First Harvest, the debut album of Elizabeth Ward Land, beautifully showcases her thrilling voice, extraordinary interpretive gifts and vast range of musical expertise. For Broadway fans, Liz’s opening track reveals surprising depth in A Change in Me from “Beauty and the Beast.” Farther to Fall and Why Haven’t I Heard from You introduce some pop-country, while When the Sun Comes Out and Love to Learn reveal a smokier night club sound. It Don’t Bring You and I Can Let Go Now offer fresh takes on contemporary tunes, and the Celtic melody of A Taste of Honey transports you to another place, another time. For cabaret lovers, there is Something I Thought I’d Never Do and When You Take My Hand, a haunting new ballad destined to be on every singer’s list.
Including exquisite piano and arrangements by John Boswell, the wistful duet Flies on the Butter with award-winning recording artist Lee Lessack, Liz’s 30’s-style trio, Shout Sister on 42nd Street, and heartfelt vocals all around, First Harvest is a CD to be embraced and treasured – guaranteeing something for everyone.
— Alan Menken, Academy Award Winning Composer
“Ive just listened to Elizabeth Ward Land’s performance of A CHANGE IN ME and I’m wiping tears as I write this….There are very few performers I’ve enjoyed working with as much as I’ve enjoyed working with Liz. Beyond her obvious talent and beauty, she possesses a miraculous voice and musical sensitivity that makes every song she touches shine. Whether on stage or in the recording studio, she’s every composer’s dream.”
— Alan W. Petrucelli, Barnstable Patriot Entertainment Report
“There’s a new girl in town, and she’s a wowser – and there’s no anti-feminist disrespect here. Elizabeth Ward Land has just released a CD meant to be permanently placed on a shelf alongside Billie, Judy, Doris and Ella. Aptly enough entitled FIRST HARVEST, it’s a fantastic blend of styles, from stage and screen through gospel and country. “A Change in Me,” from Tim Rice and Alan Menken’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, is re-thought for an adult mindset; Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “It Don’t Bring You” is as heartbreaking as always; the classic 60′s anthem “A Taste of Honey” as honest as a folk song, and the CD finishes with a jazzy, hot, boop-oop-a-doop version of the Dubin-Warren classic “42nd Street.” Land’s voice adapts remarkably to the disparate material, yet it’s difficult to compare her with any other singer. Her diction, tone and pitch are perfect, but unquestionably it is her love of this material that sets this CD apart.”
— Naomi Plume, BroadwayWorld.com
“Well, here’s another smart girl. First album … and nails it! No showing off … just great songs, with excellent arrangements, really intelligent choices and terrific vocals. Elizabeth Ward Land isn’t a big star and you may not even know who she is … I didn’t know much about her either … so I read up on her. She’s done solid work in many shows and recently was part of the musical, SISTER ACT, on the West Coast, as well as a stand-in for Barbra Streisand, when the U.S. Tour was first gearing up with special guests, Il Divo. This is a most enjoyable recording, which includes some highlights like “A Change In Me”, “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “It Don’t Bring You.” My personal fave is “When The Sun Comes Out”, for which she credits Peter Matz and Streisand for the inspiration. Really good stuff!”
— David Miller, SWINGIN’ DOWN THE LANE w/David Miller
“I’m seldom moved to rave about a new recording artist. But this time I must share my enthusiasm with the whole world. “First Harvest,” the debut album by Elizabeth Ward Land, is a sure-fire winner. She has a fine voice that refuses to be pigeon-holed. Her amazing versatility is evident. As I listened to the material she chose to present, all manner of visual impressions were aroused. As she sang WHEN THE SUN COMES OUT, I could imagine her leaning against the grand piano at the Carlyle as with a pianist added thoughtful accents in the background. I could see her on the Broadway stage, belting out A CHANGE IN ME, a show-stopper if I ever heard one. She would seem right at home at the Grand Old Opry as she and her producer, Lee Lessack, blend their voices on FLIES ON THE BUTTER. Or maybe she’s the feature attraction at a little roadhouse on Blues Alley in Mississippi, as she charms the patrons with a lightly raucous reading of WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD FROM YOU?
I’ve followed Liz Ward Land’s career since she first appeared in amateur musicals. I saw her performance as Marie, a role she originated on Broadway in “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” I was in the audience when she played Connee in “The Boswell Sisters” at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater. Earlier this year I was delighted by her portrayal of the Mother Superior in a musical adaptation of “Sister Act”. After each performance I wondered why she hadn’t put out a recording that would showcase her vocal talents.
Now my wishes have been fulfilled in the most emphatic manner possible. “First Harvest” is a real keeper. Let’s hope it will soon be followed by a second, third, etc. harvest. Her voice is too good to be confined to live theater.”
— Rob Lester, “Talkin’ Broadway”
“A rather attractive version of A CHANGE IN ME, an Alan Menken/Tim Rice number from “Beauty and the Beast”, begins the solo CD by Elizabeth Ward Land. The singer-actresses’ resume includes Broadway, group vocals in the film “Enchanted” and playing the Mother Superior in the Menken/Slater musical “Sister Act”. The album ends in the style of another kind of sister act, the harmonizing Boswell Sisters, where the singer is joined for 42ND STREET by her co-stars from a stage show saluting the trio. That vocal blend with Amy Pietz and Michelle Duffy is pleasing to the ear as is its quaint period charm and bounce. For that, hooray.
A highlight of this LML album is a duet with the label’s founder and this CD’s executive producer, vocalist Lee Lessack, as sweet reflections on childhood’s ever-lingering memories radiate through their country-tinged, nostalgia-soaked FLIES ON THE BUTTER.
The album’s tasteful pianist and primary arranger, (is) John Boswell. The tender WHEN YOU TAKE MY HAND is one of Boswell’s own, written with Juile Last. It and the track honoring those other Boswells are two very different reasons to like “First Harvest”, which also has elements of dignity and grace.”
Elizabeth Ward Land’s varied show business career encompasses musicals, plays, concerts, voice-overs, commercials and television. On Broadway, she appeared as Marie in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (original cast, all three versions), PASSION, CITY OF ANGELS, and as a featured soloist in…