Tico-Tico - Liza & A.J.
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May, 2020


t's here, it's here, it's here!  Liza's biography, Katherine Jackson French, Kentucky's Forgotten Ballad Collector, is available through University Press of Kentucky.  Use discount code FB30 for a 30% discount! 


Six year's in the making, this true story of one of Kentucky's proudest yet unknown daughters makes a great read - and French's ballad collection is published here for the first time.   Order at https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813178523/katherine-jackson-french/

April 2020

Well, we entered March in early spring with birds chirping and flowers blooming and somewhere along the way woke up in an Edward Munch painting, along with the rest of you.

Coronavirus has been slow to come to Kentucky, but it is here now, in part thanks to people who insist on ignoring the Governor's orders to stay home and not gather.  It is still low compared to a lot of other places, but we take no chances.  We are hunkering down, playing lots of music together, reading, watching movies, the same things y'all are doing.

Our hearts go out to our friends in New York and Florida.  You are in our hearts.  Stay the heck home.

We have been doing a few facebook live shows; our next is April 13 at 7:00 p.m.  We'll be doing some of our music from Upstate New York in honor of all our friends there.  We aren't asking for money at this point, as there are others more in need.

Berea has cancelled school, but Liza is still teaching from home via internet.  She's also gotten a great container garden going.

We are working on mastering one album, and preparing to record another, a reboot of our debut album, "Playmates."  Some of the old favorites will be on it, plus some newer originals and songs we have learned since being at Berea.

Liza's album of ballads collected by Katherine Jackson French, entitled "There Was a Fair Maid Dwelling," is in hand, though official release will coincice with the book and ballads this spring.

The Kentucky launch of the book, CD, and a separate commemorative edition of the ballads will be September 4 (we hope) at Berea College, so clear your calendars!  Northerners, keep an eye out for events in your neck of the woods!

Y'all be good, stay home, bake lots of cookies and take your vitamins!  Love y'all!

Peace & Syncopation,

Liza & A.J.

Author, Author!

Liza, the academic of the duo, has been flexing her writing and scholarship muscles lately. 


Liza's Katherine Jackson French:  Kentucky's Forgotten Ballad Collector is in the University Press of Kentucky catalog and is ready to order.  https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813178523/katherine-jackson-french/. The book, will be available in May 2020.  Dr. French first tried to publish a collection of Kentucky ballads in 1910; the story of how this did not come to be, along with how the history of Appalachian balladry would have been different if it had, is the subject of this story of one of Kentucky music's greatest unknown women. A commemorative edition of her ballads will also be published by Berea College.  "There Was a Fair Maid Dwelling," a recording of French's ballads is also available by contacting lizadisavino@gmail.com

Liza also collaborated with Loyal Jones, Mr. Appalachia himself, on "My Curious and Jocular Heroes" and transcribed the ballads therein.  Published by University of Illinois Press, the book came out in 2017.

In addition, one of Liza's poems, "Bread," was accepted for publication by the prestigious Paterson Literary Review, which came out in April of 2018.

A.J. too is working on a book.  Entitled "Ain't It a Shame," it explores the difficult subject of abuse through photographs and poems.  He has been working with Lee Francis IV and is nearing the final edit.  He is also exploring avenues to utilize his many well-loved monster images in artistic mediums of various kinds.

2017 Liza DiSavino and A.J. Bodnar