Liz Tansey
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Liz Tansey


Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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""...the power and grace of Liz TanseyÕs voice.""

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CD REVIEW: Liz Tansey Ð Òwhat I wantÓ
By Stacey Board - 01/27/04 - 07:46 PM EST

From the first track you are struck by the power and grace of Liz TanseyÕs voice. It has pleasing strength, range and emotion. This woman can sing the blues. And the ballads, and all in between.
Tansey also has a very good ear and so does her producing partner, Ralph Cole. They hit all the right notes here, without unnecessary schlock anywhere. The arrangements let Tansey shine up front. The players are all experts that add the proper touch without being distracting. Nice additions of Hammond B-3, harmonica, and horns heat up the overall sound and add punch and accent.
All of the songs but one are written with other writers, and two were written entirely by other writers. The song Tansey wrote on her own, ÒDear LouiseÓ is quite good and I hope she continues to write more. I really like ÒThe Other WomanÓ also, it's got a great rocking blues feel to it and some clever lyrics. Most of the other songs have a bluesy feel or at least a leaning.

This is a solid sounding CD full of good songs and wonderful singing.

- The Muse's Muse

""Smoldering and silky deep.""

Liz Tansey ~ What I Want
Date: Saturday, August 07, 2004 @ 11:30:05 EST
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Liz Tansey
CD: What I Want
Home: Toronto, Canada
Style: Upbeat Blues
Quote: "Tansey navigates effortlessly from spirited and fresh to smoldering speakeasy nightclub blues."
By Genevieve Will
Bringing strongly emotive, sultry vocals to a seemingly sterile female blues artist environment is Liz TanseyÕs album What I Want. With its lush, generous instrumentation and sultry blues-inspired vocals, the album straightforwardly makes its point, although cushioned by a little velvet subtlety supplied by TanseyÕs sheer smooth talking. Easily, Liz Tansey, spurred on by vocal talent from the likes of Etta James and Bonnie Raitt, emerges as one of the most scorchingly capable and virtuoso female musicians today.
As if it werenÕt enough to play piano and the harp, Tansey had to go and learn the guitar as well. And not that her instrumental aptitudes remain unimpressive ... quite the contrary; but itÕs TanseyÕs voice we really need to talk about. Smoldering and silky deep. Seamless, without even one unintended wobble. The smallest inflection producing an entirely new sensation. Tansey navigates effortlessly from spirited and fresh to smoldering speakeasy nightclub blues, with a subtlety in both the sonic and lyrical reading, especially on ÒTough Old World,Ó that keeps the album from turning genre-specific.
Classic bluesdom with modern wordplay is TanseyÕs true style; the number of different meanings spun out of the word "talking" on ÒJawjackinÕÓ is truly impressive. Such acumen remains difficult to maintain throughout an entire album though, and What I Want has its weak spots. While most songs conjure a certain empathy between singer/listener, Tansey occasionally loses her subtlety and begins crooning the overly obvious, dabbling in easy pop catch lines rather than the intuitive emotion that appears inherent to her voice. Alas, a few songs play the sappy angle; tragic, as TanseyÕs voice, lyrics, and impressions are otherwise so remarkable. Notwithstanding this, to hear Tansey sing ÒHello BluesÓ is to indeed hear the blues sung.

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""a blues tinged blast of fresh air""

Music Review Index | Music Review Archives
Liz Tansey - What I Want (self released)
Jun 2, 2004
Canada's Liz Tansey has a very good CD here. I liked what I heard, I expected a folk rocker but Liz's CD is a blues tinged blast of fresh air. Starting with the rockin' "Struck by Love",it moves into the touching ballad ode to her mother in "Mama Live's". And while Liz co-wrote/wrote 7 of the 11 tracks,she also has the great sense to cover one of the best very songwriter's alive to in Gretchen Peter's "Jawjackin'".
I also like the way Tansey mixes her slow ballads with her more upbeat numbers. Phil Dwyer gets a special nod for his tenor sax playing on the title track "What I Want".
The only thing I didn't like was this was a 1997 release. While I do review older albums,I am curious to hear how far Liz has come in the 7 years since this album came out.
Highly recommended.

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""When she sings, you believe her.""

You just canÕt pin Liz Tansey down. It would be so unfair to group her into the "guitar playing soft rock" music category. From the melody and arrangement to her raspy voice, you just want to hear what she has to say. This album is brilliantly put together. It flows so well, yet the different styles of music are all equally captivating. One common thread is story telling. This is definitely a series of musical short stories, an ÒIllustrated ManÓ of the music world. When she sings, you believe her. You really believe that she is telling you something that is deep in her heart. Tansey is a strong writer herself, and put her together with a collaborator of equal talent, you get a brilliant track. The instrumental arrangements are put together carefully. Every sound is there for a reason. Electric guitar to Alto Sax solos, they are all delivered with confidence and precision. The mixing engineer dares to use very hard pans on some tracks, which created a much more ÒliveÓ feeling. All in all, TanseyÕs ÒWhat I wantÓ makes a good listen.
Quote of the Album: ÒCall me Lucy, call me Ethel, call me Marilyn Monroe. Call me Sacred Holy Vessel, call me witch or call me ÔhoÕ Ó Longevity: This album gets better the more you listen to it.
Tracks of Note: 1, 2, 5, 10, 11
Stars: 4 out of 5 -

""...Liz Tansey is a blues singer at heart..""

"...Liz Tansey is a blues singer at heart and a darn good one at that...with a set of songs that let her colourful, throaty voice work its magic..."
- Words and Music


Re: "Hello Blues", "...It's a great track..."
Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues)

- LT's personal correspondence

""...a distinctive, powerful voice...""

"...Fabulously huge sounds form a perfect platform for
a distinctive, powerful voice..."
Real Music - Real Music


"What I Want", first released in 1997



Liz Tansey has been chosen Best Blues Artist in the 2005 Toronto Independent Music Awards.

And "The Honey I Want", co-written by Liz Tansey, David Leask & Suzie Vinnick won First Place in Blues Category of The International Songwriting Competition 2004; it also won First Place in the Blues Category of The OCFF (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals) Competition 2005 and Third Prize in the 2006 Unisong Songwriting Competition. And recently, the song received the most votes in the Jazz/Blues Category of Unisong's People's Choice Award.

LIZ TANSEY sings with a seamless confidence that instantly puts listeners in the palm of her caring hand. Her first solo CD, "WHAT I WANT" features an organic mix of what she calls Soulful Rockin' Blues. Others call it sexy, swampy and "...a gigantic roller coaster ride between those two inseparable bed-mates: music & emotion..." Real Music magazine.

Growing up in Montreal, Liz studied classical harp & piano and taught herself to play the guitar. Her musical path has taken her on an eclectic journey: she performed for the Queen of England on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada's 125th birthday and with the band, Another Life, she opened for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre; she has sung the national anthem at many Toronto Maple Leaf hockey games and in 1995 she entertained the Canadian UN Peacekeepers in Croatia and Bosnia.

"WHAT I WANT" was co-produced by Liz Tansey & Ralph Cole (guitarist, composer, producer and co-founding member of Lighthouse) and offers 11 songs, 7 of which were co-written by Liz. Subject matter ranges from love & lust to friendship, the homeless, biblical girls and taking a stand. "Overall,"explains Liz, "the perspective of the album is about living one's life bravely, being unafraid of falling down and always getting back up."

Most recently, Liz co-produced a CD, "FEELING GOOD" with another fine Canadian singer, Shelley Hamilton. These days she is living in Toronto and concentrating on her songwriting.