When I think about the idea of recording again, I’m torn. There’s something weirdly comforting about knowing I have the songs outside of myself. Like going through a box of photographs. They’re memories. So that’s the pull that brings me back to the idea of recording… I just really hate the process. It brings out every negative, self-critical, perfectionistic trait I HATE; the parts of me for which I have little self-compassion. And in the ever-consuming, narcissistic, attention-seeking culture in which we live, why should my voice matter.
I constantly question if my songs are worthy. Then I think about how fiercely I connect to certain music, and I wonder if the songwriters of some of my favorite songs also ever grappled with this. What even makes a song worthy of sharing?
Weddings & Events: 3 West Productions
Laura is excited to announce her partnership with 3 West Productions, a Lancaster, PA based business run by a dynamic husband and wife team that expertly manages Live Entertainment, DJs, Lighting and Photo Entertainment for Weddings + Events! Check out some of Laura’s recent video shoot below, or click here to see all six videos of Laura performing select cover tunes live at the 3 West Studio.
Interested in booking Laura for your wedding or event? Contact [email protected] or call 717-368-8305
All in Time
ALL IN TIME is available online and via Amazon Prime!
Laura served as an actor and musician in the independent film, All in Time, with four of her original songs used: In Andy’s Room, Learning, Bedroom Light, and Toronto.
The film is available online via iTunes, Amazon Prime, and was featured in select theaters across the US and Internationally.
10 Female Singer / Songwriters I Love
In no particular order…
1. Tori Amos
Tori started it all for me. I remember vividly hearing her music for the first time and thinking, “What IS this?” She is simply one of a kind. I had the fortune of meeting her once and she graciously signed my record. Her style of playing and songwriting is beyond compare. Great article recently published on Buzzfeed. Read it here.
2. Joni Mitchell
Blue was another core shaking album. Joni epitomizes the folk, female singer/songwriter for me. Her voice is so effortless and clean. We also share a birthday. Clouds and A Case of You are two favorties.
3. Patty Griffin
I bought Patty Griffin’s first record on a whim, just digging the cover when I was browsing in the record store. Remember those days when we went to the store to buy entire albums? I have every album she has made. She’s twangy, raw genius.
4. Fiona Apple
The smokey siren. Fiona Apple introduced me to the 7th chord. Tidal is an experience. Again, I discovered Fiona during a record store browse. Shadowboxer was playing over the loud speaker and I asked the guy on duty who it was. He directed me to her CD and I immediately had to sit down and learn that song. Tiny lady. Guttural sound.
5. Alanis Morissette
I love her lyrics. I relate so much to her way of telling stories. She puts so much of the female experience into song. I only wish I could belt like her!
6. Natalie Merchant
Natalie makes me feel comfortable with my voice. She’s such a unique singer. She reminds me that you don’t need to have a huge voice to have a relevant voice. My Skin is still one of my all time favorite songs.
7. Stevie Nicks
If you want to learn how to captivate an audience with your eyes, watch Stevie Nicks. She personifies PRESENCE. She’s an icon, plain and simple. A mystical singer/songwriter. I wanted to be her!
8. Brandi Carlile
A more contemporary/recent discovery for me. Every note out of Brandi’s mouth is like gold. Strong, controlled, and just awesome. I love every record.
9. Kathleen Edwards
Kyle Swartzwelder turned me onto Kathleen Edwards. My guy took me to NY to see her live and I wound up losing my wallet in a cab. A Russian woman found it and contacted me via Facebook, and I was able to get it back in one piece. There are still honest people in the world. Anyway, Kathleen Edwards is another Canadian songwriter I love. It must be something in the water up there.
10. Sarah McLachlan
Sarah is a classic, contemporary singer/songwriter. Her voice is like velvet. I know no other way to describe it. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard her sing and thought she was amazing. I’m hoping to catch her tour this summer.
I started reading a book recently entitled Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff. Self-compassion is a powerful concept, and it’s one I never considered because:
A.) I never heard of it, and
B.) It never came naturally to me.
The idea behind it is simple really: be kind and compassionate to yourself when confronted with personal failings. It’s often easy to have compassion for others, offering understanding and kindness during times of strife or when mistakes are made. Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we can mercilessly judge and criticize ourselves for our various shortcomings. This whole concept struck a chord with me because beating myself up DOES come naturally to me, as I think it does to many others. I never considered that I could be kind to myself. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. We are all a part of a shared human experience.
Self-compassion is NOT self-pity or self-indulgence. Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. For cronic self-beater-uppers like me, I look at it as a way to retrain my brain to be more emotionally healthy.
I wanted to share a story from the book that resonated with me:
A Native American wisdom story tells of an old Cherokee who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
For more information on self-compassion, visit http://www.self-compassion.org/.