Lori Lampkin has come a long way in just a few short years. Five years ago, her lifelong dream of pursuing a singing career remained simply that – a dream. She had been writing her own original songs for some time, slowly building her own music catalogue. Lori would jot down ideas whenever and wherever they came to her – riding on the bus after a long day at work, lying awake in bed at night. Sometimes, she would even call her home voicemail and sing her ideas into the phone so that she wouldn’t forget the melodies and lyrics. But she wasn’t happy pursuing music as a “hobby”. More than anything, she wanted to record her own CD. At times, life and luck work together to push us in the direction we were always meant to go. And once that happens, there is no turning back.
As luck would have it, Lori befriended a co-worker who just happened to be a singer. Inspired by her friend, she began taking steps to make her dream a reality. She started attending music circles to connect with other singers and music professionals and to begin educating herself about the music business. Lori cut her teeth on two demo tracks recorded in a studio in NYC. Those tracks created a stepping stone for her, which ultimately led her to the production team of Joe Mattis (Island Records) and Kevin Williams. Once Joe signed on to produce her current project, he quickly realized that they needed to go to Nashville in order to make the record they were both envisioning. Listening to some of the tracks from the finished product, it is easy to see that the Nashville decision was a good one. The amazing musicianship present on the recordings comes from seasoned session players who have worked with some of the biggest names in the business. And then there are Lori’s vocals, which are delivered with honesty and passion. Despite having no musical training, Lori belts out vocals in the booth like a pro. Besides singing all of the leads, she also did all of her own vocal arranging and performed all of the background vocals on the record.
Lori’s debut CD, titled “That Place”, may not be strictly autobiographical, but it is certainly based upon her life. All of the experiences that have shaped her life and made her who she is today have also made their way in to her songwriting. “All That I Know”, the opening track on the CD, is an upbeat tune that celebrates love and shows off Lori’s more playful side. The more serious and mature side of love is displayed in the waltz titled “Once Was Enough”. But nowhere are the depths of Lori’s emotions more evident than in tracks like “That Place Where You Loved Me” and “Cling to Me”. The former aches for that perfect place in love where we wish we could always reside, and the latter describes sadness and longing over those relationships we don’t nurture and sometimes just let slip away. One of the more upbeat songs on the CD, “Whatever Gets You Through”, was ironically written in the days after the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. The scale of the tragedy overwhelmed Lori, as it did most people, and she turned to songwriting as a form of catharsis. The song suggests that sometimes we need to get back to the simple things in life in order to make it through the rough patches. “When She Sings” gives us a sense of just how important the music really is to Lori; and “Why Me?”, rather than espousing pity as the title suggests, is a catchy, almost gospel-like tune that reminds us we should be thankful for all the good things in our lives.
Lori’s own musical tastes are eclectic and span across generations. While her songwriting is not forced, she inevitably draws from this vast well in order to create her own music. The result is a mix of country, soul and blues infused with a style that is all her own. Her demo tracks have earned her an Honorable Mention from the international Song of the Year contest (current judges include Norah Jones and Jon Bon Jovi), and also a place on their Suggested Artists list. She has also caught the attention of RIAA certified promoter Ed Dorsey of THEDORSEYTOUCH. Lori Lampkin has come a long way in just a few short years. But clearly, this is just the beginning.