Emerging soul singer Lisa St. Lou, brings forth sounds that are steeped in the music of New Orleans.
Freshly on her album, “Ain’t No Good Man,” Lisa St. Lou recorded the works with Cyril Neville, Aaron Neville, and ‘The soul Queen of New Orleans,’ Irma Thomas. Spending 7 weeks on the Billboard Charts with this body of work, “Ain’t No Good Man,” tells the story of Lisa’s self-rediscovery after surviving a soulless and emotionally abusive marriage, as she returns to the spirit that moved her to sing in church.
As we bring ourselves to the title track of Lisa St. Lou’s empowering sequence of vitality, “Ain’t No Good Man,” we find ourselves thriving in a world of timeless soundscapes that only a Lisa St. Lou melody can deliver.
Bringing big band elements to the musical foundation weaved into this composition, each instrument introduces itself with an impactful showcase of purpose. The rhythmic bass line coincides with the opulent guitar riffs performed, as the tight percussion sets the tempo for the golden horn notes to brilliantly peak into each pocket in an astounding conveyance of life sprinkled into the mix.
Creating that fortified foundation for Lisa St. Lou to embark on a striking voyage of powerhouse timbres, the amalgamation of her compelling harmonies fuse together with these components in a way that pulls us deeper into the sensational creation in its entirety as she speaks words of authenticity. As a seeker of the soul who found a way to drown out the demons of the past, Lisa St. Lou irrefutably exposes her passion as she channels her delicate ambitions through a narrative of a woman who went through these abusive hardships, and came out the other side and lived to tell the tale.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Lisa, and congratulations on the release of 'Ain’t No Good Man.’ We know the album delves into really deep and personal topics for you. What did it take for you to channel those emotions when bringing this album to life? The first thing I had to do was admit there was a problem. I used to think that everything that happened in my marriage was his fault and I suppose, in a traditional sense, it was. But where was I in all of that? Thinking about my role in that relationship was really the hard part. Ultimately, I had to take responsibility for allowing myself to ignore what was right in front of my eyes; the fact that I let myself get lost in a man. So Ain’t No Good Man became about the journey to find me again, making my way through the muck and coming out the other side even stronger because of all the hardship. Strength lasts. Sadness fades. And it has now become a bugle call to move forward out of weakness and into power. Thinking about all the other women my age, or any age really, who have gone or were currently going through the same sobering truths are what pushed me to finish the album and get it out into the world as a healing tool for others. That and maybe a bottle of wine or two. We love the timeless feel of songs like “Ain’t No Good Man.” Can you please share your creative process for that song in particular? Did you always know that it would be the title track? That song came to me when I was disappointed by someone I put on a pedestal, a man I thought could do no wrong. If he could screw up, then what hope was there for any man at all? Once I accepted that it was really me being disappointed that I once again put so much reliance on a man, the song became the album’s anthem, the point from which all other songs were sired. Originally I heard a soaring line, much like that of Otis Redding’s “I Was Born By The River” and felt like a “wail” was the only way to express my pain. That “wail” ultimately found its way to the final chorus to allow for a build throughout the tune. What was it like working with Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, and Irma Thomas on the new album? Well, first of all, this collaboration would have never happened if Tor and I hadn’t had a drink one night at Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn. “It’s Raining” came on and I was like, “who on earth IS that?!” Of course, it was the legendary soul queen of New Orleans, Ms. Irma Thomas. So to say it was a dream come true having my original muse duet with me on “Nothing Is Ever Enough (for a man)” would be an understatement. Hearing the funkiest music ooze out of Ivan Neville’s fingers and throat on every track was like getting a doctorate in soul music throughout the course of the week. Cyril Neville and “Whatcha’ Gonna’ Do?” were a match made in heaven and basically defined the message of this album in one sentence when asked what he thought of the woman in her forties trying to break into the record business. He replied, “Well shit, I ain’t listening to her age.” When all was said and done, the experience was truly a once-in-a-lifetime life lesson, which proved to me that soul is a shared phenomenon expressed in collaboration with like minds. I guess I just didn’t realize how alike the Neville’s and I were. Pain is pain no matter your gender. Is there a specific message that you hope your audience will take away from this album?
I hope people who hear these songs will feel inspired to tear down the obstacles that are holding them back. Sometimes the truth hurts, but ultimately it will set you free. It certainly worked for me. What's next for Lisa St. Lou? Covid kicked up a lot of things for a lot of folks, but for me, it was writing the next chapter of songs to continue the soul journey. I wanted to explore the scenes afterlife with a “no good man”...where the light is bright and the heart is full. And with that, comes a new and exciting perspective on the framework in which the music lives. When the artists evolve, the music evolves and I can’t wait to share what’s in the pipeline.