Lizzy Long: Dreamin’ Again
Lizzy Long: Dreaming Again
by Emerald Butler
In a tree stand or on a stage, Lizzy Long is living life to the fullest. She’s doing her best to stay busy on the road and off. “It could always be busier for me, but I’ll take what I can get,” Lizzy said.
In between traveling dates, Lizzy isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty, whether that’s with house projects, writing new music, or hunting.
“Music ain’t quite back to where it was with covid and stuff. It picked up about May or June, and it was great to get out. There were some places where you could tell that people were still scared to get out. I don’t live in fear like that. I think everybody needs to live to the fullest, and we’re just going to have to get used to this thing.”
While the world was experiencing a different form of life through the pandemic, Lizzy decided to try something a little different. She released a new album, Dreaming Again. “I went a totally out-of-the-box progressive style, which is kind of different for me, but at the same time, it’s got a little bit of tradition in there.” At the beginning, Lizzy talked with producer Wayne Haun about making the album more Americana-like, progressive, something that would get more radio airplay and catch a few more ears. Dreaming Again straddles the fence of progressive and traditional. Her song “Old-Fashioned Heart” is an illustrative example of this modern and classic combination. Lizzy sings of Facebook complications, and Google searches with a dobro and fiddle escort.
Lizzie writes love songs like “Dreaming Again,” thinking about her husband of 9 years. Lizzy shared that her other half likes to stay out of the spotlight himself but supports Lizzy with her music. “We own an insurance company, and I said, ‘Babe, I’ll come to help you in the office,’ and he said, ‘no, you need to focus on your music. You go back there and write songs and stuff. I’ve got this.”
Then there are the musical numbers. “I love different stuff, and I grew up loving Broadway and theatre, and I love singing those songs. I always loved Cats, and I thought, you know I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody do this bluegrass style or acoustically, so we attempted it. Then who doesn’t love Phantom of the Opera?” Lizzy asked. Imagine sitting in an old schoolhouse or church in the Smokey Mountains at night where the stars are out, and sitting in the choir loft is a string quartet. In front of them is a bluegrass band, and Lizzy Long is singing lead. That’s where these recordings take you.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we planned this album out. It just kind of happened; everybody just kind of worked together on this album with the mix of everybody’s feelings that day when we got in there.”
Many songs on the album share who she is. This past year hurled many challenges her way, including COVID-19. “I’ve had some health concerns, and I don’t want to say what it is, but I’ve had some treatments and stuff,” Lizzy said. She credits friends and family for encouraging her resilient spirit. “I’ve got good friends. They’ve sat with me through all of my treatments. Being around people helped me get through it. Staying busy and keeping projects up helps. Just don’t give up.
It’s tough when you’re sick, but I’ve been doing this for nearly 28 or 30 years now. I don’t know no other way of living.” Lizzy’s advice for other female musicians is “be original.” Girls say they want to be Rhonda Vincent, Dolly Parton, or Alison Krauss, but Lizzy says there is already a Rhonda Vincent and company. “Be yourself.” Also, “don’t let no man tell you that you can’t do something. I can fix anything on my own, and so can you! You’ve just got to roll your sleeves up and do it.”