Lorna Bracewell
Gig Seeker Pro

Lorna Bracewell


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Brace Yourself: Lorna Bracewell takes spotlight on stage and growing role in activism"

by Liz Stinson

Lorna Bracewell insists she’s not the next Ani DiFranco. Her smoky voice, aggressive guitar playing and insightful lyrics might suggest something different, but the 24-year-old singer-songwriter modestly insists it’s a ridiculous notion.

“I think, ‘What are all these idiot critics doing comparing me to her?’” she said. “I’m flattered because in my holy trinity of artists, she’s like number one.”

And besides, she added, “her hair is way better than mine will ever be.”

OK, so maybe DiFranco does have her on the hair, but Bracewell has the lyrics and the voice to hold her own against the established songstress.

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Fla., Bracewell started out with an unorthodox instrument for a singer-songwriter.

“I played drums for years in a local rock band,” she said. “I had very gracious parents who tolerated me beating them (drums) morning, noon and night.”

With pressure from her band-mates to start performing her own songs, Bracewell eventually emerged from the protective shield of the drum set and took front and center with her acoustic guitar.

“It was different,” she said of her transition from the back beat to the main focus. “When you’re playing drums, you’re backing up whoever is up front, but now that I am solo with just me and my guitar, there’s a lot more responsibility.”

That increase in responsibility usually rests with her ability to write lyrics that her audience can connect to, especially since her live shows usually consist of just her playing acoustically.

“A lot of what I do is telling stories and kind of interacting with the audience. The more production a show has, the further away from the audience you get,” she said.

Keeping it simple is a singer-songwriter’s mantra, and Bracewell said she considers the simple four-chord harmonies that often define folk music as a sort of packaging for a greater message.

“For me, a lot more time is spent on the lyrics. The music I kind of take for granted. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing,” she said. “I stumble across melodies as I’m working with the words. Melody is like an accident for me, but I will obsess and fuss over a lyric for months.”

Bracewell’s lyrics often serve as a vehicle for discussion of social and political issues, and her large and growning role in activism reflects her subject matter.

In St. Petersburg, she co-founded a concert series called On this Earth: Art to inform, enlighten and empower, which raises money for Habitat for Humanity, the YWCA and Community Action Stops Abuse.

She also tours the country presenting her workshop “Love 101: Rethinking love, sex and power,” which explores abusive relationships and teaches women to be aware of domestic violence.

While she enjoys giving talks and doing workshops, there’s a lot less pressure when she conveys her message with music, she said.

“I think people are in a different place when they listen to music,” she said. “When someone is standing up and singing, we’re not in that criticial mental place of Do I agree with the music or do I disagree with the music? It’s kinda taken for granted that we agree with the music.”
Bracewell’s repertoire of folky songs spans five albums, with her latest, “Flowers on the Chains,” out since February.

Her style and writing have always focused on storytelling and social commentary, but she said her process has become more developed and she hopes it shows in her music.

“I think now when I write, there’s a lot more craft to what I write. When you’re first writing songs at 16, 17, or 18 years old, you’re just a little bundle of emotions and you’re just kind of spewing it,” she said.

“When I used to write a song and it turned out to be an effective song that people could relate to, it was just luck, and now I have more of a clear idea of what I am trying to express to the listener. It’s going to be a more focused energy.”

- Lincoln Journal Star's Ground Zero weekend A&E insert

"CD Review - God Forbid - The Tampa Tribune"

"There's a depth and resonance to 'God Forbid.' Bracewell's lyrics have a straightforward simplicity that takes some writers years of bad metaphors to achieve.

Her sense of economy hits a new peak on the title track, which covers political, personal and artistic statements in sharp, bold strokes. First track 'When I Fall' opens with some boldly sexual imagery (I wanna move my mouth from the rim of my glass onto you) while the weight of heartache is palpable in closing track 'Driving Home.'

Her singing and guitar playing are tough and taut; her production is spare but spot-on: Check the trembling guitars on feminist anthem 'Independence Day.'"
- Curtis Ross, music critic for The Tampa Tribune - Curtis Ross

"Live performance review - Sunrise Theatre"

As a promoter and theatre executive director I want to pass on a few comments about the remarkable Ms. LORNA BRACEWELL, who I had the pleasure of presenting on our stage recently, opening for Karla Bonoff.

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (or so it feels) there were a good number of independent young women with acoustic guitars who could command a large audience's rapt attention. Singer-songwriters who had something coherent and relevant to say, and who could genuinely move the listener with something more substantial than just a pretty song.

In this day of American Idol and political correctness and cookie-cutter entertainment product, Lorna really, really stands out. As a throwback to more interesting times, a throwback in the very best sense of the word, she deserves your attention.

A totally engaging voice, a prowess on acoustic guitar that allows her to paint with many colors, and an easy, intimate manner with her listeners....

A commanding and absolutely fearless stage presence...

And offstage... a total professional and a joy to work with.

I think Lorna's the ideal opener for the right act, but be on notice - if there's any justice in this industry, and immense talent counts for anything at all, she'll soon be headlining venues like yours....

As you know, acts come and go if you have a busy venue. As soon as you've presented one show you're focused on the next... but in closing let me say that in the weeks since Lorna's appearance here I haven’t been able to get her out of my head, especially her rendition of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War."

It may seem sacrilegious to say it, but I've seen Dylan perform this masterpiece quite a number of times, going back to 1965. Lorna's delivery of the song was the best I've ever heard. As good as Dylan's..... no, better. She inhabited the song and made it her own. It was riveting, it was powerful and it was positively searing...

Lorna Bracewell is, by any standard, the real thing.

- David Jenkins, executive director of The Sunrise Theatre

"CD Review - God Forbid - The Saint Petersburg Times"

"God Forbid is Bracewell's third album and the title only hints at its edgy material. She tackles the issues that obsess her: gender inequality, domestic violence, sexploitation, and on a purely human level, the power of lust. Bracewell's words have never been more sublime; she's now a top-notch lyricist, able to handle heavy themes without sounding heavy-handed.

The title track finds Bracewell using her throaty alto - it's temping to say 'whiskey-soaked, ' but she's underage! - to damn the day as an artist she would ever 'sell my body to a magazine, ' unlike other females her age.

The sultry When I Fall puts Bracewell in the predator seat, taunting her uneasy sexual prey.

Bracewell's studio band adds terrific touches: occasional slide guitar, tambourine, dobro and organ. She trades the acoustic for electric and even plays drums on a few numbers such as the poppy Fall Into Me, a vibrant beach tune that should make fans of Sheryl Crow toss their manes in the sun. (The song even pays homage to Clearwater Beach!)"

- Gina Vivinetto, pop music critic, St. Petersburg Times

- The Saint Petersburg Times

"CD Review - Flowers on the Chains - Creative Loafing"

"St. Pete singer/songwriter Lorna Bracewell is a plucky and passionate performer going places -- like back to tour Europe for a third time in May. Before Bracewell does, though, she'll debut material from her compelling fourth studio album Flowers on the Chain. Unlike other 20-something acoustic-guitar-wielding women, Bracewell isn't afraid to cut loose and let her raspy pipes ride across hard-hitting arrangements fleshed out by a full band. Take, for instance, her new record's title track, a funky groove goosed with bluesy lead guitar licks and lyrics about the shortcomings of blind love, faith and patriotism. Bracewell says she admires Ani DiFranco and The Rolling Stones. It shows."
- Wade Tatangelo, Creative Loafing
- Wade Tatangelo

"Pretty Shameless"

Singer-songwriter Lorna Bracewell brings activism and passion to Winter Pride Tampa Bay

By: Marcy Davidson

At only 24 years old, singer-songwriter Lorna Bracewell has made more than 800 professional appearances, conducted more than 50 educational workshops at colleges and universities across the United States, completed three European concert tours and produced five CDs on her own label, Braced Well Records.

The talented artist claims her family is what motivates her to be so prolific and unrelenting in her profession.

"I'm the youngest child," states Bracewell. "I think it's common among younger children to say, 'Hey, look at me!' "

Bracewell is a Florida native. Her parents are still married and living in her hometown of Indian Rocks Beach. The openly lesbian Bracewell says she was raised in an open and accepting family.

"We've always been no-holds-barred in terms of what we can talk about," Bracewell says. "I was never shamed as a child—my family wasn't like that—so I'm pretty shameless."

The St. Petersburg resident began her musical career as a child, playing drums at church. Then she picked up the guitar at 15, inspired by solo artists like Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin and Melissa Etheridge. She was captivated by the strumming guitars and the soulful sound of their songs.

"I wanted to be like them," Bracewell remembers.

And Bracewell appears to be well on her way toward becoming a musician in the class of her idols. She's already shared concert stages with the likes of Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Heart, Chris Isaak, Patty Larkin and Dar Williams.

Such performances have gained Bracewell local notoriety. The alternative weekly Creative Loafing named Bracewell one of the Top 10 female musicians in Tampa Bay, and the title track from her latest album, Flowers on the Chains, was voted Best Contemporary Protest Song.

Shamelessness is key

Bracewell has a charming combination of confidence and genuine humility. On stage, her childlike openness immediately connects with her audience and sets them at ease. First-time listeners may be somewhat surprised at the rich alto voice coming from Bracewell's diminutive frame. Her sound is sultry and powerful and adds weighted significance to her lyrics.

Don Oja Dunaway of the St. Augustine Record affectionately compared Bracewell to "an angel who swallowed Bob Seger."

The "shamelessness" Bracewell holds so dear comes through loud and clear in her music and her approach to life. She writes of familiar themes such as love lost and found, and youthful ennui, but many of her songs touch on heavier, more complex topics, like feminism, domestic abuse and the confusion of growing up gay.

For instance, in the song "Driving Home," on her fourth album, Bracewell tells the story of a young woman coming of age and struggling with mixed feelings as she's faced with the prospect of dating young men and following in traditional footsteps.

"I've watched them drive away," she writes, "Smiling like they stood a chance/ I've seen the promises made and the flowers thrown/ But, God, I must be made of stone."

There is a tone of claimed freedom that resonates throughout Bracewell's life and music.

On the title track of God Forbid, Bracewell writes of the silent expectations that continue to affect women in contemporary society.

Being gay, Bracewell claims, has had a tremendous influence on her career.

"I knew I was gay in high school, because I totally had the hots for Scully on The X-Files," Bracewell laughs. "All my friends had the hots for Mulder, but I liked Scully."

Accepting her homosexuality shaped the young artist into who she is today. She believes she would have fallen instep with what society expected of her. But that would have been difficult for her.

"I didn't fit into those preordained rituals," she claims. "I think all that life stuff comes more simply to those who are straight. I felt very confused. It continues to have an influence. I think it's the reason I am an artist... I write because I'm gay."

Music of the heart

Bracewell's partner, Lexi Pierson, is also a musician. Both women will perform during Winter Pride Tampa Bay at Al Lopez Park on Saturday, Feb. 23.

"She blew me away," Bracewell says, describing her first encounter with her partner of two years. "I didn't even know she was a musician when I met her. I used to live in a very small apartment, and I wrote songs in the bathroom because that was the only space I had. On our third or fourth date, she saw my guitar, picked it up and sat in the bathtub and started playing all these songs she'd written. She was awesome—I mean really good. I'd be intimidated if I met her now."

But not all of Bracewell's relationships thrived in the shadow of her musical talents. In fact, her profession caused some issues in previous relationships.

"It can be difficult in a relationship," she admits, noting that because Pierson is a performer as well, the couple doesn't have to deal with music-related relationship challenges. "It's awesome. We both get it. We both love music, so we understand."

The couple was so certain they both "get it" that they held a commitment ceremony in May 2007.

Beyond the music

Bracewell cites Bob Dylan and Ani DiFranco as two of her biggest musical influences. Their songs, she says, speak of larger issues that affect us all.

"They are able to see beyond the myopia of their personal relationships and lives," Bracewell opines.

Drawing attention to larger social issues is something of a secondary career for Bracewell. She is not content to simply write and sing about the things that make her passionate—she wants to do something.

Bracewell is also an activist with has a degree in political science. One of her most notable projects is the annual St. Petersburg benefit series "On This Earth: Art to Inform, Enlighten and Empower." Now in its second year, the benefit raises funds for Habitat for Humanity, the YWCA of Tampa Bay and Community Action Stops Abuse.

In addition to On This Earth and other fundraisers, Bracewell creates and conducts workshops all over the country on topics ranging from lyric writing and the history of folk music to intimate partner violence and gender inequality.

Bracewell's contribution to the community has caught the attention of local leaders. In 2006 she was nominated for a Special Tribute from the governor's office for using her "resources to educate the community." Bracewell's workshop "Love 101: Rethinking, Love, Sex and Power," was voted a Top 10 Session at the Florida Junior and Community Colleges State conference two years in a row.

Throughout all this serious discussion and activity, Bracewell retains the sense of humor and light-heartedness that makes her so engaging—an attitude reflected in her latest workshop creation, which she calls "Constitutional Law for Dummies."

Doing combination workshops and concerts at schools and colleges, claims Bracewell, gives her an edge over other musicians vying for those spots."I get to be part of the fun and part of the academic stuff as well," she notes.

As if her plate isn't already full enough, Bracewell's ultimate goal is to earn her Ph.D. in political theory and secure a permanent teaching position.

Staying motivated

Despite her long list of accomplishments, Bracewell still has moments of self-doubt.

"I struggle with feeling able, with feeling confident," she admits. "I go through bouts of feeling like I have nothing to say. I think that's human."

During those periods, Bracewell says, it's "fear, habit, anxiety—all kinds of dark and bad things" that keep her moving.

"I do this for a living," Bracewell says. "If I don't feel able to perform, I have no choice."

At only 24, Bracewell has accomplished more than many artists do in a lifetime. For other songwriters, she has simple advice.

"Be honest," she says. "The minute you are faking it, trying to use cleverness, craft or wit, that's when it gets stupid. Just be patient and wait for it to come."

As for her own music fantasies, she would love to be within three feet of DiFranco on stage.

"I couldn't play," Bracewell says modestly, "I'm not talented enough. I would just have to watch."

I remind Bracewell of her previous experience as a percussionist, and she changes her mind.

"Oh yeah, I could totally drum for Ani — bring it on!"

- Watermark Magazine

"CD Review - God Forbid - Heat Beat Magazine"

God Forbid - CD Review - Heat Beat
by contributing writer Christian Kisala
Feb 2005 edition

It's very hard for a young performer to find a role in the contemporary music scene, without falling into one of a few prefab shapes. Choices seem to be limited to "bubblegum party queen," "country songbird," or "faux punk rocker." Newcomer Lorna Bracewell neatly sidesteps this trap with the release of "God Forbid," a collection of ten introspective and well thought out tunes that showcase her sharp writing and unique voice. Each track retains its own distinctive flavor, while never straying from the blues-rock recipe which Bracewell wields so well.

The album opens with the stomping "When I Fall," which would be at home in just about any setting, from a coffeehouse, to an arena. The chorus is an aggressive romp "Cause baby when I fall, baby when I fall… I take the world with me." Bracewell sounds like Johnette Napolitano from the 80's band Concrete Blonde, with a contemporary twist. The album is full of little sonic treats, like the organ which graces "Independence Day," a track that wouldn't be out of place on a John Mellencamp album, but for its more descriptive lyrics. "Fall Into Me" reminds of classic ZZ Top, with its relentless bassline, and bluesy guitar fills.

On the title track "God Forbid," Bracewell sings about her independence, and free thinking. "That I would believe 'em, when they tell me that I can gauge my freedom by the economy." She immediately switches gears with "Litany," a regretful look at a relationship that didn't work out. "Survive" is a song about living life "survive, there's more to me than alive… I know I will survive." The acoustic guitar arrangements of the live show are given full band treatment here, with a song like "The Best I Can" benefiting greatly from the dynamics added with the strings, and punctuated by the snare drum. "Sometimes I Dream" strays into the alt/country realm with its train beat, before "Beautiful" brings back the blues. The closing track "Driving Home" is the most poignant on the album, with the chorus "'cause I'm driving home… I'm getting too good at being alone." It's a slow rocker, and a fitting end to this cohesive album.

Overall this music sounds very familiar. Bracewell is singing songs that speak to everyone, universal themes about love and loss, and she does so in a manner that sounds immediately comfortable while still retaining an aura of freshness and today. Though a younger performer, her lyrics and vocal skills speak of wisdom beyond her years, and it's going to be interesting to see what future roads this talented artist will choose. With "God Forbid," Lorna Bracewell has defiantly taken a giant step in the right direction.
- Heat Beat Magazine

"CD Review - God Forbid - Music Industry News Network"

Music Industry News Network

Lorna Bracewell Releases New CD "God Forbid"

RATING: [graphic: 5 stars]

Tampa Bay, Florida

Review of "God Forbid"

Written and produced by Lorna Bracewell

10 songs, all (c) Braced Well Music, ASCAP

A working musician runs into a lot of talented people. While hosting a Jam at a hot Florida nightspot 5 years ago, I had the pleasure of turning over the drums to a young girl by the name of Lorna Bracewell. She was young (her parents drove her to the gig) and she was good. A few years later, I ran into her again and she had started writing songs and playing guitar. She had a demo. It was good. Then I started following her career. Her personal manager, Cliff Rice, started promoting and networking Lorna's work. And again it was good. Now, that young girl has come of musical age with her first full length, self produced CD: "God Forbid". And it is GREAT!

Lorna assembled a talented group of musicians for this production: Mick Luke: electric guitar/ Chuck Drake: Keyboards/ Jody Gray: Slide Guitar & Bass/ Jason Alfano: drums/ Adam Shoemaker: drums/Uncle Dow: Dobro.

Lorna sings, plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums.

Lorna's singing and songwriting are what set her apart and will ultimately take her to the star stage. Her singing is sweet, husky, seductive or hard, depending on the song. Her pitch is excellent and her delivery is professional. Her songs are full of what must be life lessons she has learned in her few years. Songs of joy, love gained and lost, sorrow, angst, happiness and longing are artfully woven into the fabric of the tunes. The styles range from folk to rock and have some blues and country thrown in for good measure.

All 10 songs on "God Forbid" are strong, and each invokes feelings when listened to. The rhythm, bass and drums grooves are solid, the guitar work excellent, the keyboards are smooth, and the mix and mastering are professional. To say some songs are better than others would be giving short shrift to the incredible talent that is displayed by Lorna. However, if I were asked to pick the potential hit singles, I would have to go with "Independence Day" about a woman fleeing an abusive relationship. Another strong contender for single status is the title track "God Forbid" which is a statement of a woman's freedom. The sexy "Fall into Me" is all about loving and leaving. in fact, all the songs on this CD are keepers. There are no fillers in this project.

"God Forbid" was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Pro Star Studio, chief engineer Jody Gray, at St. Petersburg, Florida.

You can order the special pre-release edition on Lorna's website. The official release date is January 29, 2005.

I give this CD a 5 star rating. All you A&R types better take notice of this young lady and her unique talents. And don't procrastinate because whoever signs her will be in for a lucrative run. To find out all about Lorna Bracewell, just go to her website www.lornabracewell.com.
- Music Industry News Network

"Feature Article - Campus Activities Magazine"

Lorna Bracewell - Music for the Soul
Campus Activities Magazine

November/December 2005
story by Ian Kirby

Lorna Bracewell has music in her blood. Coming from a family with deep seated musical interests, it was a no surprise when, at the tender young age of 13, Lorna played her first paid gig. "My family is very musical," she says. "My mother sings and plays piano and my father plays guitar and drums." With an avid and passionate interest in music, he also has an epic record collection. In addition, Lorna has an older sister who is a vocalist and pianist, which left her completely surrounded by music as a child.

Her first opportunity to play in public was in her church. As a drummer in the parish' worship band, she quickly gained experience in playing with and for other people.

When Lorna met Cliff Rice, a singer/songwriter who toured playing his own music, he immediately hired her to play drums for him. This was Lorna's first paid gig and she flourished as a musician in the process. Eventually Cliff, who is now her manager, encouraged her to begin writing and performing her own music. "He wanted me to move out from behind the drum set and step into the light," she says.

Fast forward to present day and Lorna has written over one hundred fifty original songs in a period of about seven years. Now twenty two, she looks back on the time she started writing as a fifteen year-old and wonders where it all came from. "I can't help but do it.

I never sit down with the intention of writing a song. There are some writers who are disciplined enough to do that," she comments wistfully, "but not me. That is a gift I envy. My songs seem to just materialize from nowhere and flow forth. My will or my attention has nothing to do with it. I get hit anywhere, anytime and if I don't get it down then, it's gone, never to return." Inspiration inevitably strikes Lorna at the most inopportune times she relates, most commonly while she is driving her car. "Not really a good time to be focusing on writing lyrics."

Lorna, as a singer/songwriter, was obviously musically shaped by the artists of the same genre she listened to coming up. Lorna says she naturally gravitates toward these musicians, but more by their song writing than the music itself. Vocal ability and musicality take a backseat to creative and inspiring lyrics in Lorna's book. A self proclaimed Dylan fan, she is moved much more by the content of the message in a song than its delivery. Lorna sites Ani DiFranco as another influence, as she is for many women in the same profession.

There is another heavily influential artist who is a favorite of Lorna's and one need not even speak to her to know it, as long as you hear her sing. "Melissa Etheridge has had a huge impact on me as an artist," she says. "I wish I could belt them out like her." Doubting her ability to do so is debatable. It does not take long in listening to Lorna's music to hear the striking similarity between her and her hero. From low-down gutsy and moody moans, to hammering high notes springing forth like wild birds from a cage, Lorna has a naturally similar soul to her voice, blended with a unique sound and presentation all her own.

Listeners of Lorna will hear Melissa Etheridge in her voice, mixed with a combination of other influences and her own style. Another particular voice you might imagine picking up in Lorna's is that of the Janis Joplin. This is a humorous coincidence to say the least, as Lorna has an amusing story about her first exposure to Janis.

When she was a kid, Lorna's musical diet consisted of primarily country music and show tunes. At the time, Faith Hill, popular country music singer, did a cover of the Joplin flagship, "Piece of My Heart." "I loved it. It was my favorite song, but my dad, of course, loathed it."

Apparently Lorna's father knew how the song was supposed to sound. "It wasn't supposed to be this country, poppy, feel-good song; it was about Janis Joplin and balls to the wall Rock & Roll."

So, Lorna's dad played the original version for her. At around the age of nine, she hated it. She cried. "I cried 'Turn it off! Turn it off!' She scared me and I didn't know what to make of her. That was my first exposure to Janis Joplin and it was traumatic."

Fortunately Lorna has since overcome her disdain for Janis and now digs her. "I out-grew that. It's kind of like when you begin to eat solid food," she jokes.

Lorna's journey from behind the drum set to center stage was a slow one. At her shows with Cliff, he would give her the opportunity to sing one song during the set. Cliff would switch off with the bass player and the bassist would jump on drums. "It was kind of a novel thing," she says "we switched instruments for fun and because the crowd liked it."

Gradually as Lorna built her confidence as a vocalist, performer and writer, Cliff encouraged her to move ahead. He suggested she play a mini set on her own and Lorna took to the idea and grew from there.

All of a sudden Lorna was eighteen and preparing to move to college with no way to support herself. Because she couldn't bring the band with her, Lorna's supply of steady gigs would dry up. "I decided to start playing solo, just so I could eat," she says.

Eventually, she was able to build a solid living on playing music and attending school. "There is a living to be made playing out," she says. All through college she played anywhere and everywhere that would hire her, including a steady gig at a cigar bar for four years. "There were seventy year old men drinking their port and smoking their cigars and ...me."

Lorna just graduated from college in May 2005, with a degree in political science. Her intention was not originally to follow this major. She initially planned to major in English, as a route to indulge her love for both reading and original composition. "I thought that was what people who loved those things did. If you loved writing and reading, you became an English major, then you became an English teacher and then you taught more English majors."

All of a sudden during her second week of her freshman year in college, terrorist hijacked planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York. Immediately everything Lorna was studying, all that she was reading and devoting her time to, seemed trivial and insignificant in the scope of things. "I ended up studying politics because it felt like it mattered to me, in the wake of that tragedy."

After this paradigm shift in Lorna's perspective, life as she knew it undoubtedly changed. As an NPR junkie and an active citizen, Lorna strived to consume a balanced diet of the political happenings in this country and around the world. She has also been swept up by the latest craze in instant media gratification, blogs. Many are completely random bits forwarded to Lorna by her friends and she says it is a fascinating development in how people see the world and the issues. But she is quick to point out however, that as with anything else, moderation is key. "You must have your filter on," she says "You have to think for yourself and digest it for yourself."

The issues in today's society certainly carry great weight with Lorna and the first thing she says when asked about her specific political views is that she has to use the "F" word. "I am a feminist and I'm not afraid to say it." She is passionate about any issues pertaining to sexual justice.

What Lorna sees as the primary political problem in our culture today has very little to do with government and has very little to do with politics in the broad view as most people understand them. "It has everything to do with relations between the sexes." Lorna thinks what people don't realize is that a large portion of these relationships are based on a continuum of power. She thinks this is the source of many of our problems, such as a rape every 3.5 minutes in the United States. Problems such as women and children who are victims of domestic violence, perpetrated by those who supposedly love them. "I think it has to do a lot with the power imbalance between the sexes, which really defines the sexes. My political agenda would be to remove the politics from sex. If we could relate to each other as human beings, completely on equal footing rather than as dominant and submissive parties, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

Lorna's method in catalyzing change is at a grass roots level. "The primary thing I do to inspire change is talk about it." Lorna explains that in her view the main problem is the lack of attention the matter really gets on both sides. She calls it out when she sees it, singing about it every time she is in front of a microphone. She encourages people to look for these things in their own lives. If a woman realizes something someone in their life is saying or doing to them is actually wrong, they shouldn't take it for granted as the natural way things function. Lorna wants to debunk the notion that this is the way things should be and strives to make people realize that and stand up against it. "I believe it is an ideal which we can all aspire to. It is a possibility and can become a reality if we all work together. I want to see that hope come to life in the eyes of a woman. That is why I do what I do."

Lorna cares about these issues and does her best to convey those feelings to her audiences. But one thing she adamantly attempts to avoid is preaching. "I want to persuade, not beat something into someone's head until they submit."

There are many writers who Lorna says she admires, enjoys and respects who will get up on stage, stomp around and yell and make broad sweeping categorical statements. "People say 'This is how it ought to be!' and I think there is a purpose for that. It encourages people who already think like you, but I don't think it necessarily wins people over."

Lorna attempts to avoid this battering ram tactic by telling truthful and meaningful stories people can relate to. "I want to let the listener draw their own conclusion after they listen to that story."

She cites one of her songs entitled "Independence Day" as an example. It covers a few controversial issues, such as domestic violence and abortion. Lorna feels if she went on stage and told the audience that a woman's right to choose should be protected, many people would not only be unreceptive to the message, but also uninterested in her music. Rather than be dismissed for being an outright activist on stage, a song like "Independence Day" gives Lorna a vehicle in which to tell a story about a woman who is faced with the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. "I try to make her a relatable character. I also try to put men and women who may disagree with me into that moment in order to pose the question to them. 'If this were you in this situation and you who had to make the decision, what would you do?' I try to let them see the reality of that real person, rather than this broad political or religious issue."

Lorna's ability to subtly express her views while entertaining audiences of all kinds has led her to a continually more successful career as a musician and her popularity continues to build. With an outlook many students can relate too, Lorna is a perfect fit for college campuses. Even if you don't agree with her opinions, she is respectful enough to allow listeners that comfort, enabling anyone to enjoy the music of Lorna Bracewell.

BOOK IT! For more information on bringing Lorna Bracewell to your campus, contact Dan or Gerri Abrahamsen at DCA Productions at (800) 659-2063 or for a virtual link, go to our website at www.campusactivtiesmagazine.com
- Campus Activities Magazine


Flowers on the Chains, 2007
Live for CASA, 2005
Live for CASA DVD, 2005
God Forbid, 2005
Little Miss Obvious, 2003
Don't Stop Now, 2001



“She’s got greatness in her. She sounds like an angel who swallowed Bob Seger,” (Don Oja Dunaway, St. Augustine Record). Lorna Bracewell, with her throaty alto and aggressive guitar playing, inspired this review when she was only 18 years old.

By the age of 20, Bracewell was opening for artists like Dar Williams and Patty Larkin and the critics’ tune sounded something like this: “Bracewell’s words have a straightforward simplicity that takes some writers years of bad metaphors to achieve. She's a top-notch lyricist, able to handle heavy themes without sounding heavy-handed,” (Gina Vivenetto, St. Petersburg Times).

Bracewell, now 24 years old, is a seasoned artist and performer with a resume that reads like that of someone twice her age: She has recorded and released five self-produced albums of original music on her own label, Braced Well Records. She has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and shared stages with artists such as Amy Grant, Melissa Ferrick and Heart. One critic, after catching Bracewell’s opening set for Chris Isaak, dubbed her “the outspoken heir to the Ani DiFranco throne,” (Sean Daly, St. Petersburg Times). Chrissie Hynde, after watching Bracewell play an opening set for her band, The Pretenders, called her “a beautiful person and a spirited player.”

Most recently, Lorna was recognized as one of "Top 10 Women Musicians in Tampa Bay" by Creative Loafing. This same publication awarded the title track from Lorna's latest album, "Flowers on the Chains," with a 2007 Best of the Bay award in the category of "Best Contemporary Protest Song."

And these are just Bracewell’s artistic achievements. She is also an educator and an activist who understands how the power of music can unite people for a cause. She is the founder, sponsor and host of On this Earth: Art to Inform, Enlighten and Empower, a series of concerts embracing themes of racial justice, sexual justice and religious tolerance. The performances raise funds for worthy causes like Habitat for Humanity, the YWCA of Tampa Bay and CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) of St. Petersburg, FL.

Not content to simply sing about the issues that obsess her, Bracewell also lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States on topics such as gender inequality and violence against women. She has presented her workshop “Love 101: Rethinking love, sex and power” in places as far flung as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Lincoln, Nebraska and Dallas, Texas. This workshop has been voted a Top Ten Session at the Florida Junior and Community Colleges SGA state conference three years running. In 2006, Bracewell spoke at the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence state conference and served on a panel at the National Communication Association national conference.