d> Lisa O'Kane
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You don't immediately think of great music when you think of Fish Camp, California. It is from this little 'burg near Yosemite National Forest, though, that Lisa O'Kane turned a small town life into a great sounding career. Lisa says, "With my brother and sister, there were three of us, and we were the only kids in town. There was a Chevron station, there was the Silver Tip lodge where I worked as a waitress during the summer, there was a general store, there was a post office where my mother was the postmistress and there was a pond."

Like most artists, though, Lisa looked beyond her town to find inspiration and experience for the talent she knew she possessed. As she listened to her family's radio she soon started showing her immediately family and friends her musical skills. Of this time Lisa explains, "There was really no one musical in my family, but I was always a musical kid," she says. "But my grandfather did play violin, so I started taking violin lessons in the fourth grade. My mother and father scraped up $150 to buy me an upright piano, which I still have."

Lisa left home at 13 to attend high school in nearby Fresno because her town didn't have a high school. She also continued her musical pursuits, rising to Concert Mistress of Fresno's Junior Philharmonic. At 16, Lisa's natural vocal skills earned her a place with the California Girls' Choir and her first venture overseas.

"I was very serious back then," O'Kane says. "I thought of myself as a geek because I was into music and theater. I always did Barbra Streisand songs because she was my idol. She and Emmylou Harris; don't ask, because they're so different."

Lisa's latest CD, "It Don't Hurt", is a great example of how Lisa draws heart-touching experiences and communicates those messages clearly to her audiences. The title track is a great country romp getting into the difficulties of ending a dying relationship. She also gives us a splendid look into the blue sound of country in the songs, "Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness", "Give Me This Night" and "Misery And Happiness". You might also hear the influences of Barbara Mandrell or Dolly Parton in the songs, "Pay For My Sins" and "Remember This" in the musical syntax of those tunes. But the voice and delivery is a purely original creation that sounds great. If you enjoy the pure roots sound of what country should be this album is definitely worth putting on your iPod.

Check out Lisa's website at http://www.lisaokane.com, or her MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/lisaokane