Lisa Gillam
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Lisa Gillam

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Lisa Gillam @ The Republic

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Lisa Gillam @ P.J.'s Cafe

Taichung, Not Applicable, Taiwan

Taichung, Not Applicable, Taiwan

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After living in Asia for a total of four years, Lisa Gillam is now back in Newfoundland and promoting her debut self-titled solo album.

She’s starting off in early September touring Atlantic Canada to promote the “Lisa Gillam” CD and says she will be back in the province in October or November with performances in Corner Brook and Stephenville.

Born and raised in Stephenville, Gillam graduated from St. Stephen’s High in 1988.
She always had a love of music and for many years took piano lessons from local music teacher Mary Dawson and participated in Rotary Music Festivals for many years.

Gillam went on to study music at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s and upon graduation immediately started teaching, private and public, in the province’s capital. One big accomplishment for Gillam was the development of a rock/pop guitar program in her school, which ran for three years but unfortunately it was axed due to cutbacks in education.

It was decision time and she turned down the offer of a position at another school in St. John’s and instead decided to start travelling. Her first destination in 2004 ended up being in Taiwan teaching English as a second language for a year, then moving on to Bangkok, where she taught music for a year.

The opportunity arose for her to go back to the same job she had left in St. John’s and she returned but realized within a few weeks it’s difficult to go back and experienced some one-time reverse culture shock. She stuck it out that year.

She returned in 2007 to the same school in Taiwan she had taught, bought a guitar and started playing and singing immediately. Within a few months she started writing music.

The entire album was recorded at Aquamarine Studios in Taichung, Taiwan and in mid-August Gillam held a CD release event at The Republic in St. John’s, which was well received. The CD includes “Both Sides Now,” a cover of the Joni Mitchell hit, and “Melancholy Road” by Pete Coulam. All the other tracks are original songs by Gillam.

“It’s a little bit of blues, a little bit of country and even some comedy. The album is sort of an experimentation of different styles,” she said.

While mainly a folk artist, you can hear elements of other genres, including the blues in her music. This subtle blend of styles provides a little something to satisfy any musical taste.

Gillam plans to split her time between living in New Brunswick, where her sister Karen resides, and here in Newfoundland.

— Music
— Music - The Western Star - Newfoundland, Canada

While music has played an important part in much of her life, it was only recently that Stephenville native Lisa Gillam decided to turn her attention to songwriting and recording an album.

"I started taking piano lessons in Grade 1, I eventually took lessons from Mary Dawson, I was involved in the Rotary Music Festival - anything that was musical, I was involved in it when I was growing up," says Ms. Gillam.

After graduating from St. Stephen's in 1988, she went on to study at Memorial University's School of Music and then worked as a music teacher in St. John's for about ten years.

Not satisfied with cutbacks to the education system, she moved to Asia to teach English as a second language.

"I went to Taiwan twice - I went in 2004 and I went back again in 2007," says Ms. Dawson.

Shortly after arriving in Taiwan the second time, she realized a career change was in order.

"I didn't want to be a school teacher anymore," says Ms. Gillam. "I bought a guitar over there and after about two or three months of performing cover tunes, I just started writing my own music."

She also taught herself to play guitar and then recorded a 12-track album at Aquamarine Studios in Taiwan.

"Ten of the songs are mine, one is by Joni Mitchell and one is by a good friend of mine [Pete Coulam] who I met while I was in Taiwan," she says.

"The album is more of an experimentation for me, because I only just started writing, I wanted to try a bunch of different styles. There's a little bit of humour on it, a little bit of sad stuff, basically just stories about different characters I made up in my head. I think I settled on somewhere between a country and a folk sound."

The self-titled CD was released in Taiwan in June and in St. John's on August. Ms. Gillam is set on taking to the road to support the album.

"I'm in the process of planning an Atlantic Canada tour for the fall," she says. "I'm hoping to come back to Stephenville in October or November."

For more information on Ms. Gillam, and to hear some of her music, visit Ms. Gillam's CD is also available locally at Arlim's and Partytime Sound.
01/09/09 - The Georgian - Newfoundland, Canada


Lisa Gillam (2009)



Lisa is a singer/songwriter from Newfoundland, Canada. After teaching music in various public schools in St. John's for many years, Lisa moved to Taiwan in 2004 to teach English as a second language. It is there that her self-titled debut album was written and recorded. She returned to Canada in August of 2009 and now calls Fredericton, New Brunswick home.

Influenced by many different styles of music, Lisa's first album has a little something for everyone including folk, blues and country rock music. A true story teller, Lisa has that rare ability to captivate an audience. Her live performances are not to be missed.

Lisa is currently planning a tour of Atlantic Canada.