Joanne Lurgio
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Joanne Lurgio

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"Joanne Lurgio - 'Nothing Remains the Same" - Album Review"

Joanne Lurgio's album "Nothing Remains the Same" was released December 13th 2009. Following on from the succesful 2005 debut album, "Find A Dream -catch it if you dare", it's been awhile between drinks, but indeed, nothing does remain the same, except for the heart warming voice and the presence of a valuable songwriting talent.

"Nothing Remains the Same" is written and performed in it's near entirity by former Mofit Magazines' Singer Songwriter of the Year ( 2007 ) , Joanne Lurgio. An album of 12 diverse, but interlinked songs, it meanders it's way from country rock, to gospel, to tired and lonely ballads, and to simple stories of life itself. What started out as a couple of demo tracks at the infamous Pineyfest Demo Derby, ended up to be a complete round trip musical journey. Joanne takes up the story.....

JL - Through luck and friendship I had a wonderful opportunity to record some of my songs in Nashville, TN. It started out as a demo project, but the more I listened to my recordings, the more I was loving what was happening to my songs and realized I wanted them for myself, not simply demowork. I called my friend Mike Dunbar, who was engineering & producing the demo projects and asked to change direction. to start working on a full length CD. Without hesitation, Mike gathered up some of the best Nashville musicians and we set out to finish the album we'd only just started.


A Rhode Island native, Joanne made the long treck to StringHouse Studios in Nashville to work with long time resident music producer, Mike Dunbar, and as Dunbar puts it, ......

MD - "Joanne was just a pleasure to work with. Although we had some of the best session musicians contributing their talent, it was Joanne herself who provided the backbone of each track, both lyrically and musically, and who required only the lightest of musical intrpretation. Sure, the backing is there, but it is secondary to the strength of vocal lines, and the depth of the songriting as a whole".

Stylistically diverse, yet with a strong sense of continuity, all the tracks on this album take the listener both on a well travelled path, and also down the less travelled side alleys of personal feeling. The deceptively simple blues of "True Love" ( with great alto sax from John Heinrich ), to the elequant delivery and Southern gospel approach of "Walking on Sacred Ground" to the vivid imagery of the title track "Nothing Remains the Same", are all in some ways the same approach, yet with a slight shift in mood, tempo and texture.

With a putity of voice, and an honest no frills approach to production, "Nothing Remains the Same" is not a "perfectly" recorded album. On the converse, being largely recorded "live to tape" with minimal overdubs, and an almost lack of interrupting wizardry, a live studio feel is maintained whilst bringing expression, musicianship and depth of feeling to the forefront. What you see ( or, rather hear ) is what you get.

There are not many vocalists, let alone singer songwriters who can pull off an entire album of listenable and memorable songs.

If you like your music similar to a home cooked 12 course dinner with a warming mulled wine, each track with an everchanging flavour but a strong sense of direction, each with that sense of familiarity yet a subtle but profound difference, then "Nothing Remains the Same" is a must listen. Yes, it has been a long while between drinks, so it's well worth the time to sit back and absorb the atmosphere of a well crafted album. Available from CD Baby, and digitally available eveywhere.


- niteshift music, Sydney, NSW, Australia, January 19, 2010


"Local musician set to play at Newport’s Casino Theatre"

AWARD WINNER: Local musician Joanne Lurgio is looking forward to performing hits from her award winning albums at the 295-seat Casino Theatre, which is located in the recently renovated International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport on Sunday at 7 p.m. She will be opening for acclaimed folk artist, Cheryl Wheeler. Photo courtesy John Hanes
Jessica Botelho
2/16/12
Local singer-songwriter Joanne Lurgio said she is looking forward to not only performing at the 295-seat Casino Theatre, which is located in the recently renovated International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, but also to be opening for folk artist, Cheryl Wheeler, on Sunday at 7 p.m.

When she found out via e-mail that she will be gigging with Wheeler, she could hardly contain her excitement.

“I almost screamed in my chair,” Lurgio said. “I was just thrilled. It’s one of those ‘pinch me’ situations. The International Hall of Fame is beautiful and Cheryl is a phenomenal song writer.”

Wheeler’s original songs have been covered by acclaimed artists including Bette Milder, Garth Brooks, Kenny Loggins as well as Peter, Paul and Mary, to name a few.

Wheeler, who grew up in Timonium, Maryland, resides in Swansea, Massachusetts and has lived in Providence and surrounding cities since 1976. She said she is just as eager to play with Lurgio.

“I love to hear the openers,” she said. “I have a lot a really good people open for me.”

Lurgio, a 1977 Pilgrim High School graduate, has been playing guitar since she was 10. Her father bought her an acoustic guitar and encouraged her, as well as her older brother, Don, to pursue their musical aspirations.

“My dad recently passed away and he was one of my biggest fans,” she sad. “He was a great supporter. My brother is also a great performer. My son Joseph is a phenomenal musician and plays in a Boston-based band called Three Tall Pines. He’s been listening to music since he was in the womb.”

Lurgio began playing folk masses at church in the 1970s. Since then, she’s released two albums, 2005’s “Find A Dream, Catch It If You Dare,” and 2009’s “Nothing Remains the Same.” Both have received awards from Motif Magazine, a local arts publication.

The magazine also named her best singer/songwriter for 2007, as well as 2011. These facts flatter Lurgio, as she has a great deal of respect for other local musicians.

“There are so many awesome players and writers in the area,” she said. “It’s an awesome, supportive community.”

Lurgio should know, as she has been the membership coordinator and treasurer for the Rhode Island Songwriters Association (RISA) since 2000.

The non-profit organization was established in the early 1990s and is made up of nearly 150 members from throughout the United States. They frequently meet at the homes of members and incorporate themes to craft music to. Then, they discuss and critique the songs they create.

“Probably four songs on my album have come from those meeting,” Lurgio said. “For example, ‘True Love’ was a theme-driven song. The theme was ‘sympathetic vibration,’ and I made an awesome song out of it.”

Additionally, RISA has recently launched a program, RISA Rising, for teens who want to learn more about how to be successful songwriters. Dan Durand is spearheading the program.

“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm of these young kids who really want to learn how to write great songs and do something with their music,” Lurgio said.

She also runs an “open mic night” on Tuesdays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Biki’s Warwick Gathering Spot at 2077 West Shore Road. The Rhode Island Songwriter’s Association sponsors the weekly sessions.

But, Lurgio is focused on the performance at The Casino Theatre.

“I can’t wait,” she said.

- By JESSICA BOTELHO, Warwick, Beacon, February 16, 2012


"R.I. honky tonk queen Joanne Lurgio graces on Nothing Remains The Same CD"

Joanne Lurgio sings and plays a heartfelt collection of honky tonk roots tunes on her latest CD Nothing Remains The Same. Lurgio not only has a beautifully strong voice to display. She is a crafty songwriter with a knack for keeping country roots music fun while also stepping out into classy, meaning of life ballads that make you feel what she was feeling when she wrote it.

“Drink It In” finds Lurgio strutting herself stuff, her voice swinging with verve around the country beat. She sings with a forceful personality and when her steel guitar player John Heinrich picks off his notes, you’re inside a heavenly sound where all the musical colors have just the right place in the song.

“True Love” gets some of its swagger from saxophone playing Heinrich’s unfurling bursts of talent. It his hard to tell which instrument, steel guitar or sax, is Heinrich’s main passion as he plays both with complete mastery. Lurgio is lucky to have this man on board. Yet, Lurgio keeps things in her own personality by mustering up a gust of voice from seemingly out of nowhere. It’s quite pleasant just to listen to her voice ride its rangy possibilities.

Title track “Nothing Remains The Same” gets its lift from Lurgio’s vocal oomph that starts up right out of the gate. She doesn’t need to build a momentum to get to a place of power. She has a zero to 60 in two seconds accelerator. As songwriter, Lurgio lines up the backbone of drums, bass, and piano into one push. From there, she can let her vocal heft catch the right vibe and ride it all the way home.

“One Day More” moves like a two step shuffle through a tasty tapestry of piano, mandolin, and guitar. Uncanny, Lurgio has a snap, crackle, and pop vocal delivery that fits her lyrics like a glove.

“Would You Mind” has a mournful pedal steel melody conjuring a feeling of forlorn memories and emotions. Lurgios’ voice wrings a lot of effective melody out of her lyrics. It’s heavenly when she holds a note, uplifting when she hits the chorus with determined fiber.

“Stone Walls” is a straight forward ballad made beautiful simply by Lurgio’s voice and her steel guitar player. Lurgio can breathe life into any song at any tempo on sheer lung power alone. It is hard to imagine a dry eye among her live audiences during her sadder songs. There’s a sharpness in her voice that brings home the truth of her songs with an emotional directness.

It helps to have a crack band behind any singer. Drummer Fred Satterfield and bass player Mike Dunbar provide a solid bottom while guitarist Mike Baker and steel guitar player John Heinrich pull these tunes along with effective melodic flourishes. Keyboardist Willie Rainsford lavishes these songs with solid chord progressions and tasteful tinkling. Dunbar produced this disc, and he got a hell of a sound out of the voice and the instruments. Everything here pours out of the stereo speakers with personality and oomph.

“Something New” gets its finesse from Heinrich’s steel guitar. Yet its Lurgio’s voice that becomes the locomotive pushing it down the tracks, drawing her voice and emotion up from some place deep inside, letting it out with a very educated self-control.

“Red Crescent Moon” takes its time unfurling its gusty vocal beauty and exuberant guitars.

“I’m Letting Go” has a melodic backbone that can’t be denied. Guitars and piano are so solid here you can almost picture the players laying down their tracks in the studio. The steel guitar whistles beautifully and the electric lead guitar is snappy and zesty. The piano builds like a hillock and could stand on its own.

“Walking On Sacred Ground” is a country waltz that makes you want to dance, an appealing shuffle, with heavy piano chords making you move your shoulders while the rhythm section makes you move your feet.

“Tremble” is a peppy, upbeat work of joy. Saxophone melody swings around the beat with a smooth allure. But again, it is Lurgio who makes one of the strongest impressions. She doesn’t just sing the chorus, she scales it, making you feel her voice as something that moves upward with muscular grasp.

“My Heart Has A Crazy Mind Of Its Own” reminds me of Dolly Parton in the perky, vibrancy Lurgio brings out in her timbre. Charming lyrics get a gentle affectionate caress from Lurgio’s inflection. It’s also a fun shuffle with the band letting their hair down a little. Guitar chords jump up and down like playful children and give an extra bump to that moving shuffle.

There is just so much to love on this CD Nothing Remains The Same. Joanne Lurgio is a force to be reckoned with. No matter which genre you favor, Lurgio should go over well with anybody who just loves to hear a beautiful voice backed by a crack honky tonk band.

- By BILLCOPELAND, Bill Copeland Music News, July 28, 2011


"Lurgio's anthem for breast cancer survivors nominated for music award"

Award-winning singer-songwriter Joanne Lurgio, of Warwick, is thrilled her song “Won’t Ever Quit,” an anthem of inspiration to show the determination and strength of breast cancer survivors, was nominated for “Best Song” in this year’s Limelight Magazine Music Awards.

“It was such an amazingly special project,” said Lurgio, who is also up for an award in the “Best Singer-Songwriter” category. “It went from a little thing to this huge production. Sometimes you can’t help that when the muse starts coming.”

Each year, Limelight Magazine, a New England-based online arts and entertainment publication, conducts an online reader’s poll allowing fans to nominate local bands and musicians they love via email.

After the numbers are tallied, a ballot is created and posted on the web. Fans, and artists alike, are given the opportunity to vote online for their favorite acts about a month or so before the ceremony.

Cranston resident and breast cancer survivor Meri Kennedy is one of several people who nominated Lurgio, as Lurgio wrote “Won’t Ever Quit” for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation per the request of Lynn Simon, the Gloria Gemma 5K coordinator. It ended up being the kickoff song for the Gloria Gemma 5K race in October.

Lurgio recorded the song last year at Reel to Real Studios in Cranston with help from a few musician friends, plus two Rhode Island high school choruses: Warwick’s Bishop Hendricken and St. Mary Bay View Academy in Riverside.

“I walked into the room when Bay View was practicing and I just bawled,” Lurgio said. “And the guys blew my mind. My eyes just filled up because it was beautiful, and they were so proud to be there. It was magic.”

Kennedy, as well as several other breast cancer survivors and their family and friends, also sang on the recording. Through Lurgio's song, Kennedy said, she found her voice as a survivor.

“I’m not known as a singer – my daughter used to cry when I would sing – but to be part of the chorus meant the world to me,” said Kennedy, who was diagnosed in 2005 and is now entering into her seventh year cancer-free. Still, she is facing more chronic illness. “I was in that room with other breast cancer survivors and it was so empowering. It gave me a way to talk about it and sing about it.”

She also said she plays the song each morning, as well as throughout the day, as inspiration to keep going. A key line is, “In the light of this love I don’t walk alone, and for this I won’t ever quit.”

“It was one of the most uplifting projects that I have ever been involved with,” Kennedy said. “The song is amazing. She’s already a winner in my book.”

Lurgio met Kennedy aboard the Gloria Gemma Hope Bus, a mobile wellness and resource RV that aims to raise breast health awareness, encourage threefold screening (breast self-exam, annual clinical exam and annual mammograms) and provide educational resources about breast cancer in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Lurgio volunteers on the bus, playing songs for survivors and their loved ones.

While she’s not a cancer survivor, Lurgio feels she is able to relate, as she experienced loss when her father passed away from a rare disease about two years ago. She kept this in mind when writing the song.

“I was conscious of the fact that I am not a breast cancer survivor, however, I knew what it felt like when my dad was sick, and I knew the struggle,” she said. “What was important to me was that I could be their voice.”

Despite the fact that she misses her father, she is grateful for the care that Hospice provided and the support they offered. Soon after his passing, she came across a Beacon Hospice ad on Craigslist calling for a volunteer music therapist to visit facilities that house Hospice patients.

Hospice assigned her to two facilities, including the South Kingstown Nursing Home and Cedar Crest Nursing Home. She also was recently assigned to Coventry Health Center.

“There were only two patients at South Kingstown, and they are both improved enough that they are off Hospice care – I’m going to take credit for that,” Lurgio joked before becoming serious. “Music is medicine – it’s healing. It’s absolutely amazing to watch the Alzheimer’s patients I work with come to life. It’s a mutual gratification. They love it and I love it.”

As Kennedy expressed to Limelight via email, Lurgio’s “talent and gift of song has helped many who are currently battling breast cancer or have survived.” But Kennedy’s words are music to Lurgio’s ears, and she hopes “Won’t Ever Quit,” will reach even more people.

In April, she’ll be heading to Nashville to meet friends, perform and meet with representatives at Broadcast Music Inc. in hopes of exposing more people to the song.

“I want it to go around the world and be a song for anybody who’s suffering,” Lurgio said. “That’s what it’s about. You’re never alone.”

To download the song for 99 cents, visit Lurgio’s website at JoanneLurgio.com. All proceeds benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. She also has hardcopies available for $5 each. Two dollars from every hardcopy purchase will be donated to the cause. The other $3 is used for production fees.

Lurgio, the membership coordinator and treasurer for the Rhode Island Songwriters Association, a non-profit organization she’s been affiliated with since 2000, has a few awards under her belt already, though not from Limelight. Motif Magazine, another local arts publication, honored her for her 2005 album, “Find A Dream, Catch It If You Dare” and 2009’s “Nothing Remains the Same.” Motif also named her best singer-songwriter for 2007 and 2011.

Since she hasn’t released anything since 2009, she plans to visit Lakewest Recording Studio in West Greenwich with studio owner and producer Jack Gauthier in the spring and summer to start recording a new album.

“I have more than enough songs for it,” she said.

Until then, she’s gearing up for the award show and basking in the excitement of her nominations.

“I’m happy I’m writing songs that people are relating to and like,” she said. “It’s a great honor because it’s what I love to do.”

Lurgio will find out if she’s a winner on March 16 at Limelight’s fifth annual award show at The Rock Junction in Coventry beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is all ages. Tickets can be purchased before the show at brownpapertickets.com or at the door. Learn more about Limelight Magazine at LimelightMagazine.com.

- By Jessica Botelho, Warwick Beacon, February 21, 2013


Discography

Won't Ever Quit (2012) a single ~ Winner of the Jane's Joint Songwriting Competition. Nomininated for Song of the Year, Limelight Magazine Music Awards (tbd)

Won't Ever Quit's first purpose was to serve as a theme song for the Gloria Gemma Breast Resource Foundation 4th Annual 5k, but my hope is that she will reach far beyond and offer comfort by shining light, inspiration & hope on those going through a difficult struggle and know "In the light of this love you don't walk alone and for this we Won't Ever Quit"

Nothing Remains the Same (2009)
Voted 2010 Album of the Year, Motif Music Awards ~
Through luck and friendship I had a wonderful opportunity to record some of my songs in Nashville, TN. It started out as a demo project, but the more I listened to my recordings, the more I was loving what was happening to my songs and realized I wanted them for myself not simply demowork. Called my friend Mike Dunbar who was engineering & producing the demo projects and asked to change direction and start working on a full lenght CD. Without hesitation, Mike gathered up some of the finest Nashville musicians and we set out to finish the album -

Find a Dream...catch it if you dare (2005)
Voted 2006 Album of the Year, Motif Music Awards ~Back in August 2004, I entered Lakewest Recording Studio to work with owner/engineer/producer John Paul Gauthier (Jack) to start this project, my dream . With the help of some incredible musicians: Duke Robillard,, Kevin Fallon, Marty Ballou, Michael DeQuattro, Joseph Lurgio, Paul Dube, Don Lurgio & Mary Ann Rossoni, my words & music have come alive, each song has a life of its own. October 2005, I caught my dream!

Photos

Bio

A talented songwriter, combined with her gifted voice and Joanne Lurgio ~ a talented songwriter, combined with her gifted voice and wonderful guitar work, will prompt you to chase your dreams and offer a tale or two about ordinary people who, like her, excel and inspire. Her songs, singing and guitar work, honed and polished in the venues of New England, have a distinct Americana feel with New England charm. She moves from country to bluegrass, folk and r&b to gospel, all with a bluesy undertone. A hard-hitting voice that fills the room with original songs that will awaken your soul with visions of life's great" moments.
Writing songs of life, love and simply being during our ever changing lives; bound to make you ask, “Is she talking about me?”

A big start to 2013 as Joanne opens for the fabulous singer/songerwriter,Vance Gilbert. Named 2012 Female Vocalist of the Year, Joanne had the honor of opening for singer, songwriter, comedienne extraordinaire Cheryl Wheeler; Performing to a sold out crowd at Newport RI's, Casino Theatre, International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Adding to the list of honors, Joanne recently wrote and recorded, the theme song for the 2012 Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation 4th annual 5k~ Won't Ever Quit, all proceeds donated to support the foundation. The song recently won Best Song honors at national songwriter contest held in upstate New York.

other notes:
2013 ~ Nominated Singer/Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year (Won't Ever Quit) , Limelight Magazine Music Survey
2012 ~ Won't Ever Quit ~ won Best Song, Jane's Joint Songwriting Contest
2012 ~ Female Vocalist of the Year, Motif Magazine
2006 & 2010 ~ Album of the Year, Motif Magazine
2007 & 2011 ~ Singer/Songwriter of the Year, Motif Magazine
RI Songwriters Association ~ membership coordinator/treasurer
Providing 'music therapy' for Hospice patients