If you get close enough to watch Lisa Rae Simons play, you will be amazed at her fluidity, timing, and fretboard alacrity. She is brilliantly engaged and that is what we like about Lisa, that and her big voice and stage savvy, but there is no mistake in saying that Lisa is also a down to earth player who has said the bass actually chose her, after she realized in high school that the bass player in the band sucked and she could better. Though it may have been seen as a bold boast, coming from a family where dad played jazz piano, and mom played guitar, piano, and sang, she was pretty confident she could knock that boy out of the bass space and she did.
Initially pulled into jazz with her love of bass and intrigue with the trombone, she set out for Edmonton's esteemed Grant McEwan college, but not before discovering that the door to her music interests was very wide by touring with a rock band for a year or so. By the time she put her degree in music performance to work, she was playing finger style acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, the ukulele, the trombone, and almost anything with strings.
But the blues found her and through its music, Lisa learned she could truly express her singing voice, while using her the bass as her passport to join the voices of any band’s instruments. That all worked, and Lisa has now been playing the blues for 25 years. Drawing notable comparisons to her main influence Bonnie Raitt, she has forged a history with dozens of the best including blues hotshots, Ana Popovic, Powder Blues, Kenny Neal Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne, Brandon Isaak, and friend, Jeff Healey who said "In all my travels, Lisa is one of the finest bass players I've ever come across."
Hornby Blues welcomes Lisa Rae Simons as part of our 2017 Workshop instructors and knows she will offer to our bass students an exciting program that will elevate their interest and skills. Her approach is guided by simplicity, solidity, groove, precision, and learning to listen (while playing) in order to orient the music to your bass. Nailing the importance of locking in with the drummer and being the strong, solid foundation that enables the band to fly is of paramount importance. It’s just basic sense, that if you play bass that you will want to sit in with Lisa’s classes and get a really hands-on approach to the backbone of blues music.