Single Review: Lisa Sheppard – “Scars and Nicotine”
Singer/songwriter Lisa Sheppard has reminded us of the power of the single. Her latest, “Scars and Nicotine,” is three-and-a-half minutes of bluesy catharsis, love-gone-wrong weaved through a ripping country-rock riff with the indelible hooks and bold swagger of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Refugee.” Sheppard’s voice, husky and soulful, has echoes of a lifetime’s worth of tough experiences; you can’t a sing a narrative like this by sounding sweet. Comparisons to Bonnie Raitt are inevitable; however, the similarity is more in the attitude, the no-nonsense stance, than in the style.
The humor in “Scars and Nicotine” is welcome as well. “There ain’t nothing more obscene/Than finding out your Valentino is more like Charlie Sheen,” Sheppard laments. Too many Americana acts take themselves far too seriously these days. That Sheppard can inject some piercing wit in this tale of infidelity is a much-needed change of pace.