Lisa Marie Presley at home in more intimate concert setting
By Kathy Cichon For Sun-Times Media October 24, 2013 7:22AM
LISA MARIE PRESLEY
♦ 8 p.m. Oct. 26
♦ The Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St.,
St. Charles, Ill.
♦ Tickets, $29-$49
♦ (630) 962-7000;
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:19AM
At the age of 3, Lisa Marie Presley would use her hairbrush for a microphone and sing as if in concert.
“I always performed. I was always singing. I was always listening to music, always,” Presley said in a recent interview. “Music’s always been an important part of my life. I can’t remember not having it take center stage for me in my life.”
Growing up in Graceland, the daughter of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, discovered her passion for music at an early age.
“I’ve always loved it since I was a very small child, and I’ve always written,” the singer-songwriter said. “I put them together in my early 20s.”
Presley, 45, spoke by phone while traveling the East Coast as part of her Storm & Grace tour. Now in its third leg, the tour stops Oct. 26 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Ill.
“It’s very intimate,” she said of the tour. “The album’s very intimate. The venues are intimate. It’s pretty organic.”
Her latest release — 2012’s country, folk and blues-influenced “Storm & Grace” — has been described as a departure from her rock and pop work: the 2003 gold-certified “To Whom It May Concern” and 2005’s “Now What.”
“The previous releases were probably overproduced. And they’re more angry, and that’s not happening any more,” Presley said. “Things are kind of broken down in my life and, therefore, the record ended up that way as well.”
Things are broken down “in a simplified way — not in a bad way, in a simplified way,” she said. “The record is more simplified, more organic.”
Her current live shows reflect that organic nature.
“It’s pretty raw, I would say. My musicians are incredible. I’m so lucky to be able to play with them,” she said. “It’s just very stripped-down and simplified.”
Among the songs she performs in concert is her latest single, “People,” which appears on the most recent volume of “The Walking Dead” soundtrack. While she sings the song live, she doesn’t anticipate it being on any of her future releases.
Fans looking forward to a new album from Presley will have to wait, though. “When I’m on tour, I’m in tour mode. When I’m writing, I’m in writing mode,” she said.
Presley added that she may take a break and possibly start writing again.
“There’s still some songs that I’m attached to from this record,” Presley said. “I wrote about 34 songs. There’s a couple that I really love. It’s not out of the question that I wouldn’t take them, revamp a bit ... and maybe write some new ones for next year. There’s talk of possibly an EP.”
While music is one passion, her philanthropic work on behalf of children is another.
Her most recent endeavor is a partnership with World Vision, which describes itself as “a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”
At every show there are pamphlets about Third World children who need to be sponsored, she said.
“We encourage every night for people to sponsor a child. Thirty-five dollars a month. It pays for their clothing, water, food. Everything. You develop a relationship with these children,” Presley said. “That ties into the tour very well.”
She said she wants to let those hesitant about committing to a sponsorship know any donation helps.
“Even anything, $5, anything,” she said. “And I tell them it’s definitely going there, I promise you. ... The families will write them back too, corresponding.”
Kathy Cichon is a local freelance writer.