Doin’ Dunmore: Lazar Returning to Roots for Holiday Season 

By Steve Svetovich

Local music product Alyssa Lazar’s earliest gigs as a teenager included a few Dunmore spots.

And with a new release of her album, “Hopeless Romanticism,” Alyssa will be returning to one of her old stops, Crotti’s on Ash, just a few blocks up the street from Dunmore’s Schautz Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 26. She will be performing from 8 to 10 p.m.

Daughter of Mark and Maureen Lazar, Alyssa, 22, is home on a holiday visit. She has spent her past four plus years in Nashville, Tennessee, where she recently received a bachelor of arts degree. in commercial music with an emphasis in writing from the Belmont School of Music in Nashville. 

Alyssa embraces a unique set of genres on her new 7-song EP. She wrote all the songs and music.

The album, released this past Nov. 17, mixes pop and rock sounds with elements from other eras. The EP is available on ITunes and Amazon and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. 

Alyssa plays guitar, but piano is her primary musical instrument. Her favorite artists, who she plays when performing, include Elton John, Lady Gaga and Billy Joel.

Her rendition of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is scintillating. And likely to be heard at Crotti’s on Ash the day after Christmas.

Alyssa describes her music as piano-influenced pop/rock. Her fans often brand her shows as “Elton John meets Lady Gaga.”

Alyssa started performing at the tender age of four. 

By the time she was 15, Alyssa was performing in local venues, bars and restaurants throughout Northeast PA. Crotti’s on Ash, Andy Gavin’s in Green Ridge, and LaCucina in Dunmore were among her regular spots for performances. Others included the V-Spot, Russell’s Restaurant, Duffy’s Coffee House, Sydney’s Lounge and the old McNally’s in Green Ridge. 

Now she performs regular gigs in Nashville, including the 5 Spot where Lady Gaga performed while touring.

Alyssa’s new EP, includes two instrumental interludes.

“Hopeless Romanticism” combines today’s pop rock sound, the intricacy of 1970’s rock, with hints inspired by the music of the romantic era. It is riddled with chorale-like background vocals, piano and live strings performed by Jonathan Yudkin.

Yudkin has performed on albums of artists such as Taylor Swift and Bon Jovi.

Alyssa thoroughly enjoys song writing as much as playing piano and guitar. “This is the sound I was looking for with this EP,” she said. “It incorporates every musical aesthetic that I love the most and feels like the embodiment of who I was meant to be as an artist. I always loved classical and soundtrack music, but this is made to fit the pop/rock genre of today. 

“The EP takes what are true experiences of those close to me or even the imagination of a true experience and romanticizes it.

“Some of the songs are very raw and vulnerable.

“Each song is inspired by a different mood or event that may have happened in the romantic era of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. There is an emphasis on art and romance. There are several instrumental interludes.”

Alyssa said she performs two or three nights a week in Nashville. “Being discovered is so different now,” she said. “It happens, but you need to grow and build a following. It’s not a thing that happens a lot, but it does. 

“I focus on the places and venues where I am able to play my music and grow on my own. I don’t necessarily look for a break, but look to grow and grow as a musical artist and songwriter.”

The talented musical artist said she attended the Nashville Country Music Awards in 2017 and 2018. She even met country music legend Keith Urban. “He was very nice and had a good sense of humor. He even took the time to ask me about my career.”

You can find Alyssa’s new EP on most streaming platforms. She will be performing her songs from the EP along with other originals and classics during her appearance at Crotti’s on Ash the night after Christmas. 

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