The Shiz
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The Shiz

| INDIE

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Band Rock Acoustic

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Jun
25
The Shiz @ Rotolo's

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

May
22
The Shiz @ Rock for Life 2010

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

May
08
The Shiz @ Strawberry Toast and Jam

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

Hammond, Louisiana, USA

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Music

Press


The best thing to hit Hammond since...Hammond. - Wade the Fan


It was May 9, 2009. I had volunteered to help an old friend put a show together in Ponchatoula, La.

Throughout the day bands were coming on and off the stage and it was my job to help them with their equipment as needed.

The bands kept coming and going until these two ladies came up with an acoustic guitar and a keyboard. Unlike the others, they just took a seat under the tent we had set up and sat there very quietly. At that time I took them for a folk duo.

When the other band finished their set we helped them with their instruments and got them set up. After a few technical problems were addressed something amazing happened.

These girls started ROCKIN'. It literally blew me away. Through their first song I just stood there with my jaw open in disbelief. Unknowing it at the time this is what I had came to hear.

They played original songs that had meaning. Their music was crisp and clear, and the lyrics were pure gold.

It has been many years since I have heard songs that were so perfectly written and preformed. It was also very clear that these ladies had come to make an impression, not just do a set and leave like some of the others.

The band was called "The Shiz" consisting of Liz and Lilli. Later I found that they were just part of the band and that there are other members also.

I am still trying to imagine what the full band would sound like.

Liz jammed that guitar and screamed a harmonica while Lilli hammered the keyboard to the point that I felt sorry for it.

Then to my amazement it got better. Lilli did a voice loop that was unbelievable. I have heard voice loops before but had never believed it could or would be done live.

It was perhaps the most moving music experience I have ever had.

But don't think you missed out. These ladies are here to stay and somewhere down the line everyone will know who "The Shiz" is.

by Bill "Peace" Doughty
5/15/2009 - Hammond Daily Star


Discography

The Shiz EP - 2009
Where We Stand - 2009

Singles:
Wrecking Ball
War No More

Photos

Bio

The Shiz's taut brand of Roots Rock and Soul may be one of the most original sounds to come out of New Orleans in decades. From bluegrass to afro-punk, Shiz Rock is unexpectedly stirring... and a damn good time.

The Shiz is an almost all woman quartet founded in 2009 by its songwriters Lilli Lewis and Liz Hogan. Liz is a life-long multi-instrumentalist whose gritty songs have been inspired by truth seekers like Neil Young and Nina Simone. Lilli is an award winning singer/songwriter from indie rock mecca, Athens, GA with an arsenal of compositions celebrated by DIY scenes all over the US and abroad.

Liz and Lilli have been traveling and making music together since they met in 2004. Their screamin' harmonica and relentless keys are joined by Mel McElveen and Wade Hymel on drums and bass. The fated four skillfully balances expansive rock grooves without losing sight of the anatomy of a great song, yielding easy tunes with a message and an edge, drenched in the soul of the south. www.shizrock.com

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It’s March 2007 and another Open Mic Night commences at the now defunct Green Bean Coffee House in Hammond, LA. Lilli Lewis is setting up the PA while Liz Hogan is strumming her 3/4-sized guitar for sound check. A marimba playing SLU percussion major walks in and inconspicuously sets up a floor tom in the back right corner of the stage. Liz’s sound check seamlessly morphs into a stirring rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The entire room lifts when the floor tom falls into its steady 6/8 time, and The Shiz is born, only it will be two more years before anyone knows about it.

The Shiz, an almost all woman roots rock quartet, was founded in 2009 by its songwriters Lilli Lewis and Hammond native Liz Hogan. Liz and Lilli have been traveling and making music together since they met in Decatur, GA in 2004.

Liz is a life-long multi-instrumentalist whose evocative songs have been inspired by rock veterans such as Neil Young and Tom Petty. Lilli hails from Athens, GA. A finalist in the 2008 Mountain Stage New Song Competition and the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, her arsenal of compositions has been celebrated in indie folk, rock and jazz scenes of Boston, Atlanta and abroad.

Lilli: “Liz used to sit in the corner of the ice cream shop where I played every week with this big red bag of harmonicas. It took a while to get her to sit in with us, but the first time I heard her play I knew she was the truth. I invited her to play with me in Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival and the rest was history.”

It’s January 2009. Liz and Lilli find themselves returning home to Hammond after stints in Colorado, Connecticut and Arizona respectively. Their day gigs at a Buddhist Retreat Center, Wal-Mart, and in Wilderness Therapy have all fallen through, and they are unsure of their next move.

Liz: “Basically, we were driving on another long road trip, jammin’ out to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and we suddenly accepted the fact that being in a band was the only job we really wanted. We had a very short list of drummers we wanted to collaborate with, and ‘that girl’ from the Green Bean back in 2007 was at the top. Too bad neither one of us knew her name.”

As fate would have it, the threesome fortuitously reunited in January, 2009 during an impromptu stop at Hammond’s Organic Planet. A slightly longer-haired Melinda McElveen approached the unsuspecting Liz and Lilli, introducing herself as “that girl from the Green Bean.” Melinda signed on then and there, and the band has been full speed ahead ever since.

Melinda: “Even though I hadn’t seen either one of them in two years, I still remembered how great it had felt that night. When we finally all played together, it seemed like everyone’s individual musicianship was coming together to make something pretty awesome.”

The three teamed up with Anna Byars, a dynamic young lead guitarist from the Baton Rouge scene. That collaboration yielded the debut LP “Where We Stand.” Although the recording is slated for release this September, it can already be heard on college, public and independent radio all over Louisiana.

“Where We Stand” brought the band even more momentum and caught the attention of the rock steady wunder-kind Wade Hymel. An accomplished lead guitarist and drummer in his own right, Wade signed on as the band’s bass player just to be a part of the project.

Wade: “What I really dig is that there is no such thing as ‘Shiz filler.’ Every song means something.”

The Shiz performs familiar songs that show a real love for the best craftsmen of the trade, and their originals always leave audiences wanting to hear more. Liz and Lilli’s lyrical strength is found in their restless quest for truth and unity. Their message is backed by a southern rock sound with commanding melodic harmonies and driving rhythms that resurrect the old ghosts and give them hope.