Interview with Lisa Loeb written by children’s music blogger Carolyn Ross. View her monthly live music and arts calendar for families across the Washington, D.C. metro area at Kindiemusicdc.
Remember the song about the wayward meatball, On Top of Spaghetti from you summer camp days? Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb, who opens Wolf Trap’s summertime Theatre- in-the-Woods series June 21, remembers well this example of storytelling in music. Finding herself in a position to write a souped-up version of sorts, she wrote about a pancake. Along with co-collaborators on the nostalgic summer camp songs album, Camp Lisa, she shares a similar message of perseverance through the point of view of a pancake that never quite makes it from the griddle to the plate like everyone expects, but makes a fine breakfast anyway.
As the first and only artist to garner a top hit without first being signed to a major record label, the GRAMMY-nominated Loeb values highly her independence, and instills the same sense of individuality in kids. Loeb says, “Luckily, we’re in a time when it’s less cool to be cookie cutter, same as everyone else, but it’s important for people to be only themselves, then you can give something unique to the world. I have a couple of songs with lyrics that talk about it. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself, you’ll get nowhere being someone else, and if you do, it won’t be you going somewhere.””
It is this sense of authenticity and lack of “over-production” that now casts the once romantic angst-ridden songwriter as a down to earth fan favorite in children’s music. Now with five albums and a new one set to debut this Fall, Loeb is all about making music that parents can relate to along with their children.
Last year’s Nursery Rhyme Parade! is a compendium of classic melodies and lyrics through the ages families would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in one, sweet acoustic package for anyone to enjoy “in a very simple, intimate way,” says Loeb. The album features 35 familiar rhymes, one after the other of calm, cool renditions that won’t make adults cringe. “Kids love listening to these over and over again, so I wanted to stick with classic approaches that were enjoyable to listen to over and over.”
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Loeb now lives in Los Angeles where she started Camp Lisa to help all kids access the all-important independence building opportunity of going to summer camp. She is also co-writer of Camp Kappawanna; a musical about finding your own voice through the summer camp experience, and voices the cartoon character Princess Winger on Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
Things to know before you go to a Theatre-in-the-Woods performance;
- There is free parking
- Plan for about a 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot to the performance area
- Bathrooms are located near the parking lot
- Only water is allowed in the performance area
- Strollers can be brought up to the entrance of the performance area
- All performances start at 10:30 a.m. and last about 45 minutes
- Seating is not assigned
See a full schedule of performances at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods this summer at Wolf Trap.