Elisa has a predilection for discovering some of the most interesting oddballs in American history and then rendering their stories into musically engaging original songs. This collection of songs was inspired by the following individuals:
Trail of Broken Hearts
This song was inspired by a book about historical women who used sex as power. The title came from a friend and mechanic who teased me about my frequent travel by saying: "You must leave a trail of broken hearts behind you..."
Molly Spotted Elk
Molly was a Penobscot Indian and brilliant dancer who became a star on the Vaudeville stage. The song is a drum-and-vocal exploration of her story and how hard it was for Molly to live between two cultures.
Based on the story of the grandfather of a friend, Empty Me describes the travails of Mendel Sheretz, a Jewish immigrant who had Munchausen's Syndrome which forced him to seek numerous unnecessary surgeries to remove parts of his body.
Hold On - The Dr. Bronner Song
Ever heard of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap? You've probably seen it in the stores. This is the story of the inventor who immigrated from Germany, got committed to an insane asylum, and then created a natural soap empire.
Love to Love - The Victoria Woodhull Song
Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president, the first woman to own a company on Wall Street, and a friend of Cornelius Vanderbilt. She preached for free love--basically saying that women should have to right to have sex and orgasms with whomever they wanted, and until they had that right, they would be under the power of men. She was quite the fascinating character.
Based on a footnote from the memoir of a prisoner of war during the Civil War, this song tells the story of the Southern women who would cross the "deadline" (line beyond which a prisoner was shot dead) to bring food and blankets to enemy soldiers in the hopes that Northern women would do the same for their loved ones in prisons in the North.
Andy the Lightbulb Eater
A magical realism story inspired by the life and work of Todd Robbins, a NYC-based sideshow performer who eats lightbulbs.