The Middle East meets the South – the music of Lisa Said

“Some dudes wanna give me shelter

Some dudes just want helter skelter

Other dudes, they make me twist and shout”

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With the come-here-then-kick-in-the-balls vocals pioneered by Chrissie Hynde and later Liz Phair, over a noisy, Stooges/Velvets guitar-fest, Lisa Said plows through her song “Some Dudes” like she owns the place, dropping more than a few classic rock references along the way: “Handy Man,” “Route 66,” “All the Young Dudes,” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” also make it in there with the Beatles and Stones. “Some Dudes” is the rowdy opener on Lisa Said’s self-produced, brand new 4-song CD, Estranged. Things quiet down a bit with “Regular Guy” as the Phair vibe heads down a more alt-country, Lucinda Williams road, then collides with Sheryl Crow’s tour bus on the disc’s best track, “Peel the Moon.” And with some nice mandolin picking courtesy of Andrew Cox, Estranged comes to a close with the lovely “Up Not Down.”

So what’s all this about the Middle East meeting the South?

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Raised in an Egyptian family in Tennessee, Lisa Said (pronounced Sa’yeed) grew up surrounded by country music, 60s and 70s radio hits, and Arabic rhythms. After traveling up and down the East Coast, learning guitar and playing in several garage-rock-pop bands, she settled in Washington, DC, met up with drummer (and Middle Eastern percussionist) Andrew Toy, and forged a sound that basically blends all those genres. Yum! Shawarma with hummus and barbecued ribs!

Lisa and her band then released two CDs: 5-song EP First Time, Long Time in 2015 and full album No Turn Left Behind in 2016. Estranged is her latest, just out this month – you can pick it up and also check out “Some Dudes” here!

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images courtesy,,,


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