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 THE KING CASTS A LARGE SHADOW

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PostSubject: THE KING CASTS A LARGE SHADOW   Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:15 am

THE KING CASTS A LARGE SHADOW
Lisa Marie Presley just wants to make her own music, not impersonate her father

With three solo albums to her credit, including this year’s critically acclaimed Americana music gem “Storm & Grace,” you might think that Lisa Marie Presley has finally found a way out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Guess again.

“The other day there was a review of one of my concerts, and the headline read: ‘Not bad, not her dad,’ ” said Presley, who was only 9 when her father — the man known worldwide as Elvis — died in 1977.

“I got a good review, but then they want to rip into me because I’m not my father,” she continued. “It’s a really hard thing to overcome.”

Never mind that her spare, understated new album was produced by T Bone Burnett, who also oversaw the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” film soundtrack and the multiple-Grammy-winning album “Raising Sand” by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Never mind that, apart from a shared husky quality, Presley’s no-frills vocals sound nothing like those of her late father, whose powerful singing always had a visceral, bigger-than-life quality. Not so “Storm & Grace,” which is infused with a palpable air of melancholy as she performs songs whose raw emotion is often delivered in a near-hush.

It’s a quandary for Lisa Marie Presley, who performs here Wednesday at the Belly Up and sits on the board of Elvis Presley Enterprises, which oversees her dad’s artistic legacy and lucrative business interests.

“I’m not an operatic singer like him, and I haven’t seen anyone who is,” she said from an Iowa tour stop.

“It’s complicated. It (her musical bloodline) is not something I want to fight because I’m not proud of it; I want to fight it to prove I’m completely different from him.

In fact, there was pressure to play up her father as much as possible — for marketing purposes — even before she made her debut album, 2003’s “To Whom It May Concern.”

“Constantly, from the get-go,” she said. “Record company executives would say to me: ‘Oh, yeah, we get you, you’re an artist. But the first songs you record should be off (her dad’s 1969 album) “From Elvis in Memphis.”’ That (pressure) is never not there. It’s not a bad thing, because I’m very proud of my father, my legacy and where I’m from, without question.

“And I have no problem, even if I sound similar to him at times. But when it’s a contrived, trying-to-sell-myself thing, I won’t go there. … I’m not him, I could never be like him, ever, and I don’t want to try. I just want to be a singer-songwriter. I don’t want to be disrespectful about it, but it is a battle, and it constantly goes on.”

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