What people are saying about Dream of Blue:
"Lisa Moritz' debut CD, Dream of Blue, is filled with songs that ring true, like a late night chat with Mom at the kitchen table. With layers of finger picking on guitar, rich melodies in minor keys and a voice as smooth as moonlit snow, this album plays well from beginning to end. Her song "Here We Know" is a remarkable ode to Western Kansas. Her song "My Father's Words" may well be the best "found" song I've ever heard. Lisa's dream may be blue at times, but you're sure to find pleasure in listening to her stories."
--David Hakan, Founder, Songwriters Circle of Kansas City
Dream of Blue
Showcases Lyrical Talent
Lisa Moritz's first album, Dream of Blue, displays Moritz's excellent lyrical ability over a smooth folk background.
Moritz finger picks her way through thirteen mellow tracks in 45 minutes, playing relaxed, but never sloppily.
Dream of Blue is a very easy to listen to album, with tracks that flow together, full of poetry and reality.
"Your voice on the wire/A sound I used to breathe/Cruel trick of desire/You're in touch but out of reach," she laments in "Begin Again," a song about the end of a romance.
Her songs sparkle because they are personal, and each song has experience threaded through each line.
Moritz's honesty is most of her appeal.
Dream of Blue is stripped to the bare
essentials, leaving a woman's stories of love lost and gained and lessons learned.
Her words are carefully chosen, and while poetic, not frilly in their description ...
During most songs the smoothness of her voice, the content of her lyrics, and the music all line up to produce lovely folk songs.
Moritz croons to a haunting melody during "Here We Know," a song about misperceptions of a calmer way of life in Kansas.
The stellar "My Father's Words" is a lullaby of mellow guitar, relaxed rhythms, and good advice.
Moritz sings from the back of her throat, creating a depth of sound that personalizes her vocals and adds maturity to her message.
Her voice is very well trained ... and there are songs her impeccable vocals work well for, such as "December," where she calls her lover to join her for the winter.
The album is certainly enjoyable ...
Future efforts from Moritz will certainly be a pleasure to listen to, as this one is.
Published Oct. 24, 2002
Campus Ledger, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas
from The Salina (Kansas) Journal, March 28, 2003
by Amy Sullivan
Lisa Moritz used to believe she had to choose between a regular job and her music.
Moritz, originally from Tipton, worked 40-hour weeks at jobs that paid the bills, first as a teacher and later as a paralegal, and put her music on hold. The youngest of 10 children, she had played piano and written songs since grade school and in college started taking guitar lessons. When she got out in the real world, she quit.
That was until 1995, when Moritz, who lives in Lawrence, was inspired by her divorce to create folksy, singer-songwriter, acoustic-guitar-based songs.
"My songs aren't really about (divorce)," she said. "Only one was inspired by that. What I had done before the divorce was shut off the creative part of myself. I felt I wanted to reenter that creative space."
Seven years later, her independent compact disc, "Dream of Blue," was complete.
Moritz, 37, didn't really set out to make a CD. She loved writing and in November 2000 started playing her songs at coffeehouses in and around Kansas City. It was her boyfriend, Kevin Rabas, now her husband, who booked her first gig.
"Once it was on the calendar, and I said I would do it, I had to do it. (Kevin) is tremendously supportive. He's heard these songs a million times, yet he gets excited when I get out my guitar and sing," Moritz said.
At about the third gig, audience members came up to her at the break and asked if she had a CD for sale. She got to work looking for a studio and musicians to add to her vocals and guitar work. Moritz was, and still is, a paralegal at Blackwell Sanders, a Kansas City, Mo., law firm, so she had to schedule the 12 recording sessions around her regular job. Even though it wasn't easy, she now thinks it's possible to combine her regular life with music.
"Writing songs is an emotional outlet for me, as well as creating a specific creative piece of art," Moritz said.
SISTERS IN ART
Her oldest sister, Ruth Moritz, describes it as "not even just a desire to create. It's a need."
Ruth Moritz, a writer and visual artist, helped inspire her sister's music. Ruth, a composition and literature instructor at Barton County Community College who lives in Gorham, remembers that Lisa had a steady diet of Ruth's favorite records, including Joan Baez and other folk singers. The sisters were close, even though Lisa was 13 years younger, because of music and because their mother, Mary Ann Becker Moritz, died when Lisa was a few weeks old. Ruth remembers Lisa writing songs when she was a little girl.
"We had this old piano and half the keys didn't work. Lisa would compose tunes on that," Ruth, 51, said.
Even though Lisa couldn't have remembered her mother's frequent singing at home, Ruth thinks Lisa gets her talent from her mother. Other family members on their mother's side of the family also were creative.
"We had an uncle who was a tremendous artist. I remember he would smell of turpentine, and our grandmother on our mother's side was a very good illustrator," Ruth said.
Lisa Moritz said she often hears melodies in her head. They can be inspired by a few chords on the guitar.
"Some of it is intuitive, and some of it is having listened to a lot of great songs and good songwriters," Moritz said.
If listeners connect with anything in her music, she hopes it's the lyrics. A poetry writer since grade school, Moritz has found that music suits her poems best.
"I love it, even if it's only 10 people listening, when an audience wants to listen to what I'm saying. I don't have a lot of guitar licks and solos. It's really about the message," Moritz said.
SONGS OF KANSAS
In "Here We Know," a song about her Tipton roots, Moritz describes the beauty of the region.
"It speaks for any kind of rural place. I was inspired by that place," Moritz said.
While working in offices, she would hear co-workers say they hated to drive across Kansas. They would try to do it at night so they didn't have to see it.
"This song is a declaration of the beauty and the open spaces and the advantages of that," Moritz said.
She's written five songs for another CD although she doesn't know when she will record them. Six months pregnant with her first child, Moritz will have to wait to see how her work and home life will mix. If everything goes as planned, she will work part time so she can have enough time for her family and music. She might get back in the studio at the end of the year.
As for playing live, she's taking it one month at a time.
"I'm booking as I go, depending on how my body's letting me play," Moritz said.
But it's not whether her job schedule allows her to play. She's already overcome that attitude.
Excerpt from "Here We Know," by Lisa Moritz
Here we know the solid comfort
That comes from living near the earth
Nothing here to scrape the sky
But blade of windmill, wing of bird
You might think
Of our lives here as something less
You might say
All this space is emptiness
You don't see
The countless ways our lives are blessed
With room to move, solid roots
Simple truth and happiness
*Reporter Amy Sullivan can be reached at 785-823-6464, Ext. 125, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from Kansas! magazine, Winter 2003
Lisa Moritz began composing music, plunking out tunes on a half-functional piano amidst her nine siblings in Tipton at age 7. In college she purchased a used guitar and, with her flair for poetry, passion for music, need for a creative release, and innate musical talent, became a singer songwriter.
Moritz' intensely personal, regional, and inspirational poetry is set to music inspried by her love for the style of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Baez, and EmmyLou Harries on her first CD, "Dream of Blue."
ABOUT LISA: Lisa Moritz grew up, the youngest child in a family of ten children, in the small town of Tipton, Kansas. As a young child, she received a steady diet of popular music (Joan Baez, Melanie, Carol King, Elton John, Carly Simon and Linda Rondstadt) from the records played by her older sisters and from the radio, which was always on in the house. Lisa took four years of piano lessons in grade school and began writing songs on a half-functional piano in the family home at age eleven. Throughout high school Lisa wrote hundreds of rhymed love poems, some of which were transferred to songs that she composed mostly by ear. During her second year of college Lisa purchased a used guitar, had a friend show her a few chords, and took a one-semester group guitar course that consisted mostly of traditional folk songs. From these basics, Lisa began writing songs on guitar.
For several years after college, Lisa put her writing and her music on hold. She taught high school English briefly and worked at large Kansas City law firms as a litigation paralegal. However, after some changes in her personal life in the mid-90’s that Lisa started composing again. In 1999 she met her husband, drummer Kevin Rabas, and largely due to his support and encouragement, began performing at coffee houses in Kansas City in November of 2000. As early as her third performance, audience members were asking if she had a CD for sale. This prompted Lisa to record her self-produced debut album, Dream Of Blue, which was released in August 2002. Lisa’s second album of original songs, Holding Time, was released in 2007 and combines Lisa’s excellent lyrical ability with harmony vocals, mandolin, bass, slide guitar, piano, violin, and harmonica to create a rich fullness of sound.
Lisa currently lives in Emporia, Kansas with her husband, Kevin Rabas, and son, Eliot (born July 2003). In addition to being a mother, Lisa works days at a small law office in Emporia and continues to write music and perform at local and regional venues. Kevin teaches literature and creative writing at Emporia State University and plays drums with various jazz and folk musicians in the region. Eliot attends preschool on the ESU campus, explores the universe, and talks non-stop from the moment he awakens to the time his head hits the pillow. Check out Lisa’s web site www.lisamoritz.com for more information and her performance schedule.