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Lori Lieberman | Bend Like Steel

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Pop: Folky Pop Pop: Folky Pop Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Bend Like Steel

by Lori Lieberman

Loir Lieberman's fourteenth CD- most personal, acoustic collection of heartfelt and revealing songs focusing on coming forward, forgiveness, frankness, courage.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. If Not Now
3:34 $0.99
2. Mr and Mrs Make-Believe (feat. Monty Byrom)
4:06 $0.99
3. Cup of Girl
4:31 $0.99
4. Bend Like Steel
5:11 $0.99
5. Cecilia
3:52 $0.99
6. For More
3:35 $0.99
7. My Sister's Boyfriend
4:47 $0.99
8. Steady Heart
3:40 $0.99
9. These Things
3:10 $0.99
10. Netherlands
3:15 $0.99
11. There's A Harbor
3:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Lori Lieberman on guitar and piano, vocals
Lyle Workman (Sing, Beck) on electric guitar
Eugene Ruffolo (Marc Cohen, Rounders Recording artist) on additional guitar and backgrounds
Monty Byrom of Big House, featured on duet with Lori Lieberman
Trey Henry, upright bass
Brian Kilgore, Percussion
Stefanie Fife, cello
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen of TBone Burnett/Allison Kraus, Robert Plant, Grammy award winner



to write a review

Stephen Labovsky

"Bend Like Steel"
The cover of Lori Lieberman’s new album, “Bend Like Steel” (Drive On Records) is the cover of my youth. By that I mean I know that commanding brick wall in the background. For years that wall, or ones like it, was the backdrop for countless artists, both folk and rock.

Often shot in grainy, black and white, that wall sometimes towered over a trash-strewed, back ally, somewhere, ‘downtown’— the place Bob Dylan would slouch down, with his shoulders hunched up against the wind? That wall became a metaphor for the times.

I’m happy to report that that brick wall has made a surprising return— this time in bright, optimistic tones of Persian blues, and bathed by soft, Southern California sunlight. Gracing the cover, and the music, is Lori Lieberman, lovely, and in perfect pitch.

“Bend Like Steel” is brimming with beautifully crafted lyrics. But the real standout here is Lori’s well-travelled voice, with its old, chaste clarity, and new weight and assurance.

On this, her latest album, Lori cheerfully sets sail with, “If Not Now,” by asking that oldest of questions, ‘If not now, when?’ Her answer will surprise you.

Monty Byrom joins Lori in the gorgeous duet, “Mr. & Mrs. Make-Believe.” Their harmonies are a subtle blend of country and folk, which could easily have originated in Nashville. That same feeling returns, in a slightly different guise, in, “These Things.”

The title track, “Bend Like Steel,” is a slightly up-tempo anthem, reflecting a wisdom that only comes with, dare I say it, maturity.

“I can run or I can kneel.
I can hide or I can feel,
I can figure out what’s real.
Or bend like steel, or bend like steel.”

Paul Simon’s “Cecilia,” makes an appearance, sans the usual Afro-pop grove, and it is remarkable. Here, Lori discovers inside this great, old tune, a truly tender ballad.

“No More” is like a lilting, rum-punch, you might drink on the Santa Monica Pier, while watching the sunset. In the background, Eugene Ruffolo adds an easy sparkle, and the song’s bridge is a knockout!

Which brings us to the final track, “There’s A Harbor.” written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel—who wrote “Killing Me Softly.” This is the place where Lori steers us safely back to homeport, with grace, and genuine affection.

In Lori Lieberman’s earlier albums, she was frequently pictured alone in a room, back-lit by the light of a bare window. Her long-time fans always loved that space she occupied. But it’s so nice to see her here, out and about, and just a little off the wall.

Lia Kinnet-Abts, Belgium

Steelstrong Fragile Album. Elegant fight in acoustic warmth.
With her steelstrong musical talents and steelstrong softness singer-songwriter Lori Lieberman vocalizes her decades-long silence about hér Song of Songs ‘Killing Me Softly’, and although she doesn’t mention it by name, we all know better.

Impressive in what an ingenious refined and elegant way Mrs. Lieberman fights against the injustice done to her by the ‘music bizz’.
- Intriguing to hear how determinedly this steelstrong artist sings away her so far hidden doubts, pains and lack of self-confidence in this powerful title-track “Bend Like Steel” and ditto opener “If Not Now”. Practical lyrics!
- Intriguing to hear how she blossoms from a naive young singer to this courageous, self-assured, strong woman. In “Cup Of Girl” she gives us sublimely subtle the recipe of how you have to deceive an inexperienced beginning artist, but how later on she can box your ears artistically with her musical talents.
- The Killing-story from this ‘girl with stars in her eyes’ was published by Leo Blokhuis in 2010. He brought back those stars in her eyes by giving her a new start in his country, therefore her grateful ode “Netherlands”.
- By the way, this summer during his concert in LA, Don McLean, whose ‘Empty Chairs’ inspired her at the time, even raised the sun upon her face and in her heart by crediting this phenomenal song to the Lady herself. (on Youtube)
- If she has already reached the good harbor or just wanted to remind her tormentors of their own beautiful words ... who knows? Fact is that the song she ends with, her heartfelt yearning “There’s A Harbor” (Fox & Gimbel), sounds pretty well like a personal appeal to their conscience…
- In between all this elegance, she serves us guaranteed goosebumps with this blood beautiful dreamy “My Sister’s Boyfriend” (il ya des choses qu’on ne peut chanter qu’en français); and relaxing portions of generous love in a symphonic “Steady Heart”, a fresh jolly “These Things”, and a renewed “For More”.

Music = intriguing unity in its entirety = a warm melodious voice in flowing melodies on acoustic finesses and nebulas of electric guitar. Her inner voices are voiced by herself, delicately supported by Eugene Ruffolo (+ additional guitar). Intriguing variations in superb arrangements (Lori’s). Intriguing autobiographical poetic lyrics (9 own songs) + Lori’s big heart and virtuosity.

On all fronts Lori Lieberman proves what a brave unselfish unpretentious genuine artist she is.
A warm steelstrong personality, a calming oasis in the aggressive arrogant jungle of today’s music world.

Quelle Dame! Whát an Album! CHAPEAU, Lori!
(love, lia)