Review - Laura Izibor

From My Heart To Yours…..Laura Izibor

Few can say they have had the pleasure of seeing newcomer & Ireland native Laura Izibor perform twice – I am among that few.

The first I saw her was at a LP (Listening Party) at Bohemian Caverns, sweat dripped off the walls – the Caverns was so packed and Laura Izibor & her band gave a great performance. Laura – who also happens to play the piano / keys – shared with us at the end of her performance that she had hurt her finger, and held up a largely bandaged finger. Shock! I would not have believed, from the way she played, that there was anything wrong with any of her fingers, but the proof was in the presence – because there was a big ole gauze bandage wrap….But honestly neither I nor anyone in that room would have been able to tell, never would have known based on her performance. She was definitely worth the wait (TP & I waited – but MT, my future sis in law was right on time!!), but the Caverns is acoustically challenged with a live band set, and so as awesome as she was (and she was) I couldn’t wait to see her again. I wondered if she would be consistent. If she would be an artist that we would hear from again and again and again, or if she was just someone who’s CD release would come and go, unnoticed. But after 20 yrs in the biz, something told me that Laura was the real thing. I got to talk to her afterwards and do a photo op with her and Meisha. I got the distinct feeling that Laura would be here to stay and that the next time would be better. Much better than the first time

So fast forward to her second D.C. Listening Party at The Scene. Good crowd, good food, and what I always like to see whenever I attend any performance – a full band set up!! Yea! Laura was unreal!! First of all, she had done radio/ interviews all morning, an in-store at Borders (I think it was Borders), a set at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and then, finally – us. With just 2 days before her album was to drop – she was: As MJ would say – working day and night!! And boy did she work. Working the crowd, making note (but not being an ultra diva) about the feedback – she simply said “Can we get the feedback right? I want you all to hear me the way I should be heard, so are we good? Okay, we are good!”. Her debut album – Let the Truth Be Told, was presented front and center for everyone to hear. Her lyrics and her songs speak to an emotion, a space, a place that at one time or another, most of us have been there – lots of us have done that. Perfect World “I tried so hard to give you everything… I gave you my heart but it didn’t seem to be enough”. And then she started scatting. You read / heard me right, scatting. The Truth clearly was being Told…

“I like to sing and write about things that have a message” she shared with the audience & then she shared Carousel.  My fav quote of the night was “I don’t call relationships relationships, I call them situations” and then she shared The Worst is Over.  Laura Izibor sounds every bit like her album…but better. Thru feedback and a hectic days schedule she gave the crowd from her heart to ours & back again….Her stage presence is impeccable and the band showed its versatility with the Mary J medley. It was clear to me that Laura is a woman who is not afraid of her esse, her ish, the very thing that makes her who she is. And clearly when the crowd gifted her with a standing ovation, it showed that they felt the same.  Folks were on their feet as she delivered her last song of the night – and as the crowd gave back in applause one more time – Laura gave back bigger – with one more song (Yea!!) Mmmm from the Tyler Perry’s Why Did I get Married Soundtrack. My cousin was excited – her first listening party ever, I was busy typing my notes and then …. as she got ready to leave the stage – 1 more song. I LOVED it!! The audience was not ready for her to go and after a whirlwind day it was clear that pure energy was in the room. She started to announce her last song and the man in the front row hollered – Shine. And much like Amel Larrieux, another artist who loves to interact with her audience, Laura obliged him. And I’m so glad she did. Shine is simply hot…..

Do what you want to do
Kiss Somebody
Jump out a plane
Simply Shine

The crowd applauded. And as Laura got ready to leave the stage for the second, third, I’ve lost count, time that evening … she clearly, simply, had to do just 1 more song!! A 3 song encore that of course included the hit single off her album – From My Heart To Yours. As Mickey D’s promo goes – I’m lovin’ it! Everything about her set let me know that Laura is not only real, but that she is destined to be one of those timeless artists. Only in her early 20’s she clearly has a lot to give and is so very well received. She signed autographs, took a few photos and then she left us …. humming, pre-ordering, talking, tweeting, inspired, and full. A consummate performer, a gracious professional, a 3 encore sanger – not singer – SANGER! I look forward to many many Grammy nods coming her way. I look forward to hearing more GOOD music from her in future albums. And of course I look forward to the next time I see her perform. Much like Anthony Hamilton, she takes you there…and then there…and then there some more…and then Chu-ch (church for those that didn’t get it, cause I want you to get it).

Make sure that if she comes to your town – that you see her.

She is opening for Maxwell in select cities.

Good music, good energy – From my heart to yours!

Let the Truth be Told – Laura Izibor (Atlantic Records)


Laura Izibor

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