Elisa Peimer Looks at Life From “Inside the Glass”

& WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for June 5, 2016

Elisa Peimer is not your typical singer/songwriter/folk artist. Many of her songs are played on the keyboard, not your standard issue folk instrument. Her background started at a young age with an interest in show tunes. As an adult, her early recordings would probably be classified in record stores (if any still exist) as “pop” music. Yet her new recording Inside the Glass showcases a talent that fits in well with the best of the living traditions of the contemporary folk scene. Her songs come from a community of shared feelings and situations, which is the roots of folk song.

Elisa Peimer and Jon Sobel in the studios of WFDU-FM

Elisa Peimer and Jon Sobel
in the studios of WFDU-FM

I first met Elisa back in 2012 when she was part of Joni Mitchell’s Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration, a CD and a tour that was put together by musicians collective Chicks With Dip. After joining the collective, an informal musical collective of the NYC area’s finest female singer-songwriters, Elisa became became inspired by the energy and talent of the group to begin work on her new CD. The songs she began creating developed a new edge and she ended up with a diverse and highly entertaining recording.

Inside the Glass, Elisa’s fifth CD, explores different styles and exhibits her skills in telling stories and sharing experiences. One of my favorite cuts is “Bobby Hollywood,” a song inspired by an overheard conversation at the Union Square Green Market in NYC.  It is a homage of sorts to life long New Yorkers and the more recent hipster converts that make up the ever changing city scene.

The song “Daffodils” was born out of a winter that seemingly would never end and it delivers a welcome sense of hope and a reminder that things will get better. Much needed at any time of the year!

The topic of “love” has always been a staple of the singer-songwriter genre. The tribulations of relationships have led to countless songs about the subject. Elisa takes a new approach with “Good Song” about a woman who finally meets the right guy and becomes miserable because she now writes corny songs.  The upbeat tempo and pop stylings of the recording are far from corny and reveal a clever songwriter with a unique insight.

Elisa Peimer "Inside the Glass"

Elisa Peimer
“Inside the Glass”

Elisa also tackles the subject of love and relationships in songs like “What Would He Say.”  The recording of the song centers on Elisa’s voice and her keyboard and delivers a moving and somewhat bittersweet performance.  Likewise, the CD’s opening song “Better” deals with a woman questioning whether they are with the right person.

Inside the Glass was produced by Elisa and Irwin Menken (The Lee Ranaldo Band)and was recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Ted Young (Sonic Youth, Mick Jagger). Accompanying artists on the recording include her Chicks with Dips peers Cheryl Prashker and Carolann Solebello.  Elisa’s husband, Jon Sobel plays bass on a number of the cuts and also accompanied Elisa when she performed on my radio show.

Elisa impresses with her fresh and interesting perspectives on topics that could become cliche in the wrong hands. Elisa crafts powerful songs and possesses a stunning voice.  This new CD and her concert performances reveal a unique artist whose profile is rising in the acoustic music community.


Click on the link below to hear Elisa Peimer with Ron Olesko on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS
Originally broadcast on June 5, 2016

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About Ron Olesko

For over 40 years, Ron has been a radio programmer with WFDU-FM in Teaneck, New Jersey. He created WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS in 1980, a show that he continues to host and produce every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6pm Eastern Time.

He’s the president of and booker for the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and is a regular contributor to Sing Out! as well as the host of the Folk Music Notebook blog on this site. Ron can also be found emceeing concerts and festivals around the NYC/NJ area.

A lifelong Mets fan and a rabid soccer geek, Ron is a Red Bull season ticket holder since their inception and will most likely be in his seat when not in the studio.

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