Featuring Singer/Songwriter – Lisa Dotolo

lisa dotolo3     Today’s Pursuing My Passion spotlight shines brightly on singer/songwriter, Lisa Dotolo. She has two CDs on the market already, and there is much more to come! Her music and lyrics are guaranteed to move you. Of course, I might be slightly biased because Lisa and I performed together in high school. And I am so proud of what she has accomplished!

What is the first childhood performance you remember?
     The first childhood performance was Loretta Lynn on her Coal Miner’s Daughter Tour. My mom took me, and I remember standing in front of her tour bus and having my picture taken. I still have the photo, and that was the first concert I went to that inspired me to pursue my performance career and go after singing as my career!

Where do you find your inspiration to write songs?
     All of my songs are inspired from my actual experiences in life. I write from my heart always and feel very connected to everything I write. I write only when I feel that the emotion from the experience needs to be expressed, then it turns into a song or poem. Some poems require further exploration and become songs.

How would you describe your style?
     I have so many musical influences, and they all kind of blend together when the song is produced in the studio. I describe my style as Emmy Lou meets Jewel + Natalie Merchant + Charlotte Church, with a WHOLE lot of love and inspiration. My foundation is Catholic liturgical music that I learned to sing and play when I was in a folk group at my church. It expanded to encompass gospel, traditional Catholic hymns and ultimately, Christian folk songs.

lisa dotolo2Do you have one guitar or a collection?
     I have a lot of guitars all over my house and in storage!!! I have collected them along the way and some have been given to me. All of them hold memories for me about the performances I played them in and the people who were so generous to give them to me!

What performing venue is your favorite?
     My favorite venue is ANYTIME I play in Gulf Shores, Alabama for festivals. They are so receptive to music, they have amazing musicians, and they are such nice people! Another favorite venue is the church; the acoustics are awesome!!

What is your dream venue?
     Wembley Stadium, London, England – sold out 5 nights… 😉 Of course, there’s Madison Square Garden for my friends state-side!!!

Which song is most meaningful to you?
     Angels on the Corner – It’s a lullaby I wrote about my brother a few days before he died. We knew he was going to pass, but we weren’t sure when. The day I wrote it, he was sleeping on the couch after a long surgery. I began to strum the chords and the words just flowed out. He rested quite peacefully throughout the entire creation of the song. He eventually passed, and I proceeded to record the song. I have three versions of the song; one is fully produced, and another is the acoustic version that I am playing with my mom on harmony.

When did you realize that singing and songwriting was your true calling?
     I believe when we find our calling we have a lot of peace in our choice. Whenever I write and sing, I feel happy and peaceful. People get inspired from my music, they are moved to feel happy, sad, joyful or just simply content. My calling in life is to create music and if I can bring some harmony to someone’s soul, then I have done my job, and I have used my talents that God has given me.

Your first album, Someday Soon, was released in 2004. You followed up with Doing It All My Way, in 2010. What can we expect from you next?
     Since I finance all my music, it does take some time to produce each song. I have many, many, many songs, ideas, titles and concepts for songs. The goal is to be signed by a major label so that side of the business is handled by them, and I am free to write and record all the time – those records will spin out A LOT faster with label support or financial backing!! However, right now, I have a third record in the works, hopefully to be released in 2013. All of my music is currently launched under my own indie label, Bella Mere Records. Would love to expand the label to continue to launch my music and other artists.

Lisa DotoloWhere can people buy your music?
     The internet or directly through me at Facebook. I am very, very accessible. I want to hear from people and know they like my songs. And I want them to email me directly and buy from me. CD Baby too, iTunes and more!

Where can people go to find where you will be performing?
     Facebook has a lot of my dates as soon as I get them. Right now though, I am wrapping up a record and looking to pick up gigs this summer and fall 2013.

To experience Lisa’s talent, check out her YouTube video of Lorelei. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aacxMIIYlzs

Follow Lisa on Facebook http://facebook.com/ldotolo

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal

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Poem in My Pocket

From_14_to_41_front_cover_092311Today is Indiana Poem in Your Pocket Day! The idea is to carry a favorite poem with you all day and share it with everyone you meet.

So, in that spirit, I am sharing my poem, Maestro, with you. It is one of the poems in my poetry anthology, From 14 to 41. I wrote the poem years ago, when I was in college, but its message is timeless.

Sit back, relax and imagine me unfolding the piece of paper in my pocket and reading this aloud to you!

Maestro

Play me like an instrument
That needs to be broken in.
Send your song straight through me
Whether piano, trumpet or violin.

I feel the opus rise within you.
The bass line is strong and low.
The introduction—smooth as the ivory
Your fingers tickle as they flow.

The first movement is bright and happy.
There are no blues sung in this song.
It’s as if heaven sent a chorus of angels to
Encourage the notes to float along.

Praise the Lord for this masterpiece—
A work of unparalleled beauty and grace.
Do not doubt its magnificence for a second.
See the mesmerized look on my face.

Ready for the second movement,
My body awaits the touch of your bow,
Surprised am I to hear instead
The melody meant for a piccolo.

From your lips I will taste it—
The sweet tune of your pounding heart.
From staccato leaps to longer-held notes,
I yield to your grand work of art.

With an abrupt change in rhythm,
The third movement drives in with elaborate flourish.
You conduct each note with gusto,
My soul—it does richly nourish.

Glowing from the warmth of your love,
A quiet interlude provides a few beats of rest.
My instrument trembles in anticipation.
Virtuoso, you are undoubtedly the best.

The final movement gradually swells.
You demand, “Crescendo, my only love!”
I dare not question. I readily comply,
While calling upon mighty God above.

Your fingertips find the perfect cadence—
My strings reverberate at your slightest caress.
Musician and instrument in concert—
Basking in the glow of our collaborative success.

Copyright © 2011 by Suzanne Purewal

Want to read more? I am running a special this month, in honor of National Poetry Month, on my website. Check it out by clicking here: http://www.suzannepurewal.com/books.html