Laura Smith has magic in her voice. And a gift for touching the soul, for staring down the rugged paths of life, for singing the truth of the stories there...stories we all share, if we've lived long enough. Onstage, she spoke of her own struggles and joys, like discovering her six brothers and sisters in 1999, after years of living as an adoptee. Some of her siblings and their families were at the concert. Their connections to her stories and songs were palpable, full of love.
Laura sang of her family, newly found, and of her imagined family, as yet undiscovered. She told stories of how the songs came to be: some borrowed, some bestowed by visitations, some about relationships found and lost, about a woman who was "five miles of crooked road" but who gave her a home for four years of recovery following her accidents, and some from her own hard work and inspiration.
The lyrics from one song "Inspiration" resonated with my own struggles to write:
Well I jumped outa bed because I thought I had something to say
But it sounded like everything I said yesterday
Well it comes and it goes but you never know when
The page is wide open but I can't get in
This ode to the composer's struggle was written by Bruce Guthro and first sung by Kim Dunn. Paul Buchanan of Mahone Bay accompanied Laura, as did four members of Riversong.
Listening to Laura Smith created a time out of time, when poetry, music, song, stories of the rough times and the inspirations of life poured over and through us, echoing the truths we each sense deep inside. It was a beautiful thing.
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