By TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For 21st Century Media
In 1994, one of the biggest songs of the year was a ballad called “Stay (I Missed You)” by Lisa Loeb. Twenty years later, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has shown she has staying power. She’s still writing and touring, and will take the Sellersville Theater stage on May 23. For her, reality doesn’t bite.
One might think having to keep playing “Stay,” which was featured in the movie “Reality Bites” would get old, but Loeb doesn’t mind.
“I don’t get tired of playing ‘Stay,” she said on her website. “As a music fan, I love seeing my favorite musicians play the songs that I know them for, and I think ‘Stay’ is one of those songs for me as a musician — one that people connect to. It’s also a challenging song to sing: it has a story, lots of vocal range, and some interesting guitar parts.”
That song brought her to the attention of the world and many fans have stayed with her through the years. She’s recorded several albums since then and toured the world.
“I have so much freedom thanks to the success of that song,” she said.
Audiences will surely hear that song at Sellersville, but Loeb’s show here and at venues around the country are in support of her latest release, “No Fairy Tale,” which she describes as “a poppy, punky, rock album — more energetic than my previous albums.”
And it includes songs written by others, which doesn’t usually happen. In addition to her own songs, Loeb performs songs composed by Tegan and Sara Quin, a Canadian duo.
“I don’t usually put other people’s songs on my albums,” she said, “but I’m such a huge fan of those guys that it was a great opportunity to say something I wouldn’t come up with on my own.”
“I had no idea that Lisa would ever consider recording songs that anyone else had written. I was overjoyed, over the moon, ecstatic and crazed when I heard she was going to cut a few songs of mine,” Tegan said. “I grew up a huge fan and remain a huge fan of everything (and) it’s nice after 15 years, to feel a renewed joy and sense of adventure when it comes to writing.”
Though she’ll play those newer songs, the Sellersville audience can expect to hear Loeb play tunes from all of her albums and some family-friendly ones (Loeb has recorded songs and written books for children). She’ll even take requests, she said.
“It all depends on the audience that night,” she said. She’ll take the stage with guitarist/singer Chris Unck. After the show, she said she’ll stick around to meet people and sign CDs.
She likes interacting with fans and enjoys the way the “new modern culture of media” has connected her to them, she said. That’s been a great change of the past 20 years — the ease of which she can keep in touch with admirers. Her personal life has changed a lot, too, in that time — she’s married now with two young children.
The thing that hasn’t changed is her artistry.
“I’m still out there making music the way I want to,” she said. “I still love making melody- and lyric-driven songs that I can play with my band or an orchestra or a duo or even by myself.”
She hopes that continues for the next five, 10, 20 years or more.
“I want to keep making music and finding other ways to tell stories and connect with people,” she said.
IF YOU GO
WHO: Lisa Loeb
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, May 23
WHERE: Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Ave., Sellersville.
TICKETS: $29.50 (cabaret section sold out);
INFO.: Call (215) 257-5808 or check www.st94.com.
CONNECT: Find Lisa online at www.lisaloeb.com and on Twitter: @LisaLoeb.