Lisa Guyer

To say that singing has always been the center of my life is truly an understatement. From a very early age I began to perform with my father’s very gifted family. This indeed was something that would shape my entire future…I knew nothing else. Singing/performing has always been my most comfortable place… free and at peace. Luckily, many years of singing, gigging and performing in recording studios would follow. Phase two here we come!

I never took my abilities …my gift, for granted. I always took care knowing that eating right, exercising regularly, little to no partying was the key to the endurance and strength of it all. You can just imagine the fear that enveloped me when my voice started to falter. My voice, the main thing that was always there for me no matter what crazy things life threw at me, was now not a given. Something was very wrong. Normally I always managed to sing through anything…colds, flu, pneumonia…whatever!

By 2013 I was exhausted on every level trying to keep the pace I had always held… I was done. I was diagnosed with a vocal cord aneurysm caused by reflux. Little did I know that this part of my journey would alter me mentally, physically & spiritually forever.

In the beginning it was the logistics of survival. My good friend Sully Erna hooked me up with an amazing vocal cord surgeon in Denver Co. Dr. David Opperman. Not only was he an amazing doctor, he was very kind to me. To save me money he brought me back to his home to stay for my 10 day recovery. You don’t hear of that so much these days! It was an expensive surgery (I had no insurance at the time) and 8 months to a year of…no singing! Singing was not only my love and passion, it was my income.

With a little help from my friends who came together for me in my time of need, this, the beginning part of the journey was taken care of. Sully offered himself and his bandmates (Godsmack) to headline a benefit for me. Something I was used to doing myself…not receiving!

The rest fell into place with a lot of hard work, time and efforts from so many others. I am forever grateful to each and every one of them who were involved. I will never forget that night.

My writing with David began just about the same time as my voice issue surfaced. Not the best frame of mind to be in as we attempted to write…or was it?! David and myself would get together, just he and I, and spend days working on these great songs which would end up as this record, Message Of Love. Early on, my voice would feel good on some days and not so good on others but it did not stop us from the fun and excitement we were experiencing writing these special songs. They came very organically…almost magically at times. Very different from anything I had been involved with in the past. I loved it. We both loved it. The songs ended up being very cathartic because the lyrics we were writing were really hitting home with all that was happening in both our lives. It took some time but thankfully my voice returned and David and I were able to finish the vocals on the already recorded music tracks. We hope that people embrace this album for what it is. Our truth based on faith, hope, and trust…a message of love.

I believe everything happens for a reason. I needed to expand my focus for the huge change which was destined my way. The lessons were harsh and hard. They had to be. From my view, that’s the only way we learn to “see.” In my moments of real darkness, that belief was the tiny bit of light that kept me moving forward. This has been the longest, hardest, most beautiful part of my journey. This record was a big part of that! I learned… so far, that we are most powerful in our times of darkness. If we allow ourselves in honesty to take a good look inside at it all, really feel it, our sole responsibilities in it …change happen! If we surrender to it, own it all and then forgive ourselves…we grow and beauty comes forth. And… isn’t that the point?

Without David’s patience, perseverance, tenacity, and talent, this record would have never seen the light of day! He is such a gifted artist. He brings out the best in me in a creative space. He is my brother from another mother whom I’ve had the pleasure of playing music live with for 25 years now. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to create freely and make music with him. Life is good!

*Lisa has performed, recorded, and toured with many projects such as The Wicked Big Band, Mama Kicks, Barry Goudreau, Godsmack & Sully Erna. Lisa currently is an Associate Professor at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

David Stefanelli

It’s been such a blessing being able to create our own music and tell our own stories and actually get an entire album together. Lisa and I have spent years together performing in all different kinds of situations. Most have been on stages kicking out rock tunes or blues based tunes in cover bands or supporting other signed artists on their recordings and tours. Such fun and there is no one better to kick it vocally than Lisa. So when I came to her with these musical beds I had written and basic ideas for what they could reflect I wasn’t sure she would be keen to it all and help complete the songs. None of it was blues based musically. I have always been from that old school style of melody first and lyrics that have a bit of longing in them. I wasn’t sure if she would want to venture down this path with me. We got together and began finishing these songs.

The first day of writing was really beyond what I truly was hoping for. We both were so eager to tell our stories of which many were very similar with what we both had experienced in our lives up until then. The lyrics and melodies just poured out and I had found a great writing partner that deep down loved the same type of music.

I do hope that people will listen to Message Of Love in its entirety, as a complete work. We planned the songs and their order on purpose and want folks to experience the album the way we intended it to be listened to. We spent quite a lot of time on arrangements and instrumentation to embellish the lyrics and Lisa's amazing delivery when she sings.

Cheers to you all and with thanks! ~ David

*David has performed, recorded, and toured with Zenophon, Robert Ellis Orrall, Roger Bechirian, Red Peters, Ross Vannelli, The Beloved Few, RTZ with Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau, Peter Wolf and the Houseparty Five, Brian Maes, Mama Kicks, and most recently, Sully Erna.

*David wishes to thank Zildjian cymbals and Zager acoustic guitars for all they have done to help with creating the music. The best!