Rest is not a word in Lisa Loeb’s vocabulary. The musician who rose to prominence with her Gen-X lovesick hit, “Stay (I Missed You),” never stops moving. Between writing, singing, directing, acting and touring, it’s easier to list the things Loeb doesn’t do. If you can find a skill Loeb doesn’t have on her resume, you can tell her in person when she performs two shows Saturday, March 23 at the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater.
A typical day for Loeb requires, in her estimation, a constant changing of gears. A day can involve dropping her kids off at school in the morning, going to the studio to record newly written songs, keeping an eye on the clock to not miss a voice-over audition, to sitting at a drawing board with an art director to determine the cover of her next album. It’s a balancing act for the busy musician that requires compartmentalizing the personal and professional aspects of her life into manageable tasks.
“Structure is very helpful,” Loeb says. “Because there’s so many different projects always going on at the same time. And then on top of that there’s a lot of last-minute things that come up, either that I’m approached about or I do myself.”
Loeb’s time-management system is effective, with her album Feel What U Feel earning her first Grammy win in 2018 for Best Children’s Album. It was her fourth children’s album, a musical departure that came from a chance meeting more than 15 years ago with Barnes and Noble. The bookseller reached out to Loeb about doing an exclusive record to be sold in their stores, and Loeb saw this as an opportunity to delve into a family-friendly album suitable for the retail giant’s brand image. Making a children’s record was something Loeb had long wanted to do, and so in collaboration with her old bandmate, Elizabeth Mitchell, she recorded the first of her younger-geared album, Catch the Moon.
The foray into family-friendly albums allowed Loeb to re-create the music that touched her growing up. A time when artists like Donny and Marie and Sonny and Cher could be interesting to a younger audience without necessarily being designed for them. Other influences for Loeb varied from crossover appeal acts, like The Muppet Show to more specifically children albums such as the Really Rosie album by Carole King and Marlo Thomas’ Free To Be... You and Me.
“All of these things had a lot of heart and storytelling and silliness and creativity and sometimes farce,” Loeb says. “And I love making things like that. So that fit perfectly into the kids music world, and I love continuing to do that.”
Loeb’s two shows in Lewisville will be decidedly different affairs, with the earlier performance aimed for children, while the later show is for adults. Regardless, she always tries to include a few of the adult songs in the children’s show, and a few of the children’s songs into the adult show. For Loeb the focus is on connecting with the audience using selections from her entire catalog.
The catalog will be expanded even further as Loeb is back at work on another album of adult-centric music.
“It’s even influenced my grown-up music now,” Loeb says. “(I’m) making a new grown-up record, and having focused so much on what stories I wanted to tell, being really, less artsy-fartsy and more sort of intent on understanding what the message is in the stories that I’m telling, and what values would be interesting to highlight through art. It’s interesting finally as a grown-up making a grown-up record to have that creative process rub off on the new record.”