about Norvell's Great-Niece, your Host

Roots Country and Blues artist Lonesome Liz was dubbed 'The Female Robert Johnson' by 'Southern Fried Magazine'; honoring both her sultry contralto and the Hellhound on her trail. Her performances are heavy with Southern Gothic undertones. A natural storyteller, her words shift to expose the seamy underbelly of the South, which she translates through a mystic veil of mojo; often drawing on history along with Hoodoo and other Folk traditions.

Her performances have included Drive-by Truckers artist Wes Freed, art revolutionary Molly Crabapple, Jesco the Dancing Outlaw and she's shared a stage with Timbuk III's Pat MacDonald, The Goddamn Gallows and the .357 String Band.

Featured in the upcoming Hasil Adkins documentary, 'My Blue Star' by Ron Thomas Smith, she has she has also appeared in and directed dozens of plays as well as in an award-winning independent film, 'Leon's Aspirations'. Also a playwright, she has written and produced adaptations of both 'Faust' and Sartre's 'No Exit'.

A multi-disciplinary artist, she is also a music and fine art journalist, published primarily in 'Outlaw Magazine', 'Fine Art Magazine' and GratefulWeb.net. She was the last writer to interview Mike Seeger before his death and her Levon Helm retrospective received praise from Bob Dylan himself.

She has also been tarot, astrology and mythology editor for BellaOnline.com and Suite101.com. Her writing and photography are featured in the best-selling 'Everything Ghost Hunting Guide'. She began writing in Chicago, when Slam was first emerging and her poetry as well as her lyrics have received praise from Beat Poets Charles Plymell and Robert Brannan.

Her strong, sultry voice and powerful lyrics are captivating. Though unquestionably feminine and alluring, she describes hangings, hauntings, reckonings and shoot-outs in a way that makes you think she was not only there but participated. One of Country's true Outlaw Women, Liz blasted the boundaries of Alt Country. However it's delivered, her sultry Southern vision takes you far from the expected. It's hard to resist the spell Lonesome Liz casts when her mojo's rising...

Submissions, Press, Etc: elizabeth.bissette@gmail.com

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vaudevillian Tributes to Norvell Page and Ken Carter on the 50th Anniversary of His Death and 75th Anniversary of The Spider

Banjo the Spider Sculpture by James Robertson, from Lonesome Liz's Mojo Sideshow
From Richmond Magazine, Oct., 2009
by Harry Kollatz

Wealthy amateur criminologist Richard Wentworth beat down the bad guys as The Spider. He didn’t sling webs but instead dealt righteous vengeance using his fists and a .45, and along with his gorgeous love and equal, Nita van Sloan, he even battled giant robots.

Richmonder Norvell Wordsworth Page (1904-1961) wrote fast-paced, gunslinging, noir-horror-sci-fi adventures for Wentworth/The Spider in a long series of 1930s magazine stories before giving up pulp for good and going into government service in 1943.
Liz as a modern Faust, from The Mojo Sideshow

Page’s spirit permeates this month during events at Gallery5 and Wonderland featuring his great-niece and -nephew, Elizabeth and Russell Page Bissette, respectively.

Opening on Oct. 2 at Gallery5 in conjunction with the annual Carnival of 5 Fires will be Lonesome Liz’s Mojo Sideshow, produced by Elizabeth Bissette. (Another presentation will be held on Oct. 31.)

Featured performers include J.B. Beverly, frontman for the Wayward Drifters, Richmond musician and filmmaker Ron Smith, and actors Amy Berlin, Kristen Swanson and Jen Meharg. Admission is $5.

On the same day, an art exhibit based on carnival and sideshow characters from the play will also open, featuring contributions by New Yorkers Molly Crabapple, Katelan Foisy and Richmond’s Wes Freed, who’s well known for album art he’s produced for the Drive By-Truckers.

Mask by Wes Freed
Then on Oct. 29, Russell Bissette’s Mr. Grindhouse Presents: Crimson Celluloid Spectacular offers up a live horror show performed alongside a showing of Vincent Price’s The Tingler and featuring burlesquers Deanna Danger and Lilly Vaudeville, at Wonderland, 1727 E. Main St. Admission is $5.

Finally, on Nov. 1, Elizabeth Bissette’s Mojo Ghost Show presents a kind of haunted dinner theater, with a seance and gumbo, for $15 admission. Her great-uncle’s creation, The Spider, is a character in the piece.

A Magician's Assistant Worthy of Carter himself, Deanna Danger
Read the stories of the Ghosts of the Mojo Sideshow, a Vaudevillian collection of the damned ghosts of Sideshow workers based loosely on Norvell's Ken Carter tale, "Satan's Sideshow", recently re-printed by Black Dog Books. For photos and video from the production, which featured a magician, a riot rifle as a rhythm instrument, and all sorts of Spider-like magic, including visual art inspired by Southern Folk magic by his Great-Niece, visit here.

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