Lisa Marie Presley

Biography

With all the hoopla that has surrounded her, it's easy to forget that Lisa Marie Presley is at heart a simple Southern girl whose earliest musical memories are of obsessively listening to 45's in her bedroom at Graceland and of her dad catching her singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror at the age of three.

The Memphis-born Presley reclaims those roots on her new album Storm & Grace - an Americana-inspired showcase for her songwriting talent and smoldering alto voice. Produced with elegant restraint by 12-time Grammy Award-winner T Bone Burnett, Storm & Grace is a marked departure from Presley's previous albums, 2003's gold-certified To Whom It May Concern and 2005's Now What, which both debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 chart, "I love the songs, but I think I was hiding behind a lot of sonic layers because it was scary to go out there," Presley says. "It's easier to bury yourself in the noise so you don't stand out. This album is a lot more stripped-down and naked, both musically and lyrically."

The album's rootsy golden tone is set immediately with the opening track "Over Me," with its echoey guitar line, burping bassline, shuffling backbeat, and lyrics that lament a lover who's replaced her, while the ominous, swampy lead single "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and the pedal-steel and mandolin-driven title track sound like they could have been recorded during an impromptu back-porch jam session.

Presley's previous albums did, however, enable her to work through the rebelliousness she was feeling when she launched her career as a singer-songwriter in 2003. "I was angry at all that I was potentially up against - all the expectations - and I was puffing myself up as a protective mechanism," she says. "At the same time, I was being pushed by the team around me to be a pop star, and to do all these crazy things that I really didn't want to do."

After completing a well-received tour to support Now What, Presley retreated from the music industry, relocating to the English countryside with her husband and young twin daughters and shedding the people and things she felt had demoralized her. "I got rid of a lot of the toxicity around me, but I also lost a lot of my drive and love for songwriting," she says. "The creativity was kind of wrung out of me."

Not wanting to abandon her craft, and after gentle prodding from her new manager Simon Fuller, Presley agreed, in the summer of 2009, to sit down with some new songwriting collaborators, who included three Brits: Sacha Skarbek (who's written with Adele and Jason Mraz among others), and singer-songwriters Ed Harcourt and Richard Hawley, who is also a member of Pulp. "There was no agenda," she says. "I wasn't trying to write a hit or to please any particular audience. I was just enjoying the process of being creative with great people who really love music." The first song to emerge was a gentle ballad called "Weary," which Presley wrote with Hawley. "That one turned the tide and sparked the whole sound of the record," she says. Over an eight-month period, Presley wrote 28 songs including "Storm and Grace" and "How Do You Fly This Plane?" with Hawley; "Un-Break" and "Close To The Edge" with Skarbek; and "Soften The Blows" and "Over Me" with Harcourt.

Taken as a whole, Storm & Grace is a unflinchingly honest piece of work from this songwriter, who, though known for her tough frankness, has managed to create a tender, consoling thread that runs throughout the album. "Weary" may concern a relationship that didn't work out, but it is suffused with a genuine warmth, as Presley sings: "I will always love you/you can move on, dear."

For Presley, the album's conciliatory theme grew out of wanting to have peace in her life after a period of turmoil and letting go of what no longer suited her. "There were a few years there where everything around me had fallen apart," she says. "All the things that had become my foundation were gone and I had to shed a lot of skin. I found myself really vulnerable afterward and that's what birthed the album's vibe. It's me without any attitude or anger at a time of rediscovery."

Impressed with Presley's songs, Fuller sent the demos to producer and musician T Bone Burnett, who is known for his work with such artists as Allison Krauss and Robert Plant, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Elton John and Leon Russell, and scores of others. "I got a call that T Bone really liked them and wanted to meet with me," Presley says. "When I saw him, he said, 'I don't want to do a big song and dance. I really like the record and I'd love to produce it.'"

"When Lisa Marie's songs arrived, I was curious," Burnett says. "I wondered what the daughter of an American revolutionary music artist had to say. What I heard was honest, raw, unaffected, and soulful. I thought her father would be proud of her. The more I listened to the songs, the deeper an artist I found her to be. Listening beyond the media static, Lisa Marie Presley is a Southern American folk music artist of great value."

"It makes me feel really good to hear him say that because I know he means it," Presley says. "His enthusiasm and support gave me a lot of confidence. His even doing this project and bringing in his musicians [who include drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Dennis Crouch, guitarists Jackson Smith and Michael Lockwood, and keyboardists Keefus Green and Patrick Warren] injected me with new life. They were all outstanding."

Presley is also glad to have a new label home, Universal Republic, which will release Storm & Grace on May 15th. "I have a new team around me, and none of the things that brought me down before," she says, adding that although she is nervous about how Storm and Grace will be received, the joy of knowing that she's connecting with an audience makes it all worth it.

"I'm compelled to do this because I'm a music lover and I feel that music is so important in the world. That's what drives me - pouring your heart and soul into something and hoping that it can change someone's life in some way. I'm looking forward to performing live and interacting with people who are there for the music and nothing else. Getting that instant reaction is the best part."

Official Bio
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Comments

doedi's picture

doedi

i am so sorry for the way peoples have been conducting them selfs. But you have to understand that they may be the nice and loving people, you don't mix your health with a cult beleives. Thats the problem with this picture. Yes, Jett died from a seizures and i have them to. ) my health comes frist! over anything! and that is were John and Kelly went wrong with there son. i take medication daily and he could have to and still been here with his mom and dad! that hurt my heart so much!

5 years 8 months ago
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Larry's picture

Larry

Dear Lisa Marie,I enjoyed "Dirty Laundry" and the album. Don't let any of those foolish comments get to you....just keep on being the way you are - unique and full of spirit!There are so many of us that truly enjoy it. All the best...Larry in Iowa

9 years 1 month ago
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CRYSTAL hosier's picture

CRYSTAL hosier

Dear lisa,I have been a fan of your fathers since i can remember, when i was a young child i can remember my father singing Elvis songs to me, kind of funny the things you remember...anyway i have discovered your album dirty laundry and love it, you and I are close to the same age and it was like you found a voice that i wish i could express myself, Dont worry about what anyone lese sayes about you and your mom, i know you are doing the best you can do in all your endevers, and as far as your music you have found your own voice, just like Elvis found his, Keep up the good work and keep the tunes comming, hope to see you again in august i will be there for elvis week , like i was last year, i think you do an awesome job with the tours and such....keep them up too ill be there friends always crystal

8 years 8 months ago
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faggotjackson's picture

faggotjackson

I like this girl. I think she's a babe and her music ain't half bad.Too bad she ever got mixed up with Jacko. He's bad news even for c**kroaches.Anyway, new chapter in her life, she's married, happy and she pulled one over on the press. Way to go Lisa!news://alt.music.michael-jackson

8 years 6 months ago
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chrisq55's picture

chrisq55

LISAMARIE, IF ONLY PEOPLE WOULD LEAVE YOU ALONE AND STOP MAKING UP ALL THESE STORIES ABOUT YOU, AND I DO HOPE YOU SUE AND GET LOTS OF MONEY OUT OF THIS, ALL STORIES START BECAUSE YOU ARE THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING, AND I HAVE ALWAYS LOVEDDDDDD THE KING, HE WAS AND STILL IS THE BEST TO ME, NO ONE COULD EVER BEAT ELVIS. I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

6 years 6 months ago
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Bling's picture

Bling

Dear Lisa Marie, I am so happy to know that you will be delivering Twins just as your Father's Mother did years ago. If you have sons with you be naming one after your Father and the other after your Husband. And if girls, will you be naming one after your Father's Mother and the other after your Mother? I haven't read anywhere what you've decided to name them yet but I hope I gave you an idea. I know your Elated with carrying on the Family Tradition of Twins. Especially since your Father was a Twin. Take care of yourself Lisa Marie.GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!I LOVE YOU LISA MARIE!Your Friend, Bling

6 years 1 month ago
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Donna Frey's picture

Donna Frey

Lisa - I LOVE your music and have both of your albums. Don't let anyone bother you -- I love the way you express yourself. Some of your sons make me feel as if I had written them myself - can't wait for your next album. Keep on rockin'!!!

9 years 1 month ago
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tbealle's picture

tbealle

Lisa Marie Presley,I have had a mysterious illness for over 2 years now. My life has completely changed. I have been to so many doctors, and too many tests done with no answers. Long story short, it appears that I have mercury poisoning. Amongst all the research I have done, I read that you had something similar from your amalgams. I will begin the process with the first quadrant to be removed soon; any thoughts, advice, or suggestions? This whole thing has been a nightmare, and nobody can understand what it does to you physically and mentally unless they've been through it. I was surprised to learn that it took them so long to figure this out for you. It's unbelievable that the government allows for this poison to be put into our teeth. It's disgusting! I hope to get my health back soon; and then be on a mission to help others, and get word out about what mercury toxicity can do to us. Along with vaccinations. THank you for your time. I hope you had a full recovery. I'm not sure if you got all your amalgams removed yet, but I hope all goes well. Keep rockin' --- you are great!Terri

8 years 6 months ago
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