by / August 22nd, 2010 /

Lissie – The Academy, Dublin


Ahead of her sold out show in Dublin this September and with latest single Cuckoo making a splash on the airwaves, Lissie today announces her return to the Academy main room on Tuesday 7th December. Tickets priced €17 inclusive of booking fee are on sale next Wednesday, August 25th at 9am.

It would be easy to misconstrue Lissie. Slight and blonde, a pretty, guitar-playing slip-of-a-thing, you might easily take her for a sweet Midwestern girl, a freckled balladeer borne of milk and cookies and cornfields. More fool you. For all the flaxen hair and big blue eyes, this girl is smart and gutsy and tough, with a big old voice to match it: Stevie Nicks taking Neko Case by the scruff of the neck, Laurel Canyon prettiness stewed in campfire and bourbon; there is, after all, a certain vocal quality that only a decade of beer and cigarettes can bring.

She was born in Rock Island, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities, on the banks of the Mississippi River. It’s the city that inspired Rock Island Line, and that bore Bix Beiderbecke, it’s the stuff of spring floods and pick-up trucks and bona fide blue collar country music. Lissie was always the musical one of her family. Inspired a little by her Grandfather, a former international barbershop quartet champion, she would sing along at her Lutheran church but was never a choir girl, then auditioned for the local dinner theatre production and at the age of nine scored the lead in an 80-date production of Annie.

She taught herself a handful of guitar chords, wrote about the girls who snubbed her and the boys who broke her and all the scrapes she got herself into, and played them out loud at the local coffee shop where she worked, dreaming of the big city and leaving her small Midwestern town.

While at Colorado State University Lissie continted to play music, still — honing her songs, headlining the local theatre, writing and recording a track with a local electronic DJ that would somehow find its way onto TV, sound tracking the OC and Veronica Mars and House. She spent a semester in Paris, learned French and photography, kept writing, kept playing, and when she returned to the US, she decided to ditch university altogether, move to Los Angeles and make a go of her music career.

In LA she played bars of course, showcases and residencies, performed in clubs sometimes to an audience of one. In the spring of 2006 she started her own night with musician friends at a bar called Crane’s Hollywood Tavern in her neighbourhood, which she named Beachwood Rockers’ Society, and made ends meet handing out restaurant flyers and selling honey every Sunday at the local farmer’s market.

Little by little things seemed to come together; she recorded a five-track EP named Why You Runnin’ with her friend Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses that caught something of a fire in the States last year. She headed to Nashville to record with Jacquire King (who was fresh from working with the Kings of Leon).

What came out of it was the bulk of her debut album, Catching A Tiger; 11 songs that range from bluesy-folk to unfettered pop and showcase both her remarkable voice and her songwriting chops.

Lissie’s debut album Catching A Tiger is out now.

Tickets for Lissie’s end of year Academy show on December 7th are priced €17 inclusive of booking fee. Her September show in the Academy 2 has already sold out.