By Bill Heath
Some people sing, some people do back flips, and some people sing while doing back flips! The point being, that we all possess skills and talents, some more than others, some less than others. That is one of the things that makes each of us special in our own way. Lisa Dames is definitely special in her own way. How is this for special? You audition for the part in a musical on the life of Patsy Cline, claiming that you can’t really sing like her, and have never been in a musical. Then, after getting the part, you tour across the country portraying Patsy Cline, and now you currently perform over 100 Patsy Cline concerts a year. I’d say that takes a special person to pull that off!
Let’s add to that a top50 country song on your debut solo release, followed with a cross country radio tour taking you to 62 radio stations in 20 states, opening shows for internationally known musical artists, being labeled “one to watch” by CMT, and having your CDs sold at Walmart. Feeling special yet?
The funny thing is, upon talking with Lisa Dames, she seems to convey that she hasn’t done anything yet! Perhaps that’s part of what makes her special – the ability to always be moving forward, capturing each and every moment, making it special in her own way.
Lisa grew up singing, although it wasn’t highly encouraged, other than to sing a Debbie Boone song at family gatherings (as requested by her grandmother). While growing up, she discovered some of the great country singers like Dolly Parton and Pam Tillis, and it helped to shape her own voice.
After being a theatre major in college, Lisa moved to Milwaukee, and began working with several of the city’s professional theater companies. She was told she wasn’t a “singer” (by an unknown source), so she spent six years working non-stop on her vocals, eventually becoming known as one of the best vocalists throughout the greater Milwaukee area.
Acting upon a hunch, an old college friend contacted Lisa in the fall of 1999. They were working at the Barn Dinner Theater in Greensboro, NC, which was in the start-up phase of the musical known as “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.” Her old friend stated that she just “knew Lisa could do it.”
Well….Lisa did it, and in her own special way! By focusing on the emotional side of vocals, rather than trying to sound just like Patsy, she took it to a whole other level. And she continues to charm audiences with her interpretation of Patsy Cline. She is also part of the local band known as “The Radials,” consisting of Lisa (vocals), Thomas Royal (bass/vocals), Justin Horth (percussion/backing vocals), Drew Wofford (keyboards/accordion/pedal steel), Shawn Patch (guitars/mandolin/backing vocals), and Bob Worrells (acoustic guitar). The Radials have a refreshing sound, combining crafty songwriting, with excellent musicianship. You can find out more about this outstanding group at theradials.com.
Lisa says her motivation to succeed comes from being the mother of two children, of whom she stated, “I never want my children to think that a dream is too big or beyond their grasp.” Well said, and well done Lisa! You can find out more about Lisa at lisadames.com.
Lisa will perform as Patsy Cline at the Muddy Creek Music Hall (6 pm start time) on February 14th, 2016.