In the words of New York musician Kenny White, one of the seasoned songwriters Wise has been fortunate enough to share a stage with, she has emerged as one of those rare artist who can mine deeply from the past while moving steadfastly forward with her work. To quote White: “Faithfully carrying on the traditions of Elizabeth Cotton and Malvina Reynolds (with a dose of Bessie Smith, for good measure), Elizabeth Wise is a vital link who connects us to this fast fading golden era, and breathes new life into it.” Or, to borrow from “Mississippi Woman,” no matter where Wise goes she brings something real… and people still do very much need “that Mississippi feel.”
Wise has indeed travelled the world and truly lived in it, from the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and on up the James River to the “Richmondtown” she reflects wistfully on in one of her many original compositions. From the aforementioned juke joints of Memphis and folk clubs in Manhattan to the wilds of New Zealand and the plains of Oklahoma, where she spent a year communing with her restless muse and spreading her respect for the blues. From her formative years playing piano and singing church music, to her coming of age as a fully formed folk artist steeped in traditions that trace their roots back to Appalachian hills, Kentucky bluegrass, and, of course, the blues of the Delta. As the Memphis Blues Society noted, Wise is “authentic yet refreshingly original,” and “a blueswoman at the dawn of a superb career.”
Be cool // OMP is the place for peace, love, support and kindness. Critique must be requested.
Listen // Be mindful of what other players are doing. Be mindful of dynamics. It's OK to not play - music needs silence, too.
Courage // The good stuff is beyond your comfort zone. Make mistakes. See rule #1.