Sometimes a simple gift from the heart is destined to work its way into a lot of hearts down the line; this is the case with a homemade songwriting notebook gifted to Lizzy Lehman by a friend in college. That notebook morphed into a song catalog that has taken Lehman’s music from Portland to Austin and many points in-between. Lehman’s latest release, A Place I Know You’ll Love, plants her Americana sound firmly in the canon of influences like Brandi Carlile, Shawn Colvin, and Gillian Welch.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, Lehman started singing in the Evanston Children’s Community Choir in 4th grade and participated in choir and musical theater throughout high school. Then while earning a history degree at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Lehman began writing her own songs. She recorded her first EP as a sophomore and her first full length album, “Old Reminders,” by the time she graduated. She immersed herself in the Portland music scene, taking songwriting classes and playing open mics. Performing came easy thanks to dues paid in choir and musical theater, and she was soon playing her own shows at respected venues such as Alberta Street Pub and The Artichoke Cafe.
In 2011 Lehman moved to Austin, Texas to broaden her musical horizons. Immediately she made an impression on the Americana scene with her lyrical style that manages to sound fresh and innovative while being deeply rooted in a sense of nostalgia and respect for the past. She formed The Lizzy Lehman Band with Dylan Stephens and Nick Drozdowicz, and was also asked to join the Americana-folk band The Blackwells. Both projects have brought Lehman to legendary stages like Antone’s, The Cactus Cafe, The Parish, Cheer Up Charlies, and the Mohawk.
A Place I Know You’ll Love, recorded in 2012 at Rubicon Studios, covers the gamut from an ethereal interpretation of a conversation overheard on the bus (“Stranger”) to a simple reflection of a love that works (“Summer Song”). Acoustic guitar, banjo, and fiddle wrap around a mature writing style that embraces the past while continuing to move forward. Even with a rich, pure vocal style that grabs ears immediately, Lizzy hasn’t let go of the earnest simplicity found in a homemade notebook of lyrics from the heart.