DON’T HURT - Lisa O’Kane - CD Review by Preshias
of roots and Americana music have know something for a long time
that American listeners are about to discover for themselves:
Lisa O’Kane is a superstar.
Or at least she would be a superstar if radio programmers in the
USA could think outside of their narrow formats. British and European
radio stations are more open to airing music based on its quality
and originality, rather than because it sounds like everything
else they’re playing. Lisa has had several chart-topping
singles in Europe where she plays to SRO crowds whenever she tours.
“I had some really great airplay (in Europe), so it was
the DJs who brought me over,” Lisa has been quoted as saying.
American DJs and programmers, take note!
Best bet: don’t wait for radio to catch up. Grab “It
Don’t Hurt” and see what you’ve been missing.
Lisa’s talent is greatly admired by her peers, as you might
guess from some of musicians who join her on this CD. For example:
Brit guitar virtuoso Albert Lee (known as “Mr. Telecaster”
and a veteran of bands with Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, etc),
guitarist/mandolin picker Kenny Edwards (Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt),
pedal steel player Jay Dee Maness (Vince Gill, Bonnie Raitt, Buck
Owens), and many more top musicians.
But despite the illustrious company with which she’s surrounded,
it’s Lisa’s own star that burns brightest on this
album. With a crystal-clear voice that’s brimming with emotion,
she draws comparisons with vocal giants such as Judy Collins,
Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, while solidly maintaining her
own distinct style.
Tracks on this CD run the gamut from “I’m over you”
songs (“Ain’t Done Nothin,’”) to “please
don’t leave” songs (“Give Me This Night”)
with some “what happened to us?” songs (“Paper
Thin”) along the way. One can only hope that these heartbreaking
slices of life don’t all reflect Lisa’s own life experiences.
The plaintive acoustic title track, “It Don’t Hurt”
is a classic of its genre, penned by acclaimed storyteller/songwriter
Ernest Troost, who also plays guitar on this cut. Lisa sings,
“Shut all the windows / Pull down the shades / Daddy’s
in a mood tonight / Daddy’s in a rage.” It’s
a story of a woman who’s pretty much seen all of life’s
meanness, but after a while, she shrugs, it don’t hurt.
“Ain’t Done Nothing” is the lead-off of the
eleven total tracks. This could be a monster music video
hit in heavy TV rotation with the right treatment. An up-tempo
song with a strong backbeat and the closest thing to a Country
toe-tapper on the CD. In this self-penned song Lisa wryly tells
her ex, “Well I don’t like your family I know that’s
unkind but it’s true / You treated me badly and even my
dog don’t like you.” You can’t argue with
But Lisa’s poignant voice is best-suited to bittersweet
ballads such as “Give Me This Night” in which she
begs her lover to stay with her just one more night. “Let
my last memory be a picture of you loving me,” she sings;
but you know and she knows that he’s leaving anyway.
Eleven strong outings here and not a dud in the bunch. Give a
listen to IT DON'T HURT and see what those Euro-kudos are all
“It Don’t Hurt” – Lisa O’Kane
Label: New Light Entertainment/Universal
Release date: Oct 23, 2007