LIZ Lenten is helping to rescue Gosberton Risegate village hall in the spare time she doesn’t have.
“When you have a big mouth, you have to do something about it,” says Liz, who lives in Siltside in the village.
“It was a lovely village hall and at risk of closure.”
Liz may admit to a big mouth, but friends know she won’t blab about the secrets they share with her in the hot tub, although their tales of life and love may end up as lyrics in her songs.
In fact singer-songwriter Liz’s new album, coming out on May 7, also speaks of a subject Liz is not talking about too much. The album is called Indian Summer, that title referring not to the amazing weather we have enjoyed this autumn, but personal times of change and transformation, such as a significant birthday...
However, there will be no slowing down for Liz, who successfully juggles four separate areas within her musical career: artist management, education, community as well as her own music.
Liz has been singing since she was 16, and touring, recording and teaching since her early 20s.
She was based in London, where she launched her own label – Scarlet Records – and had a recording studio until about eight years ago when she and her sound engineer and producer husband Wan Hewitt fell in love with their home in Gosberton Risegate.
Liz’s album isn’t the only exciting development. One of the people she manages is Eliza Carthy and in the summer Liz set up a new label, HemHem Records, specifically to release the latest album from the award-winning folk artist. There is a single coming out from that album, Neptune, at the end of the current tour.
Liz also manages, in the UK and Europe, New York singer-songwriter Galia Arad, and her debut album on Scarlet Records is due out on November 2.
Liz works with singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan from the Pogues in what she calls a “middle management” capacity, looking after admin and acting as a contact.
Another of the artists she manages under Scarlet Records, Joanne Louise Parker, has an album called Moontide coming out shortly.
Max Gilkes, an award-winning producer in his own right – he produces Liz’s work – also has an album coming out in May, called Walk in This Direction.
On top of that, Liz has produced a video to accompany the Gift tour by Eliza Carthy and her mother Norma Waterson, and that too is due out in November.
Liz finds it hard to categorise her own music, but says Indian Summer is, if anything, “pop, in a way” containing songs about life and love. Once the album is out we can expect to see her at Spalding’s South Holland Centre on what she calls a “staggered tour” to accommodate school holidays – their son Jake is now 12 and at Spalding Grammar School.
Liz admits her own music has had to take a back seat in the last decade, for various reasons.
However, Liz has been sharing her passion for music with people in south Lincolnshire by training teachers to sing in the classroom as well as working directly with schoolchildren.
She also works with youngsters at Scarlet Community Kids’ Music Club in Quadring.
Their show, Our Village, will be performed at Quadring Village Hall on December 17 (1.30pm), with tickets (£2) available from the hall. Then there are the community choirs she leads, Sing South Holland and the contemporary youth choir Vibe, both are open to all and welcome new members, on top of private singing and guitar lessons.
“If you can speak, you can sing,” says Liz to those who would say they can’t sing, “and there is scientific proof of the benefits of singing. It stimulates memory, it’s uplifting, relaxing, develops immunity to coughs and colds, and it’s cardiovascular, so it’s a way of keeping fit. There are also lots of social benefits.”