The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at his best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Lisa Dames is neither timid nor cold. She is a sassy, sexy wife and mother who is set to make her mark on country music. On Damesâ€™ new album, No One Like Me, she explores her songs from the inside out, investing each one with a sense of urgency ripped from her own life. A life that could have been inconsequential in someone elseâ€™s hands.
The songs on Damesâ€™ album No One Like Me represent a penetrating and sometimes humorous view of life from a womanâ€™s perspective. â€œThere seems to be a prevailing thought that once a woman gets married and has kids, she stops being a woman,â€ comments Dames. â€œI tend to believe the oppositethat a woman may get married and have kids, but first and foremost sheâ€™s a woman.â€
From the comforts and confidence of leading the single life (â€œGood Time Lookinâ€™ and â€œKinda Fun (Getting Over You)â€ to the isolation of loneliness (â€œWay Down Hereâ€) to the serious life struggles of â€œJust Another Day,â€ the songs create a tapestry of a relationship moving through its various stages.
The first single, â€œJust Another Day,â€ penned by Trey Bruce and Kylie Maree Sackley, immediately struck a chord with Dames. â€œWhen I first heard this song I thought, that is so right on,â€ Dames remembers. â€œWhen my dad died I expected the whole world to grieve. Of course they didnâ€™t, but it was surreal how one of the two people who had known me my whole life was suddenly gone and no one noticed.â€
Likewise the newest single, â€œIâ€™d Leave Meâ€ hit Dames the first time she heard it. â€œThere are days I wake up and Iâ€™m mean, grouchy and generally not a nice person to be around. Unfortunately I always seem to take it out on my husband. I know that he is not going to walk out because Iâ€™m having a bad day, but it doesnâ€™t stop me from wondering why he doesnâ€™t and why he puts up with me. And the simple answer is, because he loves me. Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship, male or female, can relate to that.â€ Dames grew up in St. Louis, Houston and Cincinnati. It didnâ€™t take long for her to become swept up by country music. â€œWhen I was nine years old,â€ she says, â€œmy best friend and I would play Dolly Partonâ€™s â€˜Here You Come Againâ€™ and sing along at the top of our lungs.â€ Unfortunately, Dames was not surrounded by encouraging adults. â€œMy father wanted me to get a business degree,â€ Dames recalls. â€œBut I loved to sing and although it was discouraging sometimes, I never let go of my dream.â€
â€œDuring college Dames had a brief tenure working in sales at a country radio station in Cincinnatithe Beaver, 96.5. Later, while doing summer stock theatre, her roommate introduced her to Pam Tillisâ€™ â€˜Maybe It Was Memphisâ€™ and Suzy Boggussâ€™ â€˜Aces.â€™â€ â€œThose two albums really showed me what country music could doâ€, says Dames. â€œThe voices and songs were both so compelling. I was hooked.â€ During this period, Dames met the man she would soon marry. Once her husband was out of school, the young couple moved to his native Milwaukee. There, Dames worked with several of the cityâ€™s professional theater companies. â€œAfter being told I wasnâ€™t a singer,â€ Dames says with quiet satisfaction, â€œI worked nonstop for six years.â€ She became known as one of the best voices in Milwaukee.
It was in Milwaukee that Dames gave birth to her two daughters, her motivation for success. â€œI never want my children to think that a dream is too big or beyond their grasp.â€
In November of 1999, after giving birth to her second daughter, Dames got an unexpected phone call from an old college friend who was working at a professional theatre in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were getting ready to do A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline and they needed an actress to play Patsy Cline. â€œI told her Iâ€™d never done anything like that and that I didnâ€™t sound like Patsy Cline. She said, â€˜I know, but I think you can do it.â€™ Between January 2001 and September of 2004, Dames performed in seven productions of both Patsy Cline showsAlways . . . Patsy Cline and A Closer Walk With Patsy Clinetouring in several states.â€
â€œItâ€™s funny, but portraying Patsy Cline is what helped me to develop my own style,â€ says Dames. â€œWhile most of the other actresses who were doing these shows were so focused on sounding just like Patsy, I was focused on the emotion she put into her songs. And, thatâ€™s how I try to sing everything. Without the emotion, itâ€™s just a bunch of words. Patsy knew this. Thatâ€™s why sheâ€™s timeless.â€
No One Like Me is produced by Grammy nominated producer David Grow, best known for his studio work with pop piano icon Jim Brickman. It features songs by such Music Row luminaries as Brett James, Troy Verges, Victoria Shaw and Hillary Lindsey.
After hearing Damesâ€™ demo, Grow was intrigued. â€œDavid called me right away,â€ says Dames. â€œand said that there was â€˜something distinctive but familiar about my voiceâ€™ and that he thought we could create â€˜something magical.â€™â€ In No One Like Me, they have.
Check out Dames at http://www.lisadames.com