". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, May 15, 2009

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation"

Dear amiga, Lissa Hattersley, member of Austin's venerated Greezy Wheels, has released her own cd, How I Spent My Summer Vacation. She's the lead vocalist and plays acoustic guitar. Most of the musical arrangements are hers. The songs include a combination of her own and covers of others', whom she admires. She did Our Own Vaquero the honor of covering his "The Nightworker's Song (Blue Time).

Here is more information about the album from the bass player, John Jordan. According to my search engine, references to How I Spent My Summer Vacation are popping up in various places, like here.

Lissa waited for the dust to settle from South X Southwest to have the launch party at the Cactus Cafe, and, dayem, I couldn't be there. By all accounts it was a wonderful and wild time.

There's so much I love about this album:

Little things -- such as how she starts off "Moonstruck Love," in her own sweet and clean melodic voice, "lahahlahlahha," that rolls right into "I love you." It's kept simple (meaning plain -- ornaments are functional, such as this roll of lahahlahlahha) and beautiful, while lyrically, vocally smart -- still, soft and sweet. That's Our Lissa -- 5 es's -- strong, simple, smart, soft, sweet.

The material doesn't all sound the same, which few singer-songwriter performances and recordings avoid, whether on stage or in the studio. There's also sense of humor here, as well as musical wit! The album is a unity because the organizing principle -- or principal -- is Lissa's own musical sense and sensibility. Part of it is Lissa's clean and unpretentious presentation.

This listener has her own identification with the material on How I Spent My Summer Vacation. A lot of us come from that emotional location where the cut, "Peace in The Valley," comes from. This song in particular carries us way back into our regional and historic family roots, all of which are contained within this great big baggy music tradition called "Country" that includes Appalachian folk and bluegrass, western, cowboy music, and then "swing" gets in there too. So many of us from the Midwest, the South, the Southwest and the West grew up with those kinds of musics, and those singers. Hank Williams is our patron saint, but Ernest Tubb is probably the guardian angel -- and what about Tennessee Ernie Ford and Dolly Parton? There are musical nods on How I Spent My Summer Vacation to these regional and historical roots.

Congratulations, Lissa! You and your friends are the best!

[Dayem, I hate blogspot's refusal to format as I style it.]


K. said...

I haven't thought about Greezy Wheels in years! I'll have to check this one out. I see that it has a song by the late, great Dan Del Santo, a groundbreaking musician who was a victim of our wasteful and misguided war on drugs.

K. said...

Here's a random question about the pronunciation of Treme: Is it "Treh-MAY," "Tree-MAY," or TREE-may"?

I just downloaded "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." Will let you know what I think!

K. said...

Two thumbs up on Summer Vacation. Thanks for the recommendation.

Foxessa said...

I think you'll like it very much!

I thought you would be familiar with Greezy Wheels.

Lissa is one of my oldest friends.

The pronunciation of Tremé is with the emphasis on the accented 'e', so your first choice is the right one. But in NO nobody really pays that much attention.

Love, C.

K. said...

I've already listened to it twice! I'll plug it and link to your review on Sunday.

Only one of Dan Del Santo's albums is available on iTunes and Amazon. It's really sad. The guy was one of the first American musicians and DJs to tout world music. He flogged it tirelessly on his radio show and opened for every reggae act that hit Austin. He always put on a good show. I'd be surprised if his and Vaquero's paths didn't cross at some point.

He fled to Mexico sometime in the '90's to avoid a charge of distributing marijuana. He died there of kidney failure, unable to access American standard medical care that may have saved him. I actually should do a writeup on him. Anyway, Lissa did a good thing by recording one of his songs.

Foxessa said...

Yay! But then, what's not to like with this?

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

K -- I'm so very pleased that you'll include How I Spent My Summer Vacation in your weekend roundup on your blog. People pay attention to what you say about these things.

Love, C.

Frank Partisan said...

Summer Vacation sounds wonderful.