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Jan 2008 - Lorna Bracewell

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Moxy or (Moxie) Women refers to women who demonstrate courage and/or bravery to go for their dreams!

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Lorna Bracewell- Musician, Singer and Songwriter

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."  - Diane Ackerman

"Don't Go Home the Same"
By  Jean Harper

My interview with Lorna took place at Pro Star Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, where Lorna recorded a lot of her music.  I asked her if she would start by playing me the song "Survive," from her album "God Forbid," first asking her the story behind the song, as it is very moving.  She told me that she wrote the song when she was 19, about one of her neighbors; a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was married with an infant son.  She tuned up her guitar while telling me the story, but after she started playing, she got stuck-she couldn't remember the words.  We laughed for a minute, then she thought for a moment, and taking herself back there she began to play again. After a couple of lines she sang, "I can't remember the words," and we both laughed again, but she continued on, the words coming back to her as if she had pulled them from a shelf. Lorna told me that when touring in Germany, she had been surprised that her audiences knew the words to this song, even though many did not even speak English.

Next she played a new song, which at the time of this interview had yet to be recorded, and was still fresh in her mind.  As she began to sing I was drawn in as the story unfolded; a musical story of how it is to be on tour and away from her home, her friends, and from her partner, Lexi.  The song starts describing her arrival at the airport, then getting on the plane, into a taxi, being on stage and at the hotel, talking on the phone-being everywhere but home.  The words,  " I know the last thing you need is one more song from me, but baby, all I know to do is sing" took me deeper into this woman's heart.  As she sang, her eyes closed and her depth of emotion shone through.  With this song I was hooked, and it became my favorite of more than 30 of Lorna's songs that I have listened to.

Finding the words to describe Lorna's voice are difficult, as it is unique.  She goes from a soft yet guttural  alto voice that lingers at the end of her breath to a loud penetrating voice, which makes the listener want to get up and move. Although her folk and rock roots lend comparisons to Melissa Etheridge, Lorna has her own distinct style. Her favorite artists are Mary Chapin Carpenter, whom she describes as the best songwriter of all time, and Bob Dylan, a great storyteller.  Lorna says, "The most important thing is honesty; being genuine-not talent."

I asked Lorna what she thinks of "The Secret" and, unlike most people familiar with this collective theory, she called it "a bunch of hooey", insisting she has her own "secret."  When Lorna experiences something, she is moved to write a song about it, explaining why she has written over 160 songs in less than 11 years (she is only 24 years of age).  After she writes a song she says she puts it away on a shelf and out of her mind-a good excuse for sometimes forgetting the lyrics!  Also an interesting way to let go of things and keep a mind clear from clutter.

I asked Lorna how she would describe herself and she quickly replied, "I'm obnoxious!" and laughed.  It was an interesting answer, as Lorna has a reputation as a humanitarian and being a nice, warmhearted and genuine person.  It was this reputation that led me to ask her for an interview, as well as a bit of fate.  So, now that the interview is over, I say to Lorna, "If obnoxious means articulate, deep thinking, and a musical savant, then ok, I agree-you're obnoxious."

Lorna Bracewell is from Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.  Her mom worked in the medical field in nursing and risk management and her dad was a real estate appraiser; both are retired. She also has a brother and a sister, close in age.  Lorna grew up with music and her entire family shares her passion; her mom sings and plays the piano, her dad plays the guitar and drums, and her sister is a vocalist and plays the piano.

As a kid Lorna listened to singers like Sheryl Crow and others, and would often imagine howLorna_hard_rock_orlando_conrad8180_300.jpg great it would be to travel the world singing for crowds of people.  Although she feels that the 1 ½ hours that she's on stage are incredible, the other 22 ½ hours are not so great and in fact can be difficult and lonely.

Lorna was a "tomboy" as a child growing up in Indian Rocks Beach and was very athletic, participating in martial arts, baseball, soccer and street hockey.  Her introduction to music occurred through writing songs, and then playing the drums, guitar, and piano.  Her first "gig" was as a drummer for her friend Cliff Rice, who now manages Lorna. With Cliff's encouragement Lorna started singing her own compositions, and now has 5 full-length CDs released on her own label Braced Well Records.

Lorna graduated from Flagler College in 2005 with a degree in political science.  She loves to read, especially non-fiction, and has read "Zorba the Greek" by Nikos Kazantzakis 6 times.  She did not plan to major in political science, as her first intention was to be an English major, which correlates with her love of reading and composition.  But as she began to read about health, the environment and civil rights, she became passionate about these issues, and much of her songwriting reflects this.  Lorna is an advocate for women and has done several benefits for CASA, an organization that supports women and children and fights domestic violence. The most conservative estimates indicate that two to four million women of all races and classes are battered each year. At least 170,000 of those violent incidents are serious enough to require hospitalization, emergency room care or a doctor's attention. She also plans to go back to college in 2009 to start a master's program in political theory, aiming to teach; she says that she wants to introduce 18 year olds to Plato. 

Lorna_Bracewell_lmo.jpgLorna Bracewell is more than just a great entertainer and musician; she is a woman with plenty to say and do in this world.  Her single "Independence Day" addresses very sensitive issues such as abortion and domestic violence in a balanced way, so that both sides of the issues can relate to her musical expression, as she bases her narratives on "real" people faced with difficult decisions. 

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She gets fired up about things that remind her of human frailty and she is passionate about a lot of issues.  How many musicians have the Congressional Resolution 121-recognizing the benefits and importance of school-based music education-put on their website?  In addition to traveling the world touring and singing her songs and delivering her messages, Lorna teaches workshops for elementary and college kids on topics such as "Love 101: Rethinking Love, Sex, and Power" and "A History of Folk Music."

At 17 years of age, Lorna Bracewell wrote "My Song," which offers the following words from the soul of this Moxy woman.

"I've bled on this page for you
Begged on this stage for you
I want you to do something for me:
Don't go home the same."

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Lorna, I have listened to more than 30 of your songs, read through the words and pondered the meaning of them and  I, for one,  will never be the same.  I thank you....Namaste

To View a live video performance of Lorna and to view locations for her upcoming performances Click Here to go to her website.

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