The cleverness and wit of Liz Longley

Pennsylvania native dazzles with her stunning singer-songwriter bag of tricks

By Ariana Kramer
Posted 3/26/19

Mattress Mary Domito loves a good night's sleep. The owner of Taos Lifestyles, a home furnishings store featuring Sleep Sanctuary, Domito also loves good music. She has a particular soft spot for …

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The cleverness and wit of Liz Longley

Pennsylvania native dazzles with her stunning singer-songwriter bag of tricks

Posted

"Mattress Mary" Domito loves a good night's sleep. The owner of Taos Lifestyles, a home furnishings store featuring Sleep Sanctuary, Domito also loves good music. She has a particular soft spot for talented singer-songwriters. Although she is busy these days with overseeing her many stores across the region, Domito told me she jumped on the chance to bring singer-songwriter Liz Longley back to Taos for a special concert.

"I'm always in awe of singer-songwriters who write their own music, play their own instrument and sing. Not everybody can do all those things well. When you can do them all really well it's really special. … Liz is her own version of that," said Domito.

Mattress Mary presents Liz Longley on Saturday (March 30), 8-11 p.m., at the KTAOS Solar Center, 9 State Road 150, north of El Prado.

Longley first performed in Taos back in December 2016, at a Songs & Stories concert produced by Domito under her former production company, Mollydog Productions.

"Everyone who heard her is a fan," said Domito.

A Pennsylvania native, Longley is a graduate of the distinguished Berklee College of Music where she studied vocal performance and songwriting. Not every songwriter studies the craft of writing, but Longley is one who has.

"Taking songwriting classes gave me a tool set to work from -- rhyming tools, phrasing tools, even musically how to use chords and melody to support what you're saying," reflected Longley. "They're so much a part of what I do I don't even think about it."

Longley started studying piano at age 8 and she told me music has always been her main love. She grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac and other singer-songwriters. Her parents recognized she was a strong singer, and encouraged her to develop her songwriting skills. Longley said songwriting has become her "second favorite thing in the world besides singing."

"I always write from real-life experience about things going on with me or my family," said Longley. "Writing about relationships is really inspiring to me."

I asked Longley if she remembered the first songs she ever wrote. She laughed and said that unfortunately, she did. Although Longley said her first attempts were not very good, she has since perfected the craft. In 2010, Longley won first place in the BMI John Lennon Scholarship Competition and was awarded a $10,000 scholarship for her song "Unraveling." She has also won the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase, Mountain Stage NewSong Contest and Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. In addition, Longley's music has appeared on television on Lifetime's "Army Wives," ABC's "Beauty and the Beast" and MTV's "Scream."

Longley's singing style has been compared to Jewel and Joni Mitchell, and occasionally Shawn Colvin. She has performed as the opening act for Paula Cole, Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith and Amos Lee. Longley's music has been called "stunning" by Huffington Post and "something more; a cleverness, a wit and a mix of musical styles," by Dallas Morning News.

After spending time in Boston and New York City, Longley has found her musical home in Nashville. With four self-releases under her belt - three LPs and an EP - Longley is now signed with the Sugar Hill label. Her self-titled debut album with Sugar Hill was released in 2015 and her next, "Weightless," came out in 2016. Longley has recorded a new album with five-time Grammy-nominated producer Paul Moak, which she hopes to release soon.

"We made a record we're very proud of," said Longley. "We're very excited to share it with the world."

Longley promises to play some of her newest material for her Taos show.

"I'm going to try out some new songs. I'll definitely still be playing the oldies as well. I'm really excited to return. It's been too long," said Longley.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day of show. Advance tickets are available at ktao.com. For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-5826. Visit lizlongley.com.

Mattress Mary Domito will also be producing the 10th annual Dog Days concert to support Stray Hearts Animal Shelter this summer. Save the date of August 10 for Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns.

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