The Morning Call
"Bodnar is a composing keyboardist with a strikingly yearning voice, a very versatile band, and an ambitious mission"
Geoff Gehman - Morning Call
The Morning Call
"Bodnar sings with an undefeated strength of spirit in a voice that soars with hope and passion"
Dave Howell - Morning Call
"With such delicious singing Lisa Bodnar could be singing about a natural disaster, and we'd still be swooning at her feet."
Adam Harrington - Whisperin and Hollerin.com
'Come Hell or High Water'
Our Rating: ********
What a sweet voice we have here. With such delicious singing Lisa Bodnar (http://www.lisabodnar.com) could be singing about a natural disaster, and we'd still be swooning at her feet. Actually, she does (the title track seems to be her response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation) and we do.
The sunny, jangling "Everything Under the Sun" already positions Bodnar as a well-tuned folkie, a cross between Suzanne Vega and Sheryl Crow but without the introverted depression of the former and the shallowness of the latter. "Everything Under the Sun" is about finding love after heartbreak. "The colors exploding/The details so clear," Bodnar sings, her voice brimming with newly found passion and a reinvigorated spirit. It's light and charming, pretty much capturing the flavor of the whole album. "Violins" begins more slowly then picks up speed as the intensity of Bodnar's feelings heighten. The music follows the lead of Bodnar's state of mind and not vice versa. When a feeling is awakened in her, such as on "What I Wanted," the beat follows suit.
At times, like on "What I Wanted" and "Myloverlookslikejesusandithinkivejustbeensaved," Bodnar leans toward rootsy Americana; on others, such as "Protect Your Children," Bodnar engages in straightforward adult rock. Both approaches are done well. You'll hear no complaints from this end.
The title cut is particularly powerful. "I'm gonna stand my ground/I won't let them keep me down," Bodnar cries in a song that is both a statement about Hurricane Katrina and the undying will within us all.
author: Adam Harrington
"Bodnar's voice is the star. She croons passionately calling to mind Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Sarah McLaughlin. "
Josh Berk - Disk Reviews - The Morning Call
Singer/songwriter Lisa Bodnar of Martin's Creek has a new CD full of poetry and imagery, but the title, "Come Hell or High Water," refers to the devastation she, like others who live along the Delaware River experienced in the last three years. Her home and rehearsal space were hit three times with flood waters and hurricane winds. She uses the themes of loss and rebirth to inform her songwriting. "Protect Your Children," "Sad Song" and the title track show the mental space she inhabits. There is sadness but a fierce determination to overcome. There are also some religious overtones - "Original Sin," "Prayer" - indicating that perhaps Bodnar had some conversations with her creator. Her sound has been characterized as everything from folk to indie to pop to country to adult rock. She plays piano, collaborator Dann Araque adds guitars, and guest artists join in. There is a choir on the title track and an appearance by brassmen Mark Pender and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenbery, members of the house band on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," on "Baby It's You." Tiokasin Ghost Horse, a Lakota flute-maker, improvises a solo on "Prayer."
Bodnar's voice is the star. She croons passionately calling to mind Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Sarah McLaughlin. She has been through a lot, but when Bodnar sings "I'm gonna stand my ground/I won't let them keep me down," only a fool wouldn't believe her.
"Come Hell or High Water is a captivating, emotionally involving set of songs of love and loss. "
Kyrby Raine - Shotgun Reviews
Come Hell or High Water is not only a wonderful listen, but nice to look at as well. The paintings that grace the booklet and CD are dreamy and evocative, images of romance and transcendence throughout music amidst a chaotic, violent world. And certainly the blonde-haired Lisa Bodnar is fetching to the eyes, too. It’s rare to see an Americana disc that is so pleasing in its appearance.
However, what’s beneath the surface? Luckily for us Come Hell or High Water is a captivating, emotionally involving set of songs of love and loss. The subject matter is nothing new, but music is supposed to be universal; let’s keep the android experiments to the likes of Radiohead. Bodnar writes unpretentious pop songs with roots-rock, folk, and country seasonings.
Bodnar’s fragile, bittersweet vocals recall Sarah McLachlan at times, especially on the title track. But Bodnar’s music is blocks away from McLachlan’s alternative foundations. “You Stayed” reminds me of Lisa Loeb with its chilled-out acoustic guitars and plaintive yearning while “Myloverlookslikejesusandithinkivejustbeensaved” crosses the boundary between country and even Gospel, oddly enough.
Dave Tardy - IAR
Come Hell or High Water, recorded at Kampo Studios in New York, was the result of a collaborative effort by Lisa Bodnar and Dann Araque, along with several IAR instructors including multi-platinum engineer Dan Grigsby, percussionist Gary Fritz, violist Flavio Gaete, and multi-platinum engineer Jim Bonnefond, as well as IAR staff members including singer Richard Bernard, Vernil Rogers, Angel Rivera, and James Garvey. Grigsby, whose credits include work with Keith Richards, Sting, and Joe Cocker, produced, mixed, and engineered the album.
The recording also features Kenny Margolis and Frank Funaro, the keyboardist and drummer from the band Cracker, members of Conan O'Brien's horn section including Eddie Manion, Mark Pender, and Richie Rosenberg, the drummer for Saturday Night Live, Sheryl Crowe, Celine Dion, Shawn Pelton, vocalist Elaine Caswell, who has done vocals on albums for Celine Dion, Cher, and Meatloaf, and vocalist Curtis King, who has sung on albums for artists such as Peter Gabriel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carly Simon, and Bruce Springsteen.
Lisa Bodnar's 'Maybe I Did' an enthralling listen
e-mail at Uricheck@aol.com.
NEPAtoday.com Music Contributor
NORTHEASTERN, Pa. - "I channel John Lennon and other cosmic beings that want justice to be served and love to rule..." - Lisa Bodnar on her music, and her philosophy on life.
From the first few strums of the guitar on the CD's opening title track, it's apparent that there's something powerful about her music. No, Lisa Bodnar is not your typical coffeehouse type singer/songwriter.
The Easton native's latest CD, Maybe I Did, may bear the hallmarks of your typical folksy troubadours - i.e. soul-bearing vocals interspersed with delicate acoustic guitar and piano. But what separates Bodnar from most in this genre - the stunning simplicity and accessibility of her songs. A complete lack of pretense in Lisa's music invites the listener to share in the universal emotions of her lyrics.
Maybe I Did is one of those CD's where you know there's something special about it upon first listen. Lisa' voice is graceful, commanding the melody of each song. Her vocals are captivating, painting a landscape for the listener in each song. Repeated listening will only enhance the beauty, reflections, and dreams that her music contains. Comparisons? Maybe some Sarah McLaughlin, maybe a little Jewel. Passing similarities aside, there is no doubt that Lisa Bodnar is out to forge her own distinctive sound.
While the songwriting is superb, the production on this CD is pristine. Crisp, punchy, and all around sonically appealing, perhaps the best compliment that can be given to the audio quality is that the disc should be listened to with headphones. Aided by producer Brett Kull, who also played numerous instruments on the CD, Maybe I Did is an independent CD that can rival anything the major labels spent millions on.
It would be wrong to give the impression that Maybe I Did is an acoustic CD: it's not. While acoustic tones dominate the disc, there are a host of interesting musical elements going on here. On the title track, there happens to be some all out electric guitar squalor on the outro. Lisa's piano dominates tracks like Stars and Surrender. There's also a hint of country twang on Undone. Organ and Wurlitzer provides a foundation on songs like the beautiful Sunflower. The CD's vitality is pumped up with tools like drum loops and rhythmic grooves - mix that with the emotional base of Lisa's songs and you've got a formula for a satisfying listening experience.
How to categorize Lisa Bodnar's music? Is it folk? Is it alt-country? Well, pop would seem to work well, as the music encompasses a mixture of elements. It's pop, but not in a derogatory sense of being overproduced fluff. Quite the contrary. This music is pop, as in the sense of being easily accessible to fans of many types of music. It's provocative, thoughtful stuff, but melodic and intriguing enough to catch the ears of diverse musical tastes.
Lisa Bodnar's music is the kind you get wrapped up in, the kind that sweeps you away. It's got an atmosphere to it. Maybe I Did is the kind of CD perfect for a quiet evening alone with a significant other. Put this disc in and as Billy Joel once said, you can Forget about life for awhile. In addition to the CD's 11 tracks, current pressings of Maybe I Did include two bonus tracks: live versions of Sunflower and a track called Forgive Me. For more info on Lisa Bodnar and to order Maybe I Did visit online at www.lisabodnar.com.