Lisa Bouchelle has been making music for a good while, and is currently on tour with Glen Tilbrook of the band Squeeze. Her latest deluxe album, as Lisa Bouchelle and the Bleu, Jump In! is a reissue of the popular 2021 album but this time with three bonus tracks.
Americana Highways sat down with Lisa Bouchelle for a short chat. Enjoy the conversation including what it’s like touring with Glenn Tilbrook and working with some of Jimmy Buffet’s band members.
AH: What is it like being on tour with Glenn Tilbrook?
LB: I’ve been having a great time! It’s my first tour since before the pandemic. The audiences have been great, and Glenn and his crew are terrific to work with. Hearing him every night is a great inspiration; he’s so musical and so talented!
AH: What would you say is the significance of the band Squeeze within the history of music?
LB: I feel like Squeeze has a sound that is all their own. So many people love their music, and their songs are timeless. And I’m seeing that the fans are so loyal, and sing along to all their songs at the live shows Glenn does. They’ve been able to touch a lot of people through their music, which I think is the goal of every artist.
AH: Can you share some unique & entertaining stories about recording the song “Waterproof”?
LB: I had written “Waterproof” and wanted to demo it in the studio. So we recorded it at our usual studio, The Sound Spa, and did a rough mix, expecting to remix it before we released it. I kept playing the rough mix over and over again. I fell in love with it because it was raw and real, and it had this amazing groove that made me want to dance. The vocal take came straight from my heart. But it was just a rough mix, so I knew we had to go back and do the real one. But after trying numerous alternate mixes, nothing gave me the same feeling, so we ended up releasing that rough mix! Yay! I love it and I hope the fans do too!
AH: Can you give us some more background on the song “Waterproof” in particular –how did it come about?
LB: As we started coming out of the pandemic, which really shut down live music and touring, I was excited to be able to get out there again, and to play the new music I had worked on during the downtime. I started to lose a lot of weight, and my heart would beat very fast. And then one night I started feeling very faint. I had to be hospitalized, and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. To those not aware, Type 1 Diabetes is a life sentence to a world where one has to constantly monitor one’s blood sugar, only eat certain foods, and take insulin daily to keep the blood sugar levels where they should be.
After the diagnosis, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to be “Super Girl Lisa” any more, going out touring, working out, enjoying crazy adventures… I felt like I was hit by one tidal wave of bad news after another, until I didn’t even want to get up again. I think we’ve ALL had those times in our lives.
But I did find the strength to get up and try again. There are actually quite a few well-known Type 1 Diabetics, such as Nick Jonas and Neil Young, as well as newer artists such Valerie June and Crystal Bowersox.
I ended up being able to go back to touring and making music, and work out, and dance, and smile, and laugh again. Now I have high-tech wearable insulin pods and glucose readers on me all the time. When I got them, they told me they were waterproof. I said, “I’ll tell ya what’s waterproof; my DREAMS are Waterproof!” So I wrote the song “Waterproof.” People at my shows have been coming up to me and telling me of trials they’ve gone through, and how much the song touches them. That’s why I do what I do! And apparently I’m gonna keep on doin’ it! As the song says, “My spirit stands against the storm; My dreams are Waterproof!”
AH: Tell us a story of what it was like working with Jimmy Buffet’s band members!
LB: I have always been a big fan of Jimmy Buffet’s music, especially his more obscure songs. He has an amazing band. His guitarist, Peter Mayer, who is on my song “I Believe” was also a guest on my TV show, Rock Star Kitchen. It’s a show based in Philadelphia, where each week different musicians come on and cook their favorite dish, and then we have a “kitchen table jam.”
Peter is an amazing acoustic guitar player. He has such a wide array of different chord voicings he uses to create different moods. I love what he did on my song. And on pedal steel, well, Doyle Grisham is a legend in the biz, having played with George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Reba McIntyre, just a whole host of legendary artists, as well as Jimmy Buffett. “More Doyle!” (Parrotheads will get that reference). It was an honor to have him on my record. They are both such nice, down to earth guys!
AH: What is something that has come out of your musical journey that you could have never anticipated when you chose to take this creative path?
LB: It has led to the fact that I host a TV show! We bring famous musical artists on to cook recipes near and dear to them and then we jam together in the kitchen. I’ve always dug the TV shows I’ve appeared on with my music and have enjoyed being interviewed live. Now I get to interview and chat with these amazing artists, cook with them and sing and play guitar with them too. I’ve found that the world of TV has some similarities to the world of music, but also a lot of differences, and I’m learning new things all the time! Lots of fun! I never imagined I’d be singing with artists I used to hear on the radio, such as Foreigner, Tonic, Candlebox, and Blues Traveler, or would be learning how to do the twist from Chubby Checker! How crazy is that!
AH: If someone were to sit down and listen to your deluxe “Jump In!” album all the way through, what would they learn about you?
LB: That I’m a survivor. I had a troubled childhood, and my life is bittersweet, with its ups and downs like everybody else’s, but I want to persevere and squeeze all that I can out of this experience of living. I think my fans appreciate that I was not born a rich kid with a lot of connections in the business. I had a dream, and I worked my butt off, and still continue to do so. I think that a lot of people can relate to that, from things they’ve gone through in their own lives. Songs like “Waterproof,” “Reinvent,” “Twice As Tall,” and “I Believe” really deal with these themes. A lot of the songs are about overcoming obstacles in life, and coming out “Twice As Tall” on the other side, as the song says. And then there are some just really fun songs, like “Jump In!,” which has G. Love playing harp on it, “Love Is For The Making,” and “Along For The Ride.” And just for good measure I did one of my favorite songs to do live, the classic “Fever,” but modernized a little bit!
AH: When did the deluxe album come out, and where are you touring this fall?
LB: It dropped on September 23rd. I’m very excited about it. I hope it brings people energy, inspiration, and enjoyment! My tour is continuing with Glenn Tilbrook, and we hope to announce more tour dates before the end of the year. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some local dates, both on my own and with my band, so keep a lookout on the website, http://www.LisaBouchelle.com, to see the latest!