Tamara Fishman

Tamara Fishman

BandFolkAcoustic

Sarah McLachlan meets Alanis Morisette after a couple of shots and a kiss of the blues.

Biography

"Tamara's voice reaches every cavity of a club. Her lyrics compliment the heavy-folk groove, wrought with the primal epistle of survival and independence.” --East-Village.com

"Sarah McLachlan meets Alanis Morisette after a couple of shots." --fan at The Knitting Factory

The first thing you notice is the voice: classically trained, burnished with soul, soaring and stunning one moment, then hushed like a prayer. Then you hear the words: songs of survival, cries from the dark, epiphanies and rueful truths. The melodies curl around you, insistent and electric, and the percussive acoustic guitar takes hold. Think Lucinda Williams with a gospel voice or Mahalia Jackson crossed with Sheryl Crow: Tamara Fishman is a singer-songwriter with poetic depth and bluesy soul.

The daughter of a poet, Tamara quickly learned the power of words. It wasn’t long before she also discovered the expressive and supple instrument of her voice. Tamara’s songs, built on a rock and folk base, have absorbed various influences over the years, including blues, musical theater—among other roles, she was a featured vocalist in Hair—and deep soul: she sang in Tulane University’s gospel choir. After college, she joined or created several rock bands, including Ruby Red and Ruby Girl.

Looking to perfect her sound, Tamara bought a guitar and taught herself how to play. Within months, she was a regular in the New York City open mic scene and soon began performing solo shows at such venues as The Baggot Inn, CB’s 313 Gallery, Pianos, and The Knitting Factory. Tamara was also selected to be an Artist-in-Residence at the Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92nd Street Y.

From child poet to gospel singer to rock front-woman, Tamara’s journey to accomplished singer-songwriter has culminated in the release of her debut full-length CD, The Hunger and the Silence, available on CD Baby.com and iTunes.

Lyrics

If Not You

Written By: Tamara Fishman

I asked my dear sister, “Tell me, what do you see?”
She said, “A room full of strangers pointing fingers at me.
I’ve wandered the long halls of innocence and time.
Now I’ve found passage to the promised land, but they say the god’s not mine.”
Tell me, who frees me if not you?
Tell me, who frees me if not you?

I asked my lost brother, “Tell me, why?
I’ve been waiting for your love, but I can’t even catch your eye.”
He said, “Forgive me for the distance, but I need to guard my soul.
If I let you sleep beside me, I might never again be whole.”
Tell me, who finds me if not you?
Tell me, who finds me if not you?

Oh, somehow, love
I believe the hunger is enough
But here, beneath the sun,
I feel adrift from everyone

I asked my sad mother, “Tell me, for whom do you weep?”
She said, “This spear in my heart cuts me darkly and deep.
I can’t help the tears, but I cry them for you.
I’ve been shattered; I’ve been thirsty.
Now all I drink -- it runs right through.”
Tell me, who heals me if not you?
Tell me, who heals me if not you?

I asked my proud father, “Tell me, am I your true child?
There’s something deep inside me that’s sinewy and wild.”
He said, “I’ve loved you like an angel; I’ve taught you all I can.
But if you really want salvation, go and find another man.”
Tell me, who needs me if not you?
Tell me, who needs me if not you?

Surprised

Written By: Tamara Fishman

It occurred to me the other day
all the things I let slip away
with all the words I’d never say
And though I knew it all the time
I guess that sense and soul
are blind
and I could claim that I don’t mind
but I do
And like a puppet on a string
you left and I didn’t feel a thing
I was suspended, frozen smile
And it’s no ordinary lie
only babies need to cry
I haven’t been ‘baby’ for a while

Are you surprised how deep this flows?
Yeah – I never let you know

And though I sing it in melody
what lies hungry inside of me
I never say it with certainty
But in this moment I believe
the heart that loves is the one
that grieves
And I could hope that you don’t leave
but you do
Cause I’m no sentimental fool
I roll the dice and play it cool
You’ll never hear me ask for more
But I do feel and I do cry
I only learn my heart’s a lie
when you’re already out the door

Are you surprised how deep this flows?
Yeah – I never let you know

Jerusalem Calls

Written By: Tamara Fishman

Jerusalem calls me
from her cabin on the hill
She said: I’m breathing in inches, counting down till it goes still
Nothing soothes me
when I slumber, there’s a dragon when I wake
I am looking hard at heaven when the earth begins to shake

I’ve tried to be strong
I’ve tried to be whole
but there’s a hunger in my belly and a shadow in my soul
I’ve tried to be free
I’ve tried to be me
but there’s a freaking congregation saying, “Here’s your history.”
I’m not looking for salvation
I just want to be
breathing
be
breathing

Persephone whispers from her castle in the sand:
I ran off to find religion
and I never learned to stand
Darkness held me in his heart,
his fruit was poison on my tongue
Now I’m singing, “Holy mother,”
as the waters come

I’ve tried to be strong
I’ve tried to be whole
but there’s a fever in my belly
and a tremor in my soul
I’ve tried to be free
I’ve tried to be me
but there’s a freaking congregation saying, “Here’s your destiny.”
I’m not looking for salvation
I just want to be
breathing
be
breathing

I cry in the night, I see in the dark
these walls that surround
the shards of my heart
I’ll burn every bridge
and cross every line
I’ll wander the world
till I find what’s mine
You say it’s impossible to breathe
Well, not to me

I’ve tried to be strong
I’ve tried to be whole
cause there’s a thunder in my belly and a fire in my soul
I’ve tried to be free
I’ve tried to be me
but there’s a freaking congregation shouting, “Here’s the world I see.”
I’m not looking for salvation
I just want to be
be
breathing

Discography

The Hunger and the Silence - 2006

www.cdbaby.com/tamarafishman

Set List

45 minute original set list:

Afterglow
Frame
Persephone
A Part of the Mystery
So Pretty
If Not You
Surprised
Love You, Baby
Just Tonight
Good Day
Soul Clean

Can also be cut or expanded.