Lisa Graciano

Lisa Graciano


Lisa Graciano's live performance shows her as a bluesy songstress with slide on some songs. While on other songs, still accompanying herself on her semi-acoustic guitar, she slips in a few licks here and there between her strong and clear vocal lines.


Lisa Graciano grew up in a family that moved back and forth between 3 cities, namely Jakarta, Manila and Singapore, which cultivated a sense of nomadic, cosmopolitan and worldly feel in her. Lisa has been in and out of bands, playing the underground circuits and making her own songs since her school days. Late 1989, she relocated to Amsterdam with her mother and youngest sister. Until 2002, next to work and her own family, she kept music on the side, making songs and playing with a local band in Den Helder.

"As a child," she said, "I was very open to all kinds of music, being exposed to music from different cultures, such as gamelan, krontjong, Chinese opera, Indian sitar music and tagalog folk songs like 'Anak' by Freddy Aguilar. At home, English was the spoken language and Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Everly Brothers, Connie Francis and the Beatles the music. I hummed my own tunes while playing with dolls and was fascinated by the sounds I got from my toy piano. At the age of 12 I picked up the acoustic guitar and I started to go through the self-help book. Before I knew it I could play chords. Next I'd sing my song for my sisters and brother: "We're going down, eat our lunch there...."
In another interview she said,"Then there was music from the 60's, 70's and 80's on the radio and Latin music my Dad used to listen to. My own discoveries though, were triggered by the death of John Lennon in 1980. I had already been playing acoustic guitar and writing songs for a year. I remember being deeply affected when Lennon got shot and died just when I was getting into his music. My instinct was to get into the root of his music. Lennon was into rock n roll. The blues had a baby and they named it rock n roll. So that's how I got to the blues, from Muddy Waters to Bonnie Raitt and Memphis Minnie. And during my time in the Manila underground music scene, I got exposed to a lot of Bob Marley reggae, ska and punk. A musician friend gave me a tape with world music from Olatunji and Osibisa. I remember my sister and I used to listen to that tape for hours."
At the suggestion of her parents, Lisa studied some music after finishing Secondary School in Singapore and got diplomas in Grade 4 Piano-playing and Grade 5 Theory of Music from the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music. Still, the guitar was her first instrument of choice and ever since she started playing it, she has learnt from other guitar-players and loves experimenting with open-tuning, finger-picking and slide technique.

After returning to Amsterdam, Lisa did a lot of semi-acoustic performances as a solo artist in 2004 and co-assisted the Blues and Bluesy Open Session held every Wednesday night at Cafe Sappho in Amsterdam. After that, she helped organize and was host of a semi-acoustic show called Fire Valentine on Valentine's night in 2005, at Pre Cafe, in Amsterdam's Leidseplein area. She then went on to host showcases for singer-songwriters every month in that same cafe as well as in Cafe Ponteneur in East Amsterdam. In the summer of 2005, even though she did many shows with her new band as well as solo performances, she also took the opportunity to become a weekly band session-leader for two months in a row at Maloe Melo, a well-known cafe in the heart of Amsterdam. She closed the year with the birth of an EP entitled 'The Singles' containing 4 songs. It got a few good reviews and a few copies of the cd were sold on and during performances.
The highlight of 2006 was the change of musicians in her band, again teaming up with some of the finest in Amsterdam and not only playing shows but also recording some tracks which were included in the 'Citygirl Blues' album released in the late summer of that year. The songs in this cd reflect various influences from country, gamelan, funk, pop and rock injected into her bluesy style. Some lyrics to her music convey emotions felt from a woman's perspective while others have a one-world theme.

In 2007 and 2008, she continued her journey as a performing singer-songwriter playing in different cities, road-testing her songs, inspiring and being inspired by people and connecting with them.

Realizing that music can be used to create a better world through peaceful means, Lisa does her part. The year 2009 in California hopes to put peaceful actions into practice by playing songs of Peace and Love as well as more songs with a One World theme and supporting non-profit organizations and ecologically conscious promoters and bookers in their events and projects. A new band line-up is forming and new songs as well as new versions of old songs are emerging in the repertoire. A cd will definitely come out featuring these songs.



Written By: © 2006 Lisa Graciano

This world seems cold
When you see it on tv
All you see is bad things happening for you and me
What I wouldn't give for us to have a world
Like what Lennon said in his song called 'Imagine'
It's been said before but we're gonna have to
Say it one more time

All we need is love, love is all we need
Love's the only thing that can save us
All we need is love, love is all we need
Love's the only thing that can save us

Somebody's gonna keep
Telling us again and again
For we may never know
When this world is gonna come to an end
It's been said before
And actions are still being taken
We're gonna keep moving on
With one thing that's for sure

All we need is love…..

Don't worry, baby
We'll keep playing our rock and roll
Keep singing those blues away, hey…..

All we need is love…..


Written By: © 2007 Lisa Graciano

We all could help get this moving
We all could help get this going
We all could help get this moving

Verse: There's a reason for us to fear
We are the future and the future is here
Everybody you see, they all want to be free
Freedom comes with responsibility
We all could help get this moving.....

Bridge: Get up, stand up, sit up, shut up
Don't just talk about it
Build up this world and turn it into a better place
we all could help get this moving.....

Verse 2:
Blind exploitation of our natural resources
Being stopped by the proactive forces
Turn free market into fair trade for all
Sustainable earth for rich, poor, big and small
We all could help get this moving....


Live Acoustic Demo Album entitled Working Girl ( 2004 )
1. Out to the Street
2. No one else trying
3. Waiting far too long
4. Maniac on the loose
5. Picture of you
6. Take me away
7. Are you still with me
8. Let me in
9. Vacation
10. Toy gun
11. Working Girl
12. Bad mouth blues
13. Bake My Biscuits ( a cover of Memphis Minnie )

A cd with the band entitled The Singles ( 2005 )
1. Picture Of You
2. Are You Still With Me
3. Out To The Street
4. No One Else Trying

( click on audio above to listen to mp3s )

A mix of band and semi-acoustic entitled Citygirl Blues ( 2006 )
1. Citygirl Blues
2. Cool
3. Beautiful Home
4. Under The Same Sun
5. Kicked Him Out
6. Treat Your Woman Right
7. Train Song
8. Once A Nomad Always A Nomad
9. Making A Living
10. Gonna Give Me His Love
11. Cool (version with band)
12. All We Need

Set List

Lisa plays solo or duo, semi-acoustic sets. She also plays in a band formation comprising of herself on vocal and guitar, a solo guitarist, a bassist and a drummer.

Depending on the wishes of the programmer, she can provide 1 to 3 sets of 30 to 45 minutes or a 60 to 90 minute set. Her repertoire consists of mostly her own songs.