For 11 years now, Lisa Daniello has been singing on the streets of Rockland. The local vocalist has lent her estimable pipes to a number of bands over the years; come Saturday, June 19, she will perform at the annual Summer Solstice Celebration in downtown Rockland as a member of Belfast-area blues band The Juke Rockets.

“I always sing on Museum Street, except for one time. We’ll be there for the blues festival club crawl too,” said Daniello.

Daniello, a Rockland native who spent much of her childhood in Owls Head and went through the former Maine School Administrative District 5 system, has been singing since she was a girl. She remembers singing in the lower schools under the tutelage of Arthur Chickering and with Dick Walton at Rockland District High School. She was among the many former students who put together a reception for Walton and Marlene Hall after their final RDHS spring concert last month; Hall is retiring and Walton is moving down to junior high.

“He was my mentor, really,” Daniello said. “He was really encouraging of my singing. I remember once I wanted to take psychology but it was the same time as chorus and he said I absolutely couldn’t not be in that.”

Daniello joked that she might have ended up being a psychologist. She currently is looking for work in production.

“I was at Sylvania for 16 years, the best job I ever had,” she said.

Whatever she lands, it will have to have day hours because the evenings are devoted to making music, with The Juke Rockets; with Falmouth-based The Locals; and with fiancé Patrick Ginnaty, another longtime Midcoast musician who currently plays with The Juke Rockets. The two met at a jam session years ago and reconnected via MySpace, where both maintain music pages.

“He’s been playing guitar since he was 17, and now he’s teaching me,” Daniello said.

No one had to teach Daniello how to sing; she said Walton dubbed her “a natural.” But when she graduated from high school, she was at loose ends. She wanted to sing, but had to figure out how.

“The band thing kind of scared me,” she said.

But one day she saw an ad on the local cable channel about a band looking for a female vocalist and thought, well, why not.

“I beat out 12 girls, singing ‘Black Velvet.’ I still get a lot of requests for that,” she said.

That was 20 years ago, and the band was local classic rock band Shades of Blue. Since then, Daniello has performed with the country Rock Canyon Band, bar/dance bands Smokin’ Hose and Blue Collar and the jazz Shaiben Ensemble. Those who have seen her at Rockland’s street events have seen her with The Grind and Beauty & The Beast, the occasional duo she and Ginnaty put together. Now she is singing the blues with The Juke Rockets, whose current configuration also features Bob Strusz, Steve Mellor and Ed Blush. The band rehearses in Strusz’s barn in Morrill – quite a drive for Daniello and Ginnaty, who live in Bremen.

“I’ve worked with Bob for years; the first time was with Smokin’ Hose,” she said.

As she has performed with these very different groups, Daniello has discovered how much she enjoys singing in a variety of genres. She said she particularly fell in love with the jazz standards she sang with Shaiben, “real old fashioned kind of stuff.” She also enjoyed the country gig, which she said was easiest on the vocal cords.

“I love rock too and the blues … I just really love to sing,” she said.

Fans on the street always respond enthusiastically when Daniello sings a Janis Joplin cover and other hard-hitting tunes, but she admitted her favorite thing to sing is ballads.

“‘Angel from Montgomery’ is my favorite, I just love to sing that,” she said.

At the moment, both The Juke Rockets and The Locals are playing a lot of private party gigs. But Daniello looks forward to both the Summer Solstice and the North Atlantic Blues Festival club crawl performances because she always sees people she knows from way back. She’ll also likely see her youngest fan, grandson Landon who lives in Rockland with Daniello’s daughter; she has two other daughters, and her mother still lives in Owls Head. She hopes to see her former teacher, “Mr. Walton,” Saturday, June 19.

“I don’t think he’s heard me sing since high school! I’m going to send him an e-mail,” she said.

Daniello said she wonders if she had gone into singing professionally whether she would enjoy it as much as she does.

“You know, I think if it was a job, it wouldn’t be so much fun,” she said. “I am totally passionate about music.”

The Juke Rockets will be one of several bands playing live on the streets of Rockland Saturday, June 19. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and also includes music by Bay Winds North, Rattleboxx and Undercover, as well as children’s activities and lots of food. Admission is free.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to