It was a poem on a napkin that started it all. Just another Saturday night in LA, she went with her girlfriend to hear the singer, Don McLean, whose hit song, “American Pie” was climbing the charts. But it was when he sang the plaintive “Empty Chairs” that Lori Lieberman felt he was singing into her soul. Hence, began the genesis of “Killing Me Softly”.
Says Don McLean, “The only reason that I inspired “Killing Me Softy” is because Lori Lieberman is a sensitive poet and artist, who understood what I was trying to say in “Empty Chairs. Without her sensitivity and artistry, it would have been just another night at the Troubadour.”
While she is best known for that classic song, Lori Lieberman has gone on to record 17 CDs. Her newest, “Ready For The Storm,” is mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Springsteen, David Bowie, etc.).
“He really brought a balance to my music and brought my voice forward in a way I’d never have imagined”, says Lori. “ I intentionally kept the orchestrations small and focused. While most of the songs are acoustically driven, some with only one guitar as in the classic, “Last Thing On My Mind”, some of the other songs are enhanced by electric guitar and I turned to Jason Orme for that, who plays with Alanis Morissette. He really brought these songs to life, with nods to Daniel Lanois and Mark Knopfler. Another, “Alive In The World”, by Jackson Browne, features just me on piano with cello. In the end, I found that putting less on, served the material more and gave it more heart and impact”.
Raised in Switzerland, Lori Lieberman came out to Los Angeles in the seventies and became a part of the West Coast music scene, rubbing elbows with Leonard Cohen, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, John Stewart, and others. After the release of six LPs on Capitol Records, she stepped away from the business to raise a family, never thinking she would return to the industry, but in the mid-nineties she began to record again, and found her fan base was still there, welcoming her back through her concerts and CDs.
Over the years, Lori has connected strongly with the Netherlands whose audiences have embraced her music, supported her headline tours, television specials, devoted chapters to her career in their award winning books, and graced her photos on the covers of their magazines and TV guides. Featured on the CD, are some of the most popular Dutch artists who came to LA to work with her in her studio.
Recently, she performed at her sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, and she will be touring worldwide in 2016, beginning with the launch of her CD release and a concert/career retrospective at the Grammy Museum this fall.