Lisa Gentile is happy to be back doing what she does best – making records with her new full length album “Start Flying” (mid 2021) taking off with three singles with three new singles out now: Guys Like You, I Thought The Rain Would End and Sweet on You.
Gentile's Post-genre-esk Country Pop music is more than a collection of catchy love songs. These songs are anthems meant to stand the test of time. Powerhouse vocals deliver crafted lyrics packed with gems of hope, and inspiration. When you listen to Lisa, you can tell she cares about the listener as much as she does herself.
“I’ve written many songs, but these are closest to my heart and I feel like there truly is a song for everyone on this record. I’ve had my fair share of struggles and had to make some hard choices and sacrifices and I write about them. Even when they are sad songs, I will find that silver lining and sneak it in there somewhere, because just like life, there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Growing up surrounded by music icons, Lisa was primed for a career in show business from an early age. She’s daughter of producer, arranger and songwriter Mickey Gentile (Motown) and recording artist and songwriter Jennifer Lambert (Decca Records). Together, Jennifer and Michael formed a super songwriting duo contracted by Screen Gems-Columbia Music. Many hit makers including Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Shirelles, Connie Francis, Brenda Holloway, Chris Cark, Billy Eckstein, Barbara McNair, Tammy Terrell recorded their songs and the list goes on.
Her journey as a performer began as many little girl singers often do, as the lead role in Annie and starring in other various local productions. It wasn’t until 8 years old when her family uprooted from Syracuse, NY to Manhattan so she could pursue a career in entertainment that the ball really started rolling. Soon she was starring in national commercials, TV specials and various stage and musical productions.
While attending the prestigious High School of the Performing Arts as a Drama major she was also writing and studying music in her spare time. Lisa studied voice under renowned vocal coach Carlo Menotti, whose students included Judy Garland and Tony Bennett, and was mentored and coached by Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner Liza Minnelli. At 16 she started producing her own songs with her father and made her first studio recording Just When I Thought the Rain Would End, which has been re-mastered and one of the tracks on “Start Flying”. The original song opened many doors for Lisa, including performing two of her original songs on the popular network television competition Star Search, which was a rarely done.
While most of her fellow high school graduates dove straight into the industry Lisa longed for just the opposite – a life away from the world she had grown up in, away from the city and show business, and where she should finally get a formal music education. She decided to go back to her roots and spent her first semester at The Crouse Conservatory of Music at Syracuse University, but after being diagnosed with severe dyslexia she new she needed a smaller more intimate learning environment and transferred to Bard College in Annandale on the Hudson, NY. There Lisa formed a band with Rory Makem of The Makem Brothers called, Lisa, Lisa and the Country Jam and there her love of Country Music began.
Her first big break came almost immediately after college when discovered at The Bitter End by producer Keith Diamond (Billy Ocean, Mick Jaggar, Sheena Easton). They began working on her first major label record, but it came to a halt when Keith died suddenly of a heart attack. Heartbroken to say the least, that didn't stop her. She finished the songs and took them to producer Dave Greenberg (Patti Rothberg) and released them in her first CD, “Becoming” which sold over 10,000 physical copies from the stages across the country and garnered the attention of NPR and radio stations around the globe. Her follow up EP “Three” had two singles hit number one twice on the MP3 charts alongside John Mayer and in 2006, the LP “A Country Compilation” won on SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Award) for Best Country Record.
“Start Flying” will be her first digital release. All 11 songs are self-written. Lisa produced the entire record with the help of Nashville producer and drummer Adam Box (Brothers Osborne) who co-produced 7 of the 11 songs. She tracked at Adams's studio, the Gilded Palace, in Nashville and completed the record at the infamous Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY (engineered by Matt Chiaravelle and Ken Helmlinger. also mixed at Dreamland by Ken Helmlinger and mastered by Grammy nominated Joe Lambert).
“After years of searching for waiting for the right "executives" to think my songs were worthy of recording, I finally decided to produce them myself, my way. I hired my own engineers and co-producers that I knew saw my vision. It wasn’t easy but I finally found my voice and my sound; but the truth is, it was never missing. I just had trust myself. Thus the album title ‘Start Flying’ - sometimes you’ve got to stop trying to please everyone including yourself, jump in and let go. Stop trying. Start Flying.”
Other musicians playing on the record include: Adam Box, Bass, Drums, Guitars, Percussion (Brothers Osborne); Nelson Bragg, Vocals (Brian Wilson Band); Matt Chiaravalle, Guitars, (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa, Josh Joplin); Rob Clores, Piano (Black Crowes, Tom Jones); Smith Curry, Pedal Steel (Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Kelsie Ballerini); Dave Eggar, Cello (Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Tony Bennett, Beyoncé); Jason Graumlich, Guitars (Brothers Osborne); Rick Huckaby, Guitars and Featured Vocal Guest Artist (Tracy Lawrence, Rhett Atkins, Thomas Rhett); Billy Justineau, Piano and Organ (Brothers Orsborne, Eric Church, Tenille Townes); Rich Mercurio, Drums (Sara Bareilles, Indina Menzel, Little Steven); Jerry Marotta, Bass and Drums (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oats, Indigo Girls, Orleans); Peter Sternberg, Bass (Brothers Orsborne, Phil Vassar) and Ford Thurston, Guitars (Randy Houser, Paul Tabachneck).
The new album
Lisa is no stranger to making records. She grew up in the studio watching her father produce and arrange records and began recording and producing her original songs in professional studios at 15. Her sound is contemporary pop country with powerhouse vocals that are backed with pop orchestrations reminiscent of Burt Bacharach, Clive Davis and Motown. Independently, she has released 4 albums of original music: Live In The Stairwell, Becoming, Three and A Country Compilation, which received a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY) for Best Country Record.
The forthcoming album “Start Flying” will be her debut digital release. All 11 songs are self-written but one she co-wrote with her sister. Lisa produced the entire record with the help of Nashville producer and drummer Adam Box (Brothers Osborne) who co-produced 7 of the 11 songs. She tracked at Adams's studio, the Gilded Palace, in Nashville and completed the record at the infamous Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY (engineered by Matt Chiaravelle and Ken Helmlinger. also mixed at Dreamland by Ken Helmlinger and mastered by Grammy nominated Joe Lambert).
“This record is my life’s work. I’ve written many songs, but these are closest to my heart (spanning from age 16 to present) and I feel in my gut that they especially have something to offer the masses. So after years of searching for waiting for the right "executives" to think they were worthy of recording, I finally decided to do it myself, my way - and I finally found my sound. But the truth is, it was never missing. I just had trust myself. These songs are my stories. M stories live in my songs. If you want to know who I am listen to my music, don't "stalk" my instagram.”
BEHIND THE SONGS
Guys Like You may be one of the most important songs I’ve ever written. It is an integral part of my story and career — echoing the silent struggle I was frequently faced with as a young female artist trying to succeed in a predominantly male run music industry.
Money was flowing, powerful men were on the prowl and at times it felt like women had little option but to play their game, if you wanted the once-coveted “record deal”. Empty promises, quid pro quo was where it was at. If you chose the high road you were written off.
I didn’t play the game and the price was high. Producers, managers and big deals came and went. Sometimes it was difficult not to lose faith but I persevered and I now credit those experiences for the strong woman I am today.
Now I’m back with my fourth record and I think it’s my best work yet. This time I did it MY WAY, on my own terms. The only deal I made was with myself: To BELIEVE in my own power.
This song is my tribute to all the strong women and survivors that continue to inspire me every day. I hope you enjoy it and rock out a little too!
"She's a tender storyteller who weaves tales of life as a woman finding her path through the experience of what it means to live, love and be loved while being bold and feminine at the same time. Staying true to her moods and close to her roots, Lisa inspires quite effortlessly with a stunning voice that soars and takes you along for the ride."
- Time Out Magazine, New York
"Lisa Gentile shows she's got it. . . On stage Gentile displayed that she's the proud owner of fine original songs . . . "Sweet on You" is as catchy a love ballad as most of the stuff on contemporary country radio these days. And live, Gentile's got plenty of it-factor. She charmed the fans who were crowding into the shade in front of the stage with an easy way."
- The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY
"Lisa Gentile, country singer-songwriter, performs a soul-searing set . . . pop-country aficionado and winner of 2007’s Best Country award, performed a genuine, heartfelt set that featured the airy 'Sweet On You', a tune from her EP '3' (Padre Music). Gentile’s performance also included an impulsive rendition of her tune 'Tell Him How You Like It', a feminine call to arms that describes the methodology women should use to instruct their man in sexual matters.
- The New Times Paper; Syracuse, NY
"A tuneful, toneful singer with a smile as big as her voice."
- The Eagle Newspaper, Syracuse, NY
SHE's ONE Of
IF ONLY WE WERe POETS
- Rambles Cultural Arts Magazine
". . . As a singer, Lisa sneaks up and plants melodies in the listener's head, that stick in the brain hours after hearing them. As a songwriter, she's not afraid to flex her musical muscles and still maintain her femininity."
- CNY Music and Art.com
"A great pop artist from New York, who could very well give the likes of Tori Amos and Shania Twain a run for their money. Killer vocals and foot tapping arrangements that hook into you from the first listen."
"This singer/songwriter writes beautiful lyrics that are poetic and swift with a packed punch...Lisa gives her music life through brilliant orchestration. Her music is a form of storytelling following a similar artistic technique used by Billy Joel throughout his body of work. Hearing stories in this controlled medium was an extraordinary aural experience that was like a cup of chicken noodle soup that soothed the soul. Lisa’s talents are equally matched by a superb auxiliary behind her to whisk us away."
- Celebrity Cafe Online Magazine
"The beautiful Lisa Gentile has come up with three songs ('3'-Padre Music) that are decidedly crossover country, on the same trail that Shania blazed, with at least as lovely a voice. By the time you're through with that 2nd song, you'll seriously wonder why you've not heard of Lisa. Perhaps you have. You should. She's super - and luckily not just by voice. The recording of this single is crisp and professionally produced."
- Music Dish E- Journal Online
"Lisa has a strong, classy voice with the songs to match. . . With the current musical climate swinging more to the singer/songwriter, I think that we should be hearing a great deal more from Lisa if this CD "Becoming" (Padre Music) is anything to go by."
- PowerPlay Magazine
"The smooth flowing cowgirl in her will lasso your soul in rapture."