The little lady with the long name has released a lovely new record, her fourth solo release, titled simply “Song.” For those who have never heard Lissa Schneckenburger before, this would make a perfect introduction to her sensitive fiddling and singing. On the violin, she ranges from modern-classical to pure drop trad, with a broad and effective dynamic range. The same goes for her intimate and endearing vocals. She is joined on this project by many of her New England musical mates, including cellist Rushad Eggleston and bassist Corey DiMario, both of Crooked Still fame, and guitarist Keith Murphy of Nightingale.
“Song” is a brilliant collection of little-known New England folk songs, many of which she sourced from the repertoire of the logging camps that existed in the region around the turn of the century. Lissa says in her press release, “I started out knowing nothing about the logging industry over the past 100 years, and was surprised to find out that these communities were at one time the breeding ground for some of the best folk music I have ever heard. To think that these guys were up there during the cold winter months, working their butts off in hazardous conditions, far from their homes and families, and to pass time in the evenings they would sing songs.”
Each of Lissa’s previous releases offered a balanced mix of songs (with words) and tunes (instrumentals). However, this release is all songs, and for her next release she plans a collection of New England fiddle tunes titled “Dance.” As an old folkie myself, having played traditional songs and tunes for over 30 years now, it’s just grand to see youngsters like Lissa digging deep into a regional tradition and uncovering diamonds in the rough that only need a little polishing to shine bright again.
Video of Lissa Schneckenburger singing and playing fiddle on “The Lumberman in Town,” accompanied by Corey DiMario, Matt Heaton and Keith Murphy at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA: