The Zombies Supporting Artist Liz Brasher
The Zombies Supporting Artist Liz Brasher:
Iconic British psychedelic pop legends The Zombies have returned to celebrate their long-awaited Induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After receiving their 4th nomination in 5 years, the support for The Zombies’ induction among the public and their peers was undeniable – the band placed 4th in the public online poll with over 330,000 votes, while even fellow nominee John Prine called for their induction before his own in a Billboard interview. On March 29, 2019 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, The Zombies will join Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, and Roxy Music as the 2019 Class of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Fittingly, the Induction Ceremony (which will be broadcast later this year on HBO) takes place exactly 50 years to-the-day after The Zombies’ classic “Time of the Season” first hit #1 on the charts in America.
Never content to only look back, The Zombies are also touring in support of their latest Billboard-charting album, Still Got That Hunger, lead by founding and current members, vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent, alongside Steve Rodford on drums, and renowned session guitarist Tom Toomey. New member, Søren Koch, joined the band following the untimely passing of The Zombies’ beloved bassist Jim Rodford (formerly of ARGENT and The Kinks) in early 2018.
The band’s live performances, described by Rolling Stone as “absolutely triumphant”, take fans on a journey through time, from their early hits…their 1968 masterpiece Odessey & Oracle…post-Zombies solo favorites…right to today with Still Got That Hunger.
The second U.K. band following the Beatles to score a #1 hit in America, The Zombies infiltrated the airwaves with the sophisticated melodies, breathy vocals, choral back-up harmonies and jazzy keyboard riffs of their 1960’s hit singles “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.” Ironically, the group broke-up just prior to achieving their greatest success – the worldwide chart-topping single “Time of the Season,” from their swan-song album Odessey & Oracle, ranked #100 in Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time.’ To this day, generations of new bands have cited The Zombies’ work as pop touchstones, and the band continues to be embraced by new generations of fans.
With Supporting Artist Liz Brasher
Liz Brasher makes her own kind of southern music — one that’s caught halfway between the garage, the church, the bar, and the bedroom. She’s a soul singer. A guitar-playing rocker. A one-woman girl group. A gospel revivalist who sings the praises of secular bands like the Box Tops.
It’s a diverse sound rooted in the influence of Brasher’s two homes: her adopted hometown of Memphis, where she recorded her debut LP, Painted Image, for Fat Possum Records; and her childhood stomping grounds in rural North Carolina, where she was raised in a musical, multi-ethnic household.
“I’m half Dominican, half Italian, and also Southern,” says the songwriter, who grew up singing Baptist hymns in an all-Spanish church. “It’s a different type of southerner, and that’s why the music I make sounds like a different type of the south. By nature, I’m mixed. That’s been my whole life — having to reconcile two different cultures, or the religious and secular world, or the different genres that have all influenced me. From the time I was born, I realized I was going to be a big mix.”
Brasher’s musical horizons expanded as she grew older. Raised on everything from the spirituals of Mahalia Jackson and harmony-heavy hooks of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, she moved to Chicago during her late teens. There, as a college student living far north of the Mason-Dixon line, she gained a new appreciation for the sound of her southern roots. She dove deep into the early icons of American music, from Stephen Foster to Delta Blues heavyweights like Geeshie Wiley and Leadbelly. That led to an appreciation for latter-day pioneers like Bob Dylan and the Staple Singers, two acts that modernized old-school American traditions to suit a new generation. Inspired, Brasher taught herself to play guitar, then began writing songs shortly thereafter.
After a move to Atlanta brought her back south, Brasher began playing shows, fronting her lean, three-piece live band — later championed by Rolling Stone as a “soul power trio” — for the first time. A love for the music of the 1950s and 1960s eventually convinced her to relocate to Memphis, where labels like Stax and Sun Records had shaped popular music during the previous century. She felt at home there. Like her, Memphis was a melting pot of influences, its internal soundtrack filled with music that crossed generation gaps and genre lines. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that her songwriting flourished in the new town, inspiring the material that appeared on Brasher’s Outcast EP — released in April 2018, not longer after her acclaimed appearance at SXSW — and that summer’s full-length album, Painted Image.
Both releases showcase not only Brasher’s robust voice, but her guitar playing and songwriting chops, as well. Inspired by everyone from Pops Staples to surf guitar icons The Ventures, she approaches her electric guitar from a melodic, moody perspective, often using tremolo and reverb for big, bold effect. She cranks up the fuzz for Outcast‘s rock & roll title track, then makes room for sweeping strings and swirling organ on Painted Image‘s soulful standout, “Cold Baby.” Meanwhile, she attacks the instrument with rhythmic stabs on tracks like “Body of Mine,” underscoring her own melodies with blasts of chugging attitude. Just as wide-ranging as her musical influences are her song’s story-based lyrics, which tackle everything from Biblical themes to heartbreak, spinning stories that are as evocative and wide-ranging as her musical influences themselves. No wonder NPR became one of her earliest champions, honoring Brasher as a buzz-worthy “slingshot artist” months before Outcast‘s release.
“I don’t like rules, and I don’t like to be put into a box,” says the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader. “I make music that’s garage rock meets the Delta blues meets gospel meets soul. It’s southern music — my version of southern music.”