By Bob Doerschuk.
Lisa Matassa’s resonant voice, interpretive skill and exuberant delivery are evident throughout her debut album,Sunrise Highway. But the particulars of her story add even more to her appeal.
Born in Florida, she settled on Long Island, where she made her initial impact in the red-hot dance music world of the 1980s. Recording as Lysa Lynn, Matassa released two singles, “I’ve Got the Hots for You” in 1987 and “Rock Me Baby” in 1988, and opened for Taylor Dayne, Brenda K. Starr and other headliners.
Eventually, she scaled back her musical ambitions to raise her children. Now that both are over 18, Matassa has once more returned to her first love — which, incidentally, isn’t dance music. Consider the last name she adopted for her stage act — Lynn, as in Loretta — as a hint that Country has always been her home base.
New fans responded enthusiastically to their first taste of Matassa; the video to her cover of the Nat King Cole classic “The Christmas Song,” jumped to No. 1 on the CMT.com charts, ahead of Toby Keith, Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift. Now, with Sunrise Highway, they’re served a full course of delectable performances.
On 12 tracks, half of them her co-writes, she sounds off on themes any generation can respond to. Whether reflecting on the pleasures of escape from everyday pressures on “Me Time” (written by Joey Sykes and Angie Broberg) or the restorative powers of a girls’ night out on “Wouldn’t You Like to Know” (Matassa, Don Rollins and Jody Gray), Matassa’s delivery demands attention at the top and leaves the listener satisfied at the end.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“Bonnie Raitt — she is the perfect example of how women at any age can rock Country Music.”
DREAM DUET PARTNER
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
“Keith Richards’ Life.”
FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
“I love driving my truck.”
TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
“Better Late Than Never.”
SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I can burp like Shrek.”
On the Web: www.LisaMatassa.com
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.