Lissie’s back to Rock Island for benefit show

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Lissie’s back to Rock Island for benefit show

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by tommyj

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What: Third annual Laura’s Legacy concert, with Daphne Willis (3 p.m.), Ellis Kell and Friends (4 p.m.), David Zollo & the Body Electric (5:30 p.m.) and Lissie (7 p.m.)

Where: Schwiebert Riverfront Park, Rock Island

How much: $10, with youth 12 years and younger free


Rock Island native Lissie wanted to turn her third annual Laura’s Legacy concert into a Midsommer Celebration.

"My Aunt Laura (Swedberg) and I have Swedish heritage, and June 21 is the longest day of sun of the year," the alt-pop singer born Elisabeth Maurus explained. "In the Swedish culture, Midsommer was a day of celebration, so we thought it would be nice to tie in that theme into our festivities."

The Swedish theme extends to a Maypole and flower crowns, Lissie added.

The third annual concert, next Saturday at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island, is a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, specifically in its research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lissie’s aunt died of complications from the condition.

The fundraiser moved a month later, and from Sunday to Saturday. About 1,000 people attended the first year, and fewer were in place last year, when severe weather threatened throughout the day.

The two benefits have raised more than $20,000 so far, Lissie said.

Lissie and her band will again close the show, preceded by performances from Daphne Willis, Ellis Kell and Friends, and David Zollo & the Body Electric.

A partner in presenting the concert this year is the shoe company Dimmi. The brother of the company’s founder, she said, also died of ALS complications.

"We connected and realized we had this thing in common," she said. "This year they have very generously donated money to be our main sponsor."

Besides donating tote bags and hats, Dimmi is also creating a Laura’s Legacy boot.

"We’re trying to take it further than just the concert and actually having the shoe that people can purchase, with all the proceeds going to ALS," she said.

"I like to wear these plain, brown ankle boots, and I’d shown them a picture of some boots that I like just as a template and they were able to create, and manufacture in the USA, a version of the boot that I like," she said.

Although the boots will not be ready for sale at the concert, Lissie did post a picture of her wearing a pair on her Instagram account.

Lissie’s second studio album, "Back to Forever," was released in October and she said she was pleased with its appearance in the marketplace.

"I got good critical response and we sold a healthy number of records, especially in Europe when we got a lot of radio play," she said.

She is, however, going independent and away from her major label.

The 31-year-old said she’s making the switch at the right time.

"I don’t think my end game is to be like massively famous, so on my reputation I get some good opportunities to be on movies or TV shows or commercials," she said. "I think my profile is kind of out there, at least in the industry, and people come to me with opportunities."

She said she may change the focus to be more of a band and not just as a solo artist.

"You can hire all of these people to do what people at a label would do. But at the end of the day, you own your own masters and publishing," she said of the independent jump. "It’s a little of the wild, wild west but it’s also exciting because the artists can retain ownership and control over their music."

She’s been approached by a major American brand name to write a song for a TV commercial, and was approached by a video game maker to cover the Danzig song "Mother" for its game, "Evolve."

While in the studio, she and her band added a few more covers to the album, and it was released in a digital format in March as "Cryin’ to You."

"We wanted to have something new for people to explore and play with," she said.

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