After a getaway to England, Elvis Presley's daughter finally makes her mark with an Americana-styled album and a tour coming here Tuesday.
Stop thinking of her as the King of Rock's daughter or the King of Pop's ex-wife. At 44, Lisa Marie Presley -- Elvis' only child and Michael Jackson's first wife -- has finally come into her own as a recording artist with her third album, "Storm and Grace."
Presley may lack vocal range, but her words exude seething emotion on this set of slow, pained, rootsy Americana originals. On "So Long," she purrs: "This here is a city without lights/ Those are all people without eyes/ Churches they don't have a soul/ Soup for sale without a bowl/ Religion so corrupt and running lives/ Farewell fair weathered friends/ I can't say I'll miss you in the end."
Three years ago, Presley moved to England, where she collaborated on the material with British singer/songwriters Ed Harcourt and Richard Hawley. Grammy winner T Bone Burnett, a force in the Americana music scene, produced. Now she has taken to the road to promote her first album in seven years.
With one show under her belt, she called from her New York hotel last week to preview her concert Tuesday at the Fine Line Music Cafe.
Q What can we expect in concert?
A This [tour] is vulnerable and a little scary. The last couple of records, I was able to turn up the vocals and everything and just make a lot of noise for an hour and a half. It's pretty easy to hide behind that. Now everything is much more intimate and quieter. This is raw and kind of naked. ... I'm not used to that yet.
Q With your husband [Michael Lockwood] leading your band, I assume that you've taken your 3 1/2-year-old twin girls on the road with you.
A I'm sitting here watching "Sesame Street" with them as we speak.
Q Why did you move to England?
A I went there to write first because I was uninspired in L.A. I got rid of a lot of things in my life that weren't good. I was kind of ready to start from Ground Zero. I needed a change. Life is more quality-oriented rather than quantity. Less instant access and instant gratification, making life a little more simple. I needed that. To be around simple and good for a while. It's more conducive for children. [She has two other children in their early 20s whom she raised in Los Angeles.] There's a lot more space and a garden and a lot of interaction with animals, life and culture.
Q What was it like working with T Bone Burnett?
A He has this sort of magic dust he puts all over everything. It was all recorded live in one big room, maybe listening to the songs three times before we cut it. So it was on the quick. It was just old-school. It was beautifully understated. That's what he's so good at. It was scary. I'm used to "turn it up," "double that," or "louder this." There's lots of different smoke screens. You can even make computers sing for you now. It was a little intimidating but it made me step up my game.
Q What's the darkest part of your life that you had to overcome?
A There were a few. It's a land mine and I don't want to go there. At some point, I deconstructed and reconstructed my life and myself a little bit. This record was made in the process of that. This is kind of the little phoenix that rose from that dark period, involving a lot of letting go and realizing a lot of people around me weren't good and things around me were not right and not what I thought. Restarting everything again is scary and dark but it turned out to be really, really, really good and positive.
Q Since Tupac Shakur appeared via hologram at the Coachella festival, there has been all kinds of talk about tours by other deceased music stars. How would you feel about an Elvis hologram tour?
A Things change. Generations are different. You can accept it or not. That is another step toward the newest and latest technology. At this point, there's no plans or actual prototypes for anything. But we did grab the rights to doing it so we can have control, if and whenever it comes to fruition. As long as it's tasteful, we've embraced it as much as we can.