While much of Lizza Connor’s career as a singer/songwriter has taken a roots rock/
Americana direction that found her sharing stages with Vince Gill, Andrew Osenga and
scoring a coveted Merlefest Songwriting Award, becoming a mother has shifted her muse
towards more family-minded material. On this first ever children’s album Commander
, her foot-stomping acoustics and sophisticated knack for craftsmanship
remains, but the lyrics take a decidedly playful tone for the young (and young at
heart). Catch more from Connor about her recent changes musically, personally and
geographically during a recent conversation with CCM.
CCM: Why did you decide to switch from straight up singer/songwriter material to more of a children’s direction?
It was pure inspiration that led me to where I am today. As I bumbled
my way through my first months of motherhood, these songs began to bubble up, and
Commander Salamander took shape. Granted, they sounded different than what I’d penned pre-parenthood. Here were songs unfolding
about slimy lizards and slippery noodles. My hilarious
children and their sweet, mischievous pals inspired
every ounce of content.
CCM: Though your music is directed at younger listeners, it
seems to have an adult-friendly musical feel as well. Why
was that so important to you?
My goal is to make music that families can
enjoy together — songs that won’t drive parents
crazy when the music is on repeat in the car — and of
course, to inspire the spontaneous dance party. Kids
innately love to move, so giving them a song with
rhythm is key.
CCM: What type of frame of mind do you have to be in to
write these types of songs?
As a mom of two — ages one and two
years — I’m in the frame of mind to write children’s
music at all times. Watching my own kids growing up
provides such a rich source of inspiration.
CCM: What has your move from Nashville to Dallas done
for your career and creativity?
I have such fond feelings for Nashville.
I wrote and recorded Commander Salamander
Nashville with my dearest, talented musical friends
playing on the CD. My family moved to Dallas the day
after I finished recording, but I’ve fallen in love with
Dallas. There is an open, vibrant and collaborative
creative community here. As soon as I got here,
folks reached out and everybody said, “How can we
help with what you’re doing?” I’m excited about the
response to my music here. I’m playing seven shows
in the next two weeks! It’s been so fun to connect
with these kids and parents, and I love playing music