Twitter - follow me!

Twitter -- https://twitter.com/LizanneKnott