Soul sister sings it |

Soul sister sings it

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyLiza and the Soul Stars have a rootsy rock approach to music. They play 8150 tonight at 10.

A rootsy, soulful rock group, Liza and the Soul Stars have a wide repertoire of original material. From melody-driven songs to gospel-steeped tunes, they’ve drawn comparisons on a song-by-song basis to the Rolling Stones and Sheryl Crow.

“We get funkier and prettier and more dynamic, too,” said Liza. “And I still have my funk tunes that I like to do.”

Liza was last in Vail as the grand finale act for Hot Summer Nights. Playing in the outdoor amphitheater to a crowd of thousands, she cites it as one of her favorite shows to date. Having 10 years of touring experience under her belt, that’s saying something.

“It let us do all of what we do,” she explained. “The mellow stuff with people sitting and listening in front, and then the crowd in the back. It felt like there was some refinement. Sometimes we can get loud and sloppy and raw and fun, but I like that refinement.”

In terms of refinement, the band has been expressing their melodies differently. They don’t all play at the same time, full throttle, but allow the show to build with intricate pieces. For Liza, there’s nothing else she’d rather do than music. In addition to performing she also teaches.

“It’s an expressive, physical art form that I can share with people in an immediate sense,” she said. “There’s a lot of interaction, that sensual communication.”

In addition to lead vocalist and guitarist Liza, the Soul Stars are keyboardist Steve Vidaic, drummer Brian McRae and bassist Aaron Snyder.

The musicians are currently working on a new album, a first for them as a group. Since Liza has a studio in her house, they’ve been able to let it grow and develop without keeping the time down.

Liza has made several albums, and none of them had the help of a producer. This time around she’s decided she wants one, and is looking around for a good fit.

“I have some specific things I want to work on with my songs and want some feedback on that,” she said. “I think some help with arrangements, lyric suggestions, and ideas for instrumentation – that’s mainly what a producer does, helps organize it all.”

Liza hopes to begin recording in earnest very soon. In the meantime, she and the Soul Stars will keep on performing. For more information, visit their Web site at, or call 8150 at 479-0607. The music begins at 10 p.m.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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