Lorna Bracewell

Lorna Bracewell

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

"Smart, funny and, quite possibly, the outspoken heir to the Ani DiFranco throne," The St. Petersburg Times. "A beautiful person and a spirited player," Chrissie Hynde, front woman for The Pretenders.

Biography

“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.

Lyrics

Flowers on the Chains

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

Sister, sister, where you running to?
Sister, where is the fire?
Sister, sister, whatcha rushing into?
I know you’re gonna call me a liar.
I know he says he loves you,
and I know he’s giving you a name,
but I’d think twice before I’d say, “I do,”
cause sometimes there’s flowers on the chains.

Brother, brother, whatcha kneeling for?
Brother, I can get you higher.
Brother, brother, don’t your back get sore?
I know you’re gonna call me a liar.
I know he says he loves you,
and I know he’s giving you a name,
but be careful what you’re praying to
cause sometimes there’s flowers on the chains.

People, people, why we sitting still?
People, there is a fire
in our pretty city on a hill.
I know you’re gonna call me a liar.
I know how well they feed us,
and I know you think that sound is freedom’s ring,
but I am begging you to listen up
cause sometimes there’s flowers on the chains.

Wrong Way to Love

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

Midnight, it comes so easy
Midnight, it comes so soon
Midnight, it sneaks up on me
Next thing I know I’m calling you
There’s a wrong way to love

You with the breath like whiskey
You with the padlocked eyes
You talking like you miss me
I’m choking on your pretty lies
There’s a wrong way to love

There’s a wrong way to love
When you push all night
with all of your might
but you cannot make them fall
There’s a wrong way to love

Too deep you come up empty
Too high and you can’t come down
Too hard you might get broken
Too weak you won’t get off the ground
There’s a wrong way to love

There’s a wrong way to love
When you hold their hand
like a drowning man
and you cannot let them go
There’s a wrong way to love

There’s a wrong way to love
When the need’s so real
that it’s all you feel
and you’d cage them if you could
There’s a wrong way to love

Over You

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

Mercy woke me up this morning
and dragged my broken heart outside
to watch that lesson in redemption
spread slow across the sky
I felt you like a memory
in the fog and half lit dawn
And as the day commenced breaking
I turned away and you were gone

I’m over you
Put your hand on my heart and see
I’m over you as over can be

So, you can call me if you want to
when you’ve had too much to drink
and that sea of absolution
won’t seem to let you sink
We can talk a while like old friends
like you never did me wrong
cause I’ve cried my tears and I’ve washed my hands
Those days are dead as they are gone

I’m over you
Put your hand on my heart and see
I’m over you as over can be

On this Earth

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

I was born into a house on fire
that never taught me to desire
a world that wouldn’t burn me when I breathed it in
On the day I finally broke away
God blessed the legs that wouldn’t let me stay
and the street beneath my feet beat out this hymn:

You’ve got a workin’ spine and you’ve got a decent set of shoes
You’ve got 12 hours of daylight and more mind than you can use
You’ve got everything you need so you ain’t got no excuse
Now show me what on this earth you’re gonna do

For forty nights alone I slept,
my heart stowed tight in my oaken chest
beatin’, yes, but barely movin’ blood
But, then a girl put her hands on me,
showed me how a heart could beat
and I could hear her teachin’ me right through the flood:

You’ve got a workin’ spine and you’ve got a decent set of shoes
You’ve got 12 hours of daylight and more mind than you can use
You’ve got everything you need so you ain’t got no excuse
Now show me what on this earth you’re gonna do

Will you make a lot of money and raise a money makin’ kid?
Will you do just like your daddy and your mommy did?
Or will you prove you’re worth your hands?
Will you roll away the stone?
Will you die three days and rise again
or are you just flesh and bone?
No, no, no

I’ve got a workin’ spine and I’ve got a decent set of shoes
I’ve got 12 hours of daylight and more mind than I can use
I’ve got everything I need and, if you’re all coming too
God knows there’s a lot on this earth left us to do

Cross Your Face

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

I began in the belly of a woman called a mother I was indistinguishable from
Long before the cruel invention of the concept of the other my heartbeat was nothing but her drum
I slept soundly suspended in that liquid illusion
But like a good thing, it ended I haven't seen her since she turned to run

If anyone asks what you're doing here,
just smile and increase your pace
If you think feel love or just something near,
don't let it cross your face

I met a God of a man of a devil of a demon
He was kind and he took me in
He wore his horns up high let me touch ‘em, let me see ‘em,
let me fall in love with them
And he fed me pretending it hurt his heart to see his love so thin
Then he led me to the kitchen said, “You’re the dinner girl come on hop in.”

If anyone asks what you're doing here,
just smile and increase your pace
If you think feel love or just something near,
don't let it cross your face

I only trust if it’s ugly, it’s hard and it’s real
If it’s sharp enough to cut me, sharp enough to feel
And, if anyone asks, I just smile
And I have stopped the water running
cause there ain’t no use in trying to wash out the blood
That’s what a heart’s made of

Love Song

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

I spent my first 22 years underwater
It was cold, it was quiet and I couldn’t breathe
I heard voices above me, but none of them bothered
‘till love reached down and rescued me

No matter how hard life hits me
and tries to knock me to the floor
I am a lover and I believe
that this world could use a few more

I’ve seen truth on display like a hooker for hire,
I’ve seen power and money in justice’s seat,
but I’ve kept the faith and I’ve walked through the fire
and sweet love carried me

No matter how hard life hits me
and tries to knock me to the floor
I am a lover and I believe
that this world could use a few more

Where there are prophecies, they will cease
Where there are tongues, they will be still
And where there is knowledge it will pass away,
but love never will

No matter how hard life hits me
and tries to knock me to the floor
I am a lover and I believe
that this world could use a few more

Undone

Written By: Lorna Bracewell

I beat the sun up in the morning
It beats me down every night
I kiss you soft, too soft to wake you
Cause I'm running out of ways to say goodbye
I count the miles in cups of coffee now
It makes where I'm goin' not seem so far
And I'm trying to write a song to say I'm sorry
But I never seem to make it past this part
No, I never seem to make it past this part

Chorus:
Cause I'm at the airport
I'm on the plane
I'm in a taxi
I'm on a stage
I'm at the hotel
I'm on the phone
Girl, I'm everywhere but home
And I know the last thing that you need
Is one more song from me
But, baby, all I know to do is sing

I find a room for fifty dollars
I find the light switch in the dark
I grab that book I'm always reading
And find a place down at the bar
I hate the small talk with the strangers there
They ask what I do and where I come from
And I wanna say I'm from a love that's holy
And what I do is make it come undone
Yeah, all I do is make it come undone

(Chorus)

Discography

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

Set List

Depending on the nature of the engagement, Lorna performs all-original music, or a combination of original music and covers.

Typical set is 45 - 60 minutes. For concerts, 1 or 2 sets. For coffeehouses, 3 sets (maximum elapsed time 3 hours).

Sample covers:
Bob Dylan - Masters of War, A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall
Ani DiFranco - Little Plastic Castles, Overlap
Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb, Satisfaction, Sympathy for the Devil
Melissa Ferrick - Drive
Sheryl Crow - Love is a Good Thing
Alanis Morisette - Ironic
Melissa Etheridge - Come to My Window
Peggy Lee - Fever