Liza

Liza

 Boulder, Colorado, USA
BandPopRock

Pop and American Roots music led by a silky-voiced powerhouse frontwoman who plays a mean lead guitar. Liza's band blends pop, jazz, and rock and brings it all together in a hot and heartfelt groove. Liza's acoustic show features her poignant songs and dreamy vocals.

Biography

Bird On A Wing, Liza’s first solo release, marks a new beginning for one of Boulder, Colorado’s most admired talents. “This is the first time in my eighteen year career as a singer songwriter,” says Liza, “where I made every choice for the production from start to finish. I am so happy with how it turned out!”

Liza first gained national attention in 1991 as the singer, lead guitarist and songwriter for the band Zuba. Liza’s fierce lead guitar work, seductive vocals, and passionate songwriting helped Zuba sell more than 30,000 units of their four self-produced albums and land singles on the soundtracks of several motion pictures, most notably Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary.

But the Zuba years came to an end in 1999 when Liza and the other members of the band began to desire different musical directions. “I was ready to make an album that was less about getting a crowd to dance, and more about speaking, in an intimate way, to the human heart.”

Bird On A Wing is that album. Filled with the same compelling intensity that led Zuba to have a cult fan base all over the US, Liza’s songs now have an artistic maturity and a deep emotional resonance. The songs speak about love, loss and what composes a rewarding existence. “I went through many changes all at once, from losing my home, friendships I had spent many years building, and ending the band, which had been my identity for so long. That is when I began to write more about self-reflection, family connections, and the wide range of relationships that enrich and sustain our lives.”

As she wrote the songs, Liza began to search for the musicians who could help her realize her new sound. She interviewed and auditioned some of Colorado’s finest, then put together a team that includes keyboard player and co-producer Erik Deutsch from the Charlie Hunter Trio, drummer/percussionist Brian McRae from the Freddy Jones Band, bass player Aaron Snyder, Glenn Taylor on pedal steel and backing vocalist Ryan Tracy. “It was amazing to hear the evolution of the songs when I put all these accomplished musicians together. This is by far my most rewarding experience as a songwriter and a co-writer.”

The Album is a stylistically and emotionally diverse collection that shows off Liza’s ability to capture life in all its complicated and contradictory guises. “I Gave It Away” is a bluesy country song accented by Deutsch’s dramatic Gospel-influenced Grand Piano and the inventive pedal steel work of Taylor. Liza’s vocals here are achingly vulnerable. “The song is about having to let go of love before you’re ready.” “Gone Tomorrow” is a swinging, cool jazz number, with a relaxed groove, and Liza’s smooth voice. While the song examines mortality, the music gives the tune a bright, breezy feeling. “My grandfather on my mom’s side loved jazz. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I started thinking about impermanence. I wanted to write about loss, but I wanted to honor his playful spirit, too, so the song balances these light and dark feelings.”

The title track, “Bird On A Wing,” is a striking pop melody that deals with rebirth and renewal. It offers some of the album’s most vivid images, and highlights dramatic ensemble work from the band that builds to a hopeful conclusion. “Boys On Parade,” another standout, has a complex, meandering folk-rock arrangement, with Liza’s strong acoustic guitar work. Liza’s vocals are graceful, but there’s an implied cynicism in her delivery. “It is a metaphorical look at men who go out to strip clubs, or more, before they get married. I don’t judge it, but I want to understand what’s behind it. Guys say: ‘I can go do this, but I still love you too’. I just wonder if they think about how this affects their much more meaningful bond.”

Other unforgettable tracks include: “So Easy,” a soothing torch song with a modified hip hop beat, “Home For My Heart” a ballad with bright piano work and cascading backing vocals, and “This Time” a rock song with dazzling guitar work from Liza and Deutsch.

Listening to Bird on a Wing, one really hears the years of craft and dedication Liza has put into her music. With it, Liza shows that, on her own, she is a skillful and tempered songwriter with a commanding presence, yet a tender voice. Her powerful vignettes of love, loss and joy come to sparkling life. “So many artists spend their lives evading projects that really matter to them,” she says, “I feel fortunate to have figured out that for me, so far, it was this album, that I have had the amazing chance to make it, and that most importantly, I feel proud of how far i have come.”

Lyrics

The City Goes By

Written By: Liza

There are pieces of me that were taken
I didn’t give them away
And the desert at night is so lonely
But I like it that way…mmmm, I like it that way

And I’m sitting at this two top table
With one glass of wine
Staring out the window
Cold hearted city goes by

Life, can hit you from behind
Love, is an illusion sometimes
We can lie to ourselves and never realize...No no no no no

A jewel can make a setting
And beauty needs no veil
I do my best to do what’s right
But sometimes I fail

Life, can hit you from behind
Love, is an illusion sometimes
We can lie to ourselves and never realize...No no no no no

Bridge – We can lie, and I see my lies, surround me

But I can spend all my time running
Or digging in the dirt
I’d rather dig to bury the hatchet deep
I’d rather give you my last shirt

Life, can hit you from behind
Love, is an illusion sometimes
We can lie to ourselves and never realize...No no no no no

There are pieces of me that were taken
I didn’t give them away
And the desert at night is so lonely
But I like it that way…mmmm, I like it that way

Bird On A Wing

Written By: Liza Oxnard

I can pick my head up from this pillow
Open my eyes and face the day
To a room full of my things and memories
But all I can see is this picture of your face
Your silence is your armor
It’s always made me feel alone
Like I was made from the air that I breathe
I’m just traveling alone

I made my reality
And the price did not come cheap
But somehow I still feel the need
For a nest and nurturing seed
Just like a bird on a wing, I’m just a bird on a wing

And this longing’s so familiar
Like the smell of my own skin
Am I just something that you regret?
From a momentary whim

Still I made my reality
And the price did not come cheap
But somehow I still feel the need
I’m just a bird on a wing

Just a bird on a wing
Just a bird on a wing
Just a bird on a wing
I’m gonna fly down from this birds eye view
I’m gonna put on my shoes, it’s time to walk away

Because I made my reality
And the price did not come cheap
But somehow I will fill this need
For a nest and nurturing seed
For this bird on a wing, I’m just a bird on a wing
Bird on a wing, I’m just a bird on a wing
Bird on a wing, I’m just a bird on a wing

I Gave It Away

Written By: Liza

I’ve got to let go but I don’t know how to
When a love’s lost you feel so bad
Cause even though you love yourself
You feel so damn lonely
When a love’s lost, you pay the cost
When your hearts on your sleeve

I go from angry to sad in a heartbeat
All this love that I had eats my soul
Cause there’s no where to place it,
You can’t just erase it
And the feeling grows from between your toes
Ends up in your heart

I gave it away, I gave it away, I gave away my heart

In my mind I play the memories on a movie screen
I rewind and play back the signs
And if I had a chance to repair the deeds that I regret
I know I would change or somehow rearrange
The way that it went…….cause

I gave it away, I gave it away, I gave away my heart

Baby you know it’s true
I’m sideways and in a haze of you
Baby you know it’s true, ooo, ooo

That I gave it away, I gave it away
And now I want back my heart

Spy

Written By: Liza Oxnard

So, so alone tonight
My hard drive’s hummin, head is buzzin’
I wanna make it right
We’re stepping into the unknown, with each passing day
Cause even a bond as deep as ours
I’ve seen them fade away

I feel like, a spy in my own life
I feel like a stranger

So many memories of love found and heartbreak
That’s why I give you my love willingly and then I hesitate

I feel like, a spy in my own life
I feel I’m in danger
Collecting information I don’t comprehend
I need you to reach out

I need a bridge, a wink, a map, a sign
A secret code, a link to your private line

Cause I’m so, so alone tonight
My hard drive’s hummin, head is buzzin’
I wanna make it right

I feel like, a spy in my own life
I feel like a stranger
Collecting information I don’t comprehend
I need you to reach out, help me understand

So Easy

Written By: Liza Oxnard

Could you be this beautiful?
How’d you find your way into my world? Why don’t you,

Take my hand, sweet lover
I know you understand
Life’s complexity
But you make it so easy

Well I was taking time, it was a need
But you came to me, just like a dream. So I said,

Take my lips, sweet lover
Come quench my thirstiness
Love’s a mystery
But we could make it so easy

We could bathe in this lovers’ sun
Throw caution to the wind and run
Dreaming dreams of lovers things
You and me baby we were meant
to be, easy, so easy

So I write these words, throw out my fear
Because you give me strength and hope whenever you are near
Why don’t you

Take my hand, sweet lover
I hope that you understand
My complexity
But we could make it so easy
Oh yes we can we’re gonna make it baby
Yeah I know, yeah I know
We could make it so easy

Boys On Parade

Written By: Liza Oxnard

Boys on parade,
Waving their staffs, yeah these boys on parade
Boys on parade,
Flaunting their fallacy, boys on parade

And all their self indulgence,
Acting like victims of happenstance
Offending our intellect, mmm hmm, boys on parade

Boys on parade,
Feeling no shame, cause they’re boys on parade
Boys on parade,
Staking their claim; such a meaningless game

And all the hens are home squawking
While the roosters are hemming and hawing,
Yeah, they’re, doing their best jaywalking
Boys on parade

Sin city never sleeps, Men acting foolishly, mounting their ecstasy
Code of silence and they’re free All the flashing lights and tits
What’s to tell if you don’t see? “You know I love you right baby”
Baby

Girls on parade
Shunning their wisdom for the boys on the rage
Boys on parade
Flesh and bravado stupid boys on parade

And all the hens are home squawking
While the roosters are hemming and hawing,
Yeah, they’re, doing their best jaywalking
Boys on parade…Watch the boys on parade
Playing games on parade

Sin city never sleeps, men acting foolishly, mounting their ecstasy
Code of silence and they’re free. All the flashing lights and tits
What’s to tell if you don’t see? “You know I love you right baby”
Baby

Discography

Zuba - Zuba (1993)
Zuba - Soundboard Live '95 (1995)
Zuba - The New Cruelty (1996)
Zuba - South Of Eden (1998)

Liza - Demo (2000)
Liza - Live (2001)

Billy & Liza - This Time (2002)

Liza - Bird On A Wing (2006)

Set List

Songs -
1. Sweet Tender Lovin
2. Wrong and Right
3. The City Goes By
4. Happiness
5. Style
6. Home for My Heart
7. Bird on a Wing
8. Take Me back
9. This Time
10. I Gave It Away
11. Gone Tomorrow
12. So Easy
13. Spy
14. Foolin’ Myself
15. Boys on Parade
16. Garden
17. Walkin’ Away
18. Violence Breeds
19. Groovin With You
20. Schmuck
21. Afraid to Lose
22. Morning Tide
23. Into This
24. Floating Away
25. My Only One
26. Steal Your Sadness
27. Bring Your Love To Me
28. Runaway Train
29. I Believe

Set List -
Any combination of these songs and a few covers.
Sets are normally anywhere from 45 min to 1 1/4 hours.