Liz Longley
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Liz Longley

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Singer-songwriter, 17, becomes a hit"

By Dan Hardy, Staff Writer

Liz Longley isonly 17, but one of her songs is already at the top of the charts.

No, not Billboard or MTV; "Naked Trees," which the Chester County student cowrote and performs, is the top acoustic song on, an Internet site that allows musicians to post their music and members to rate the performances. For several weeks, the piece has topped a list of more than 3,500 submissions. Several of her other songs are also doing well on the site. has more than 150,000 registered singers and musicians, more than 235,000 songs on its Web site, and more than 590,000 members. The company said it had music from more than 1,000 Philadelphia-area performers.

Longley, who lives in East Brandywine Township, is at the start of what she hopes will be a long singing and songwriting career. This month, she has performed at clubs in Phoenixville and Philadelphia, at the Dewey Beach Music Conference and Festival in Delaware, and at the Unionville Community Fair. Gigs in Reading and Philadelphia are coming up. A segment she taped for Comcast's CN8 is scheduled to appear Nov. 14 on Your Morning.

On weekdays, however, singing takes a backseat to finishing her senior year at Downingtown West High. She squeezes in homework whenever she can; she took her physics textbook to study between sets at the Unionville fair. "It's like living two lives. On the weekend, I'm a different person than I am in school," Longley said, adding that juggling singing, school activities, and being a drum major in the marching band was "overwhelming" at times.

She is handling everything well, said Matt McCloskey, her high school choir director and voice coach. "She hasn't let the recognition go to her head. . . . She's a wonderful person; she can take the stage like a diva but not act like one. "She has an incredible voice, and nobody delivers a song like she does. A teacher doesn't get to meet kids like Liz more than a few times in a lifetime. . . . She sings with every fiber of her being. You never feel . . . like she's performing. She has the power to make you believe you're sitting in her living room."

This year, Longley teamed up with Jim Tullio, an award-winning Chicago songwriter and producer, to write several songs, including "Naked Trees." Tullio will soon put the finishing touches on a demo CD that will be shopped to recording labels. "She's a tremendous singer. She's got such a feel for music," Tullio said last week. "She has what all the greats have. . . . It's natural to her - instinctual. . . . She has the maturity of a 30-year old."

Longley started writing songs at age 14. After she performed her first composition at a high school chorus concert, "all of her friends embraced it," said her father, Robert. "They were so enthusiastic and cheered her on. That's when she first started to say, 'I can do this. I want to do this.' "

Robert Longley, an insurance-agency owner who played jazz trumpet and saxophone professionally, took his daughter to a studio to record a song when she was 13, as a birthday present. It was "Edelweiss," from The Sound of Music. She recorded some of her own songs at the studio when she was 14 and 15. A CD that she made found its way into the hands of an agent, and she signed a contract at age 16.

Liz Longley, whose voice and style resemble that of pop star Sarah McLachlan, is applying to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. "My dream is to be onstage, to bring people together with music and create a good time through sharing my music," she said. "That's what I see myself doing."

Asked what she would do if she couldn't make a living as a performer, she said with a laugh: "I don't know what I'll do. I may be homeless."

Her parents say they are not worried. "She's very grounded. . . . She doesn't have any unrealistic expectations," said her mother, Rosemary. "She's aware of how hard this business is. "I don't think she necessarily wants to be a star. No matter what else she does, she's going to perform, and she's going to be happy. And that's all we want for her."

Contact staff writer Dan Hardy at 610-701-7638 or - The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Future Looks bright for 17-year-old Liz Longley"

By Jim Speese, Reading Eagle Correspondent

Young singer/pianist/songwriter Liz Longley is already making quite a name for herself in the regional — and national — music arena. And despite her age, the 17-year-old from West Chester has a long history in music already.

Longley grew up around music.

Her grandfather was a World War II Army bandleader; her father is a former jazz musician; her mother loves to sing; and even her brother plays the trumpet. So it should come as no surprise that Longley became a musician. But, as with all things in childhood, it wasn’t that easy.

“When I was in the second grade,” Longley confided, “my parents bought a piano and told me I was going to take lessons. I threw a hysterical fit.”

But, it didn’t take long for Longley to recognize her talent.

“After a few lessons, it was great,” she admitted. “Now I can’t imagine life without it.”

And while she immediately “understood expression,” reading music came to her with much more difficulty. Still, she persevered. And one day at the age of 14, while her parents were out of town (so “they couldn’t hear me”), she wrote her first song. And she’s been at it ever since.

Her writing comes to her as she sits down to practice.

“I don’t intentionally write,” she said. “It’s just something I have to do.”

Longley, who has signed with Advent Management’s Keith Smoker, has played all over, including on television on “NBC 10! Live,” CN8’s “Your Morning” and “Comcast Tonight.” Her song “Naked Trees” is No. 1 in the acoustic category at

But don’t let that “acoustic” label fool you. Her music crosses over into other realms.

In that vein, she’ll be appearing tonight at 7 at Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel in Wyomissing, and then on March 20 at a Berks Jazz Fest concert at Albright College’s Wachovia Theatre.

Indeed, it’s hard to categorize Longley’s music. There is a jazz feel to it, but it’s eclectic. One could argue that, in addition to the jazzy side, her music is folky and poppy. And Longley herself adds that it “has some attitude.” All of which makes for a satisfying listen to fans of many genres.

Longley has recently been in the studio with legendary producer Jim Tullio (The Band, Mavis Staples, Richie Havens), and the experience was a positive one, despite her being a bit overwhelmed at first. The musicians on the album have played with everyone from the likes of Smashing Pumpkins to The Sugarcubes to Rickie Lee Jones. The album will be released this year.

As far as influences, they are far and wide, as one might expect from her music.

“My biggest inspiration is Joni Mitchell,” she confessed. “She’s such an amazing songwriter and has such expression.”

But there’s a long list after that up to and including the likes of Ella Fitzgerald. Longley, unlike many young musicians, doesn’t limit her listening to any type of music — and that shows in her subtle songs. They are creative and emotional, and cross many genres without ever being overwhelmed by addition.

“One of the biggest flaws (of some musicians) is people who can only do one type of music,” she allowed.

Ani DiFranco, of all people, has called Longley’s music “gorgeous,” adding, “I love it.”

And, like many great musicians, Longley loves performing.

“Playing live is my favorite part of being a musician,” she said. “Sharing my ideas and music with other people is like a huge high. You never know what they’re going to think.”

“And then, if they like it, it’s a huge relief,” she added, laughing.

And live, the audience can feed into Longley’s music because that love of playing comes through her performance.

“Performing just seems like such a natural thing to do,” she said. “I really enjoy interacting with the audience, taking them to places that I’ve been in my mind, exposing them to the emotions that I have felt, telling them a story that I’ve written. Somehow it’s all very uplifting for me.”

And for her audience as well. Her performance is infectious, whether she plays with a band, or as a duo or as a soloist.

Longley has been performing as a duo with her friend, guitarist Sarah Zimmermann, another impressive 17-year-old musician who loves jazz and original music.

The future is bright for Longley, but she holds no illusions.

“I’m not expecting to be rich and famous,” she noted, laughing again “although it would be nice. I just hope to make a living making music, and live a healthy life.”

Next year she plans on attending Berklee “to learn more about songwriting and performing and the music business.”

But whatever her plans hold, the future looks bright both musically and in a business sense for this down-to-earth and earthy singer/songwriter. - The Reading Eagle

"What People Are Saying....."

What People are saying……

One of the sweetest-sounding voices we’ve heard in a long time - Liz Longley delivered a captivating set and a double standing ovation….
Rob & Dave Dircks
Acoustic Long Island

“Gorgeous…just gorgeous!”
John Mayer on Liz’s song Queen

"A world class singer... One of the best I've ever heard!" - Livingston Taylor

Her voice spun sugar over the setting sun…. it is so much more than her ethereal voice…. Longley's songs swell with honesty and genuine emotion.
Jen O'Callaghan,
New Hampshire Telegraph

A rare find with phenomenal vocal ability, tone and performance. (Longley’s) lyrics have the spark and spunk of Patti Griffin, her voice has the eloquence and mastery of Alison Krauss. ------

Liz does to me what hundreds of other women artist don’t…maybe its the acoustic, maybe its the honesty in her voice, I really can’t put my fingers on it. I just know that she is special. I can listen to her for hours.

Longley delivers songs that stand out for their emotional honesty ….a lovely and powerful voice. Dave Howell
The Morning Call

…… wonderful vocal range and incredible vocal movement. this voice is a rare gem….so incredibly expressive and warm.

With a voice as delicate yet strong as this, people listen to what you have to say.

Contact Info:
Liz Longley 484-883-1682



- Various quotes/reviews

"Tupelo Honey"

Published: Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Tupelo honey

Some singers wear their heart on their sleeves. Liz Longley strums her guitar with hers.

If you were one of the hundreds of fortunate souls who came bearing lawn chairs and army blankets to Greeley Park this weekend, you were treated to two days of incredible (and incredibly free!) music. But you had to be a die-hard to catch Longley, who closed Saturday's program. By the time she took the stage, the crowd had thinned considerably.

Midway through her first song, I wanted to chase after the people who left early, grab them by the shoulders and shout, "No! Wait! Listen!" But I was too transfixed. Her voice spun sugar over the setting sun, and I half expected it to conjure early-summer fireflies for one last swirling hurrah over Nashua.

It is so much more than her ethereal voice and her disarming giggles over her two-song obsession over a fellow musician she'd met at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Longley's songs swell with honesty and genuine emotion that most of us are unable to admit to but recognize all the same. It's in the heady, terrifying blush of new love in "Rush" (which she says was inspired by watching Jim and Pam from "The Office" kiss for the first time - with the volume turned off). It's in the shattered heart watching the man she's swooning for fall for a pretty face who will never appreciate him in "She's Beautiful." And it's in the joy of self-acceptance and letting go of bad love in the buoyant "What Livin's For."

It isn't even the slightest bit surprising that Longley nabbed Berklee College of Music's Songwriting Division Achievement Award this spring. Longley's lush lyrics are more than worthy of the honor.

So, are you wishing you'd been at the Folk Festival on Saturday or braved the mosquitoes to catch Longley's set?

You're in luck. Longley will be back in New Hampshire in two weeks, opening for Jonathan Edwards at Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry on Friday, Sept. 12. (That's "Sunshine (Go Away)" Jonathan Edwards. Not the former presidential candidate disgraced by his extramarital affair or the guy who hosts "Crossing Over.")

Tupelo is one of my favorite venues in New Hampshire, offering a rare intimacy that allows the performers to really connect with their audiences. I can't wait. The fact that Longley was able to connect with a crowd spread across the field at the park makes me think she will really shine when you can actually see her smile, not just hear it in her voice.

And if you don't smile back, I'll have to assume you keep your heart in a safety deposit box. If you needed one more reason to love Longley, she's running the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va., at the end of October to honor her late cousin. Check out her sponsorship page here:

She sent over "Going Where Leavin Takes Me" for you to sample. But trust me, this is only the smallest slice of her talent. Maybe it will light a fire under your toosh to buy tickets to the Tupelo show. In which case, I will see you there. - Nashua Telegraph


"Hot Loose Wire" - 10 song CD produced by Grammy Award winner Glenn Barratt at Morningstar Studios. July 2010

"Somewhere in the Middle" - 13 song CD produced by Grammy Award winner Glenn Barratt at Morningstar Studios. June 2009

"Take You Down" - 12 song CD. Produced, engineered and mixed by MorningStar Studio's Grammy Award winning Glenn Barratt. June 2007



In the short time since her graduation from Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, singer-songwriter Liz Longley has assembled quite an impressive resume. While best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz has quickly built a reputation as an accomplished songwriter, crafting intimately personal portraits through her music. Liz's ever expanding fan base is not the only group to acknowledge her talent. In 2010 alone, Liz took home top prizes at some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country; the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Chris Austn Songwriting Contest.

While she has frequently opened shows for established artists such as Mindy Smith, Nanci Griffith, Paula Cole, Livingston Taylor, Amos Lee, Shawn Colvin, Colin Hay and America, it is becoming clear that Liz is coming into her own as a performer. The Washington Post declared that she is “destined to a bigger audience,” Dig Boston called her “a rising acoustic sensation” and even John Mayer is a fan, calling her music “gorgeous, just gorgeous.” Most recently, executives at Sirius XM caught wind of Liz’s cover of Van Morrison’s hit “Moondance” and added it into regular rotation, along with her award-winning original song, “When You’ve Got Trouble.” Liz was invited into Sirius XM's NYC studio to record a live session and was then nominated for Sirius XM's 2011 Singer/Songwriter Discovery of the Year.

Liz may blush at the mention of her many accomplishments, but, if the last year is any indication, the momentum won't be slowing anytime soon. Liz is currently touring the country in support of her most recent album, Hot Loose Wire, and preparing for a move to Nashville, TN where she hopes to write and record with some of the best in the business.