Story and Photo by Paula Marsh
In a world of “bro country,” Lisa Nicole is refreshingly classic. Though she credits the Dixie Chicks as one of her biggest influences, she has a style reminiscent of Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride, with a pinch of Shania Twain.
Nicole treated the crowd at The Foundry to a mass of original songs accompanied by an acoustic guitar, played by her partner Jason Thomas. The pair has been playing together since they were fifteen years old, which is evident in their on-stage chemistry. Her original songs are full of good-hearted country fun and make for a lively, engaging performance. She has a timeless way of telling stories of heartbreak, wrong-doings, and love through her lyrics. “It Got Ugly,” “Mad About It,” “Where Love Goes to Die,” and “Missin’” are a few songs that show her strength in country song-writing. They are songs for tough women who aren’t afraid to drink their “Jack D.”
Connecting with her fans and the crowd came easily for Nicole. When a young woman approached the stage, Nicole instantly began to focus on her and sing to her directly. When the woman returned to her table, Nicole reconnected with the crowd as a whole. During a brief intermission, she also made a point of coming to the tables to meet the audience and spend some time having conversations with them and signing CDs, before returning to perform a second set.
Nicole performed a range of pop and rock covers, including hits from artists such as Lady Gaga, Queen, Dolly Parton, Bon Jovi, Shania Twain, and more. She added a little bit of country flare to each cover while still maintaining the integrity of the original song. Her energetic rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” created an enormous presence in the room and had the crowd singing along. Jason got a chance to steal the spotlight, and indulged the crowd with a mashup of Tom Petty songs that was executed with Heartbreaker-precision.
Nicole ended her show with a slowed-down, countrified performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey that had couples slow dancing on the floor and the rest of us singing along. Though her set was followed by a DJ playing pop hits, its Lisa Nicole’s catchy “Mad About It” that is stuck playing through my head at the end of the night.
If you are a fan of country music, you can catch a second performance by Lisa Nicole February 24th at Cheers the Village Pub.