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Plainview mom brings Nashville to Bayville
Lisa Matassa squeezed her headphones, cocked her head back and belted the final note of her song “Kiss Me Quiet” into the microphone. Her producer smiled as the sound board lit up, illuminating half of the room.
Inside the Cove City Sound Studios Tuesday, the 40-year-old Plainview mom was laying down tracks for her album just as Long Island natives Billy Joel and Mariah Carey had done before her in the very same Glen Cove studio.
Matassa has been working since April with two-time Grammy-nominated executive producer Bobby “Guy” Graziose on her new album, “Me Time.” The two have planned the album to be the debut of a new sound, featuring a blend of rock and country music -- dubbed “Long Island Country.”
“Country music is great, and rock and roll is fun so if we can blend the two together, you know Nashville meets Bayville, why not?” she said.
Matassa just returned from a trip to Nashville where she wrote and recorded five songs in four days with the help of country music writer Don Rollins and the group of instrumentalists.
“In New York we labor over the vibe and the soul,” said Graziose. “In Nashville, what’s important is to be able to play it in one take.”
Matassa’s album, scheduled to be released March 31, includes legendary musicians Jim "Moose" Brown and Tommy Harden. Matassa’s music can be previewed on Reverbnation or her website www.lisamatassa.com.
“As a New York guy what we try to do is combine different styles,” said Richie Canatta, owner of the studio who’s best known for performing with Billy Joel. “They are doing it right.”
For Matassa, this is not her first time in the musical spotlight. She started singing when she was 8 years old and was discovered by a producer when she was performing with a rock and roll band. From there she was shoved full force into the 1980s dance music scene. Then known as Lysa Lynn, she had two hits in the late 1980’s “I’ve Got the Hots For You” and “Rock Me Baby.”
Shortly after “Rock Me Baby” left the charts, the label Matassa signed with, Emergency Records, folded so she returned to Long Island where she met her husband, Frank.
“My life was about meeting my best friend, my family and that’s what I focused on,” Matassa said.
After her former career ended, she spent the next 23 years as a Plainview mom, raising her family with an occasional singing gig or commercial voice over.
Matassa said her family is very supportive of her new venture and her children have picked up her musical talents. Her son, Frank, 13, is a percussionist and her daughter, Alexa, 15, focuses on vocals.
The Plainview artist said when an opportunity for a second career presented itself, a large part of her decision to embrace it was “You’re Gonna Miss This,” a song by Trace Adkins. In the song a mother tells her daughter, who is eager to grow up, that she’ll wish she had savored her youth.
“You’re going to wish that the days hadn’t gone so fast, and that’s how I kind of teach my kids to live their life -- by the moment.” she said. “And that’s kind of what I’m doing. You never want to say, ‘What if?’”