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To experience Lori for the first time is to experience the joy and wonder that comes from a pleasant surprise or a first kiss. Wonder and surprise are often the first reactions to hearing the depth, range and quality of the voice that emanates from such an unsuspecting source. And just as you move past those initial thoughts, you are immediately enveloped by that same voice, one that is remarkably smooth and melodic yet powerful and demanding at the same time.
A Beautiful voice from a beautiful person: Lori is the owner of an amazing gift that is equally matched by her ability to take songs and arrangements and transform them in such a way that it’s hard to image that they could have ever been written with anyone but her in mind. But as gifted a singer and performer as she is, her talents are over-shadowed by the special person that she is. Her energy and presence have been known to immediately brighten a room both on and off stage. Her infectious smile, affable nature and warm personality make you feel as though you’ve known her for years and instantly make you a fan – even before you ever hear her sing.
Having been professionally trained as a youth herself, Lori now spends considerable time working with and fostering young talent in and around the greater Boston Area, where she can be seen performing regularly. Her live performances are like an amusement ride; filled with audience interaction, frequent impromptu set changes and a playful banter that keeps the audience fully engaged and entertained. Lori is more comfortable on stage than most people are in their favorite pair of jeans.
Lori’s debut release, Unconditionally Yours, was for those not familiar with her remarkable live performances, their first introduction to this talented artist. And while it was critically praised and earned her an Urban Music Award in 2006, it only touched the surface of the artistic abilities that were yet to come. Now, back with a new project, Love Changes, Lori presents listeners with blended offerings of soul, R&B, spoken word and gospel, which result in a smooth sophomore release that build upon the foundation solidly laid by Unconditionally Yours.
The best CDs are always the ones where you can just put them in and press play and this is definitely the case with Love Changes. The disc is a collection of slow and mid-tempo grooves that flow seamlessly from one track into the next without disturbing the groove. With 5 tracks on the CD with love in the title, one would have to assume that Lori has Love on her Mind. Guest appearances on the disc include spoken word artist, Omekongo Dibinga, hip hop artist, Omega Red and singer/songwriters Leon Jones from the band Ahmir and Montez Cardwell. And still present, proving to be more than a passing thought is the live instrumentation.
“This time around, the sound is a little different”, says Lori. “The foundation of live instrumentation is still there, as well as material that matters, but I’ve grown and so has my music.”
Not many artists still incorporate live instrumentation in their recordings but for Lori, the live instrumentation on her recordings is a holdover from the fact that she is a live performer first, and a recording artist second - a clear break from the dominance of studio artists currently present in the music industry. “There’s nothing like the joy of performing for me. I started doing it when I was a little girl and I haven’t sat down since” says Lori.