Special to the Record
Lisa Brokop’s career took off when life imitated art.
A child prodigy from Vancouver who was singing on stage at the age of seven, Brokop at 19 landed the lead female role in the feature film Harmony Cats. She portrayed a country singer who leaves home in search of a big break in Nashville.
“The final scene of the movie was me being discovered and going off to Nashville,” Brokop recalls in an interview from Nashville. “Hoyt Axton plays the part of the big producer who discovers me, and I go off to Nashville to become a big star.
“The very next week in real life, I went to Nashville and I did my first showcase and I got my first record deal.”
After signing with Capitol Records, Brokop released two critically acclaimed albums. She has lived in Nashville for the past two decades.
Brokop will perform songs from her new Patsy Cline Project album Nov. 8 at the Sid Williams Theatre.
Brokop says she fell in love as a young girl with Cline’s songs.
“I would sing Blue Moon of Kentucky and Walking After Midnight.”
Later, when she performed professionally, she would sing Crazy.
“I’ve always loved singing Crazy.”
What made Cline such a legendary singer?
“She had such a pure, clean sound, just flawless. And now that I’ve been researching … I find I love her even more, learning about the person that she was, how strong she was, and she was a feisty girl and very influential to a lot of women.
“She really was a fantastic, skillful singer. She wasn’t just a country singer that had some emotion … her pitch was dead on. That was in the day when you couldn’t just go in the studio and tune it or fix it.”
Brokop agrees that Cline’s singing had an honesty that convinced listeners she had lived what she sang.
“There was an ache in her songs at times that not every singer is able to do. She’s just right there in the moment. You just can’t help but be moved by the songs.”
Brokop stresses that during her Patsy Cline Project performances, she sings the songs without acting in the role of Cline.
“I do love her music and I want to honour her and her songs,” explains Brokop, who will perform some songs she has written in Cline’s genre.
Some of those songs are on her new album, which was made possible by fans who donated money to help to produce it for Brokop.
“We need some help with funding where the major record label used to come into play. In a sense, they (donating fans) become the record label. I love all those people who took a chance on me.”
One of the most nominated and award-winning female vocalists in Canadian country music history, Brokop has released eight studio albums, more than a dozen Top 40 radio hits and achieved certified gold record sales.
Living in Nashville for 20 years has allowed her to soak up the history and traditions of country music, at times performing in legendary venues that include the Ryman Theatre.
When she appears at the Sid Williams Theatre, Brokop will employ multi-media imagery to help her bring Cline’s story to life.
She’ll be accompanied by a pianist, percussionist and upright bassist, who will provide harmony vocals.
For more about Brokop, visit www.lisabrokop.com/home.
Lisa Brokop performs Nov. 8 in Courtenay, as part of the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s Blue Circle Series. For details and tickets, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave.