Biography

Lisa Richards has a restless heart. Now living in Canberra, the capital of Australia, this north Australian native spent a great portion of her adult life in Austin Texas and NYC. 

Writing guitar-based  songs grounded in folk, roots and jazz. She explores the world of human experience, connection and emotion, always seeking out that one beacon of light. 

Her voice  is distinguished by its singularity, and has been called both “ferocious and sweet” with comparisons to Bjork, Iris Dement and Billie Holliday. 

The daughter of a concert pianist raised in a home where the playing of instruments was strongly discouraged. Lisa has a life story that could easily grace the silver screen. From busking in Kings Cross to hanging out with Debbie Harry at SXSW and playing CBGB’s in NYC. 

Her childhood in far Northern Australia was ‘wild and unsupervised’. Early experiences of sexual abuse and drug use laid the foundation for tumultuous early life. (Lisa was regularly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs from the age of 4 by a mother who suffered from mental health and addiction issues, and an apparently steady supply of drugs) 

When Lisa was 7, her mother had  a car accident, sustaining a severe brain stem injury from which she never recovered. She needed full time care from then until her death. Family life now centred around caring for her mother, and Lisa continued along her seemingly pre-set trajectory of drug and alcohol use into her adult years. 

Now clean and sober for 29 years Lisa says “There’s no doubt that my childhood has informed everything I’ve done and I’ve spent many years getting my head on straight and learning how to live in the world.” 

With a penchant for the underdog and the outsider, she writes and performs songs on guitar in the tradition of solo singers and street performers through the ages. Her guitar playing is sparse, percussive and rhythmic and her songs tell stories of longing, loss, love and hope using a rich palette of musical elements. 

 

Lisa's songs have appeared on European compilations alongside Adele, Nina Simone and Corinne Bailey Rae as well as being heard in film and television. Performances at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks festival, Merlefest, SXSW and CMJ culminated in her 4th CD "Mad Mad Love”  (produced and co-written with Tim Bright, who co-wrote the theme song for the Tv series Scrubs) being downloaded 80,000 times through BitTorrent platform Frostwire.  

When her 14 year marriage and life in Austin, TX  came to a sudden tsunami- like end, Lisa found herself living out of a suitcase visiting family in Australia, where. surprisingly she fell in love and resettled. 

Her current CD is her 6th independently released album and her first Australian made release. “A Light from the Other Side” was recorded and produced by Greg J Walker.  Greg has produced CD's for Australian artists Paul Kelly, Jess Ribiero and C.W. Stoneking and composes for film and Television.  

She is currently writing songs, playing shows and teaching what she has learned to others.