Bridgin the Blues
Over a 35-year career, Liz Lottmann's brassy, sassy, high-energy blues performances have earned her the respect of musicians and audiences alike. She has played the blues and jazz clubs of the U.S., Europe, Japan, South and Central America and Canada. While touring with her own bands, she also frequently sang with Donn McMinn's Memphis Blues Review, whose players included Jeff Davis and Billy Earheart of Amazing Rhythm Aces, and Willie Hall of The Blues Brothers. She has shared the stage and jammed with artists such as Taj Mahal, the Nighthawks, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, and Spyro Gyra. Liz is proud to be born-and-raised in Northeast Arkansas. While still in high school there, she began composing and performing her own special brand of Memphis-style 'funky folk.' She was a solo artist at Memphis coffeehouses and soon attracted the attention of Judd Phillips, who produced an album of her original songs at Sun Studios in midtown Memphis. She is the only female singer/songwriter to have recorded under contract at Sam Phillips Studio in Memphis. When Jerry Lee Lewis heard her album, he encouraged her to reach out toward the blues. At that time, Furry Lewis, the legendary 'country bluesman,' was working the Memphis area, and each time they'd run into each other, Liz pestered him to show her a few licks on guitar. Furry's brief lessons allowed her to glimpse the backbone of the blues, and she's never lost sight of it. The players on this CD are David Johnson on guitar and vocals, Al Halpin on guitar, Mark Kelly on drums, and James (JP) Petty on bass. David Johnson (guitar/vocals) honed his chops in Arkansas' early rock & roll days, playing with all the seminal players in the northeast area, including the boys of Black Oak Arkansas. His musical travels took him to Texas where he settled in for awhile to share venues and jam with the likes of Kim Wilson, Jimmy Vaughan, Luanne Barton, Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Edgar Winter, and Roy Head. David can pull out hundreds of guitar sounds and licks, many of which highlight the unique arrangements that Lectric Liz and LiveWire are known for. Al Halpin (guitar) came to Arkansas by way of New York, where he played a lot of the same clubs that Liz had toured through. His guitar sound is reminiscent of the Chicago/New York brand of blues. He also plays in the Big Harry Band. Mark Kelly (drums) has played drums and percussion with many bands in Northwest Arkansas through the years, one of his favorites being Mo' Brothers. He brings rhythmic sophistication to Lectric Liz and LiveWire's arrangements, helping them occasionally cross over to the jazzier feels. James (J.P.) Petty (bass) is a recent import from Texas. He and David played together in blues bands throughout Texas, and have been songwriting partners for many years. JP has been playing in Houston for about a hundred years, hooking up with all the 'big guys' there. Liz's latest band is MEMPHIS MAYHEM, a 10-piece R&B band.