From her first forays into public performance, Liz Stringer displayed the signs of a true artist. In the league of Joni Mitchell and Deborah Conway, recent live shows – both solo and with Dyson Stringer Cloher – have confirmed this to be so. It’s hard to know where to applaud first; her voice is variably silken, souring and dusky and her guitar, measured where appropriate, can break out into ornate urgency. Her songs are rich in memorable melody and compelling emotion, with a canny balance of sonic space between the elements.
The set list, taken from Stringer’s four studio albums, delivers both the hearty and hypnotic. And with accompanying DVD evidence, you realise that what you hear on disc is exactly what you get in person. Her even, understated persona also allows for passionate delivery along the way. Poignant lyrics provide the vulnerable listener an excuse for a ‘good cry’. She celebrates the ordinary, the real, the painful and the joyous. Filmed in front of an intimate gathering in May at The Yarra Hotel (Abbotsford, Melbourne) two sets were condensed to 10 songs from previous studio recordings. Such is the quality of sound (engineering and recording by Nigel Swifte with Tom Stroder), Stringer might just as well save on studio fees and record the next album live too. Stand-out tracks: ‘Drawn To You’, ‘In Anybody’s Language’ and the oh-so-moving ode to a friend ‘Lady Luck’. Stringer is in the Joni Mitchell league.
By Chris Lambie