- Nov. 23 show also features many local artists -
Close your eyes and you’ll swear that’s Patsy Cline on stage.
It’s not. It’s Lisa Layne. Even if you don’t know her name yet, you know her voice. For 25 years, she channeled Cline in the play “Always Patsy Cline” on stages all over America.
If you still don’t recognize her, play that indisputable American Christmas Classic, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” with Vince Vance and the Valiants. The powerhouse lead singer is, you guessed it, Layne.
“That Voice” will be center stage at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center near Historic Downtown Humble Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m., when The Bender presents The Liberty Opry featuring Layne plus local artists Andy Bradt, Trisha Gainey, Jay Cantu, Booger Lee and the Liberty Opry Band. Cost is $15.
This is the second time The Bender and the Liberty Opry have partnered to bring unique performers to The Bender stage.
“This will be another grand evening as we present our second show with the Liberty Opry,” said Jennifer Wooden, director of the Humble Civic Center and The Bender.
Wooden reached out to Nina and Jay Cantu, who own the Liberty Opry. That lucky association brought ‘50s and ‘60s recording artist Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois to The Bender Stage in September. This second time around, the Liberty Opry is gifting Lake Houston with Layne.
“My dad’s side of the family is all musicians going back generations,” she said. “Dad played piano, guitar and saxophone and sang. Two uncles and six cousins are musicians. My brother sings and plays bass. My sister is a nurse but, when we all get together, she plays piano and sings, too.”
While she was performing in a country band after college, a good friend talked Layne into auditioning for a singing spot with Vince Vance and the Valiants, a country pop, rock and roll band more known for novelty songs.
“I went along to protect my friend,” Layne recalled, “but we both ended up making the band. That was 300 one-nighters every year for five years.”
As a Valiant, Layne sang lead in what has become the fifth most-played Christmas record of all time, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” recorded back in 1988.
Layne and her husband and manager, Boo Miller, were on their way by car to Maryland when The Tribune caught up with her.
“I got to host ‘Midnight Jamboree,’ the second longest-running live radio show ever at the Ernest Tubb Troubadour Theatre. What an honor,” she said, “and I got to perform with the Time Jumpers last night. That’s a Western swing band from Nashville, kind of a country-type garage band that includes some of our best musicians and singers. I look over and there’s Vince Gill playing and singing along.”
Lisa Layne isn’t just music. Every October she plays in an all-women’s band, raising money for breast cancer awareness at the Fort Worth Stockyards, and she performs yearly at a benefit for “Heather’s Old Skool Village,” a community for special needs adults just outside Fort Worth,
A producer once described Layne’s powerhouse voice as “… Patsy Cline meets Aretha Franklin meets Reba McIntire …”
The Bender audience can expect “… great musicianship, timeless music, lots of excitement and fun,” Layne said. “You’ll walk away singing a tune, smiling and tapping your toes.”
Friend her on Facebook and view her amazing performances, then hurry to The Bender website to purchase a $15 ticket for Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at humblepac.com or by calling 281-446-4140.
Make plans, too, for Dec. 14 when the City of Humble presents the Michael Hix Christmas Party. Tickets are on sale now for $15 each.