RAPID RIVER ARTS
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
Lizanne Knott takes me to Paris
Lizanne Knott - Excellent Day
JUNE 8, 2016
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 but Excellent 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
NASHVILLE BLUES SOCIETY Lizanne Knott review…March 14, 2016….
Posted March 14, 2016 by dvcrow56
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.
LIZANNE KNOTT/Excellent Day (Proper)
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.
830 W. IL. Route 22 #144
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Lizanne Knott: Excellent Day – Album Review
by MIKE DAVIES on 5 APRIL, 2016
in ALBUM REVIEWS
A native 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.