LoriAnn

 

If you were watching this 5'1" petite young lady sing, at times you might think she was almost lip-syncing.  Her extraordinarily powerful voice belies her diminutive stature, with a contagious smile that captivates everyone in the audience.  She is a contemporary singer/songwriter who draws you in to her own little world, the minute she hits her first note.

If you had asked LoriAnn when she was little, where she would be in the next ten years, St. Augustine, FL would have been an extremely unlikely option.  An unlikely choice, which turned Northern Florida oddly enough into a home away from home.  In an almost Jimmy Buffet/Apostle-like fashion, LoriAnn gained an eclectic fan-base not only for her commercial songwriting and phenomenal voice, but almost equally for that "it" factor that you just can't seem to put your finger on.  You might not be able to put your finger on it, but if you see her live you'll get "it!"  She has a unique aura that engages an audience ranging from 4-year-olds to 97-year-olds.  I have a sneaking suspicion that people subconsciously attend her shows on a regular basis, not only to hear that deep throaty voice, but also to absorb some of that optimism and sunny outlook on life.  This is obviously why the sunflower logo embodies LoriAnn's personality.

"Sunflowers always want to face the sunlight no matter where they are.  I am like one in the sense that I always try to look at the positive to get me through the negative.  People always tell me that I'm always smiling.  Of course that's not the case or else I probably wouldn't be a songwriter.  But I do try to find a ray of sunlight even in my darkest songs, and I smile because I want to brighten someone else's day even if I might be having a bad one myself.  If you want to feel better, find someone else to lift up."

She is a self-proclaimed mutt (half-southern and half-northern).  "My mother is from Tifton, GA and my father is from a small town in NY called Rye.  I was raised like a southern child in the heart of NY."  Now why in the world would she ever be a little different?  All I can say is from all of that confusion, she has been able to clearly create a perfect blend of pop crossover music that is uniquely universal and subconsciously blurs the lines of pop, contemporary christian, rock, and country.

Modern dance and ballet introduced her to the stage at the tender young age of four.  "Unlike many mothers who see talent in their children, my mom never forced or encouraged me to take piano lessons, or participate in the school plays and community theater.  She always thought I had too much on my plate, and encouraged me to just relax, play with the other kids after school, do your homework and take it easy.  I knew from a young age, the first time I ever heard my first song on the radio, that being a recording artist was what I wanted to do with my life.  I picked up the piano early on in life, and began writing my own songs soon after.  Music was more a way of life for me, even when I was in elementary school and high school," says LoriAnn.  "I could sing, play and write songs 24 hours 7 days a week, if I didn't need to occasionally get some sleep- it's who I am.  Working hard is something I've always enjoyed, because then I enjoy the reward that much more."

She continued singing in church choir and glee club throughout college, and toured with a Top 40 country band on weekends. In her spare time, she began to learn the guitar and sang demos for other songwriters.  She moved to Nashville, TN, where she became the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for a pop rock country band called Sugar Shack.  The band quickly propelled to headline status at clubs in Nashville and around the southeast.  The lead guitarist and LoriAnn eventually branched off to form a Fleetwood Mac-inspired country duo named Beasley 'n Feeley.  Before they knew it they were in DaCapo Music's studio on Music Row cutting their first all-original album. The album, So Far So Good, was released and gave them successful Nashville recognition among music industry insiders.  After a few years the duo parted ways, LoriAnn went on to become a featured songwriter at the world-famous Bluebird Cafe, where she joined the likes of very few artists such as Garth Brooks, Faith Hill & Keith Urban who are asked by Barbara Cloyd to play her coveted showcases.  LoriAnn received her own independent record deal and went on to release 3 solo albums, "Also Known As Love," "This Town," "On My Way" chock full of songs penned by LoriAnn herself.

On a weekend getaway, LoriAnn visited St. Augustine with her mother and she just fell in love with the spirituality of the town.  "I was looking for a change, and I wanted to get back to my roots and why I fell in love with music and songwriting in the first place.  It was a very cathartic and tranquil time for me, and I wrote some great songs during that period where I had time to be alone for a change, and really listen to my heart.  A local spot called The Milltop Tavern had acoustic entertainment, and she had the opportunity to play some of her original material.  She did, the crowd loved it, and she was hired for some gigs right on the spot.  LoriAnn pounded the cobblestone of St. Augustine, and before she knew it she was playing five nights a week at various restaurants and clubs up and down Florida's coast.  She achieved local stardom in the Northern Florida region as well as international stardom, due to St. Augustine being the oldest city in the U.S.  "People come from all over the world to visit the little city. If I can use my voice and my music to inspire more people, then I am doing my job."  

LoriAnn has acquired quite the fan base, because after the tourists see her play in St. Augustine, they go home to their respective states or countries and spread the word about this incredible girl they saw perform in St. Augustine. Her welcome in the music industry is long overdue, because her fans have been inspired by her talent for years.  Most recently, LoriAnn received a Billboard World Song Contest Award for her original song, "You're So Much More.  She competed in the "Nashville Star" television auditons for the USA Network, and she made it into the Top 40 out of 50,000 hopeful contestants.  Her last independent album, "Also Known As Love," was produced by Charlie Craig. Charlie has worked with the likes of Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and The Wilkinson's.  Charlie is an acclaimed songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and many other artists.  "Also Known As Love" was recorded at County Q Studios in Nashville, TN (where Kenny Chesney has been known to record his albums), and includes a variety of country pop songs.  "I really think there's something for everybody on the album, and I'm really proud of it." WQIK 99.1FM in Jacksonville, FL is currently playing two of LoriAnn's latest singles "If I Only Had a Heart, and "You're So Much More," which was penned by LoriAnn herself.

LoriAnn finds the most meaning in her music when she is leading worship at church, and she is able to watch the lyrics wash over the people and be transformed.  My music has grown with me over the years, and as you get older the wisdom you have gained cannot help but come out in your songs.  I am in a new season of my life, where I have found my gifts and my strengths, as well as my weaknesses.  Now I want to get lost in the purpose for my life, and be able to affect others and help them along their journey.

"Each of us should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." - 1 Peter 4:10