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Every once in a while an artist comes who gives you “that” feeling.

I remember having “that” feeling the first time I pressed play on “Who Is Jill Scott?”

Now I’m by no means comparing Jill and Laura Izibor musically. While I do hope that Laura has even half the success that Jill has had and will continue to have, I don’t think Laura is an artist that needs to be compared to anyone.

My introduction to Laura’s music came once again from faithful reader Soul UK (who thankfully has been inspired to start sharing these discoveries on his own blog which will debut soon).  It took longer than it should have to finally give it a listen. I realized that I had heard her voice before on a couple of movies and television shows and was intrigued then. She has been in constant rotation every since and her album, Let The Truth Be Told, in stores on April 28, has earned a place on my list of highly anticipated albums of the year. It needs to be on yours too.

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Laura hails from Dublin and will only be 22 in May. She’s a Taurus like me 🙂 You know we talented and stuff!

(Aside: I can actually carry a tune but no one will EVER hear me sing. I leave that to my fellow Tauruses Laura and Stevie!)

She started digging in the crates around the age of 13, discovering the joys of Stevie, Candi Stanton, Roberta Flack, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye and it was love at first listen.

She won a singing competition at 15 and started work on what is Let The Truth Be Told at the age of 17. While working on the album in Dublin, Philly, Atlanta, and New York, “The Soul of Ireland” has warmed up the stage for acts such as James Brown, Angie Stone, and The Roots as well as her own sold out shows at home.

Her songs have been the featured on television: Grey’s Anatomy and The Hills and on the the soundtrack to the films The Nanny Diaries, Step Up 2: The Streets, and Why Did I Get Married.

I was fortunate to see Laura perform live the other night here in DC at Bohemian Caverns or “the cave” as she “affectionately” called it.  She performed about ten songs, some which will be on the album. She was backed by a magnificent band that included Chris Rob on keys  and Maurice Brown on trumpet, both amazing artists with their own projects going. You’ll be hearing more about them both here. The way they all vibed on stage, you would think they had been performing together decades.

What attracts me to Laura’s voice is the grit and richness you hear from the artists that came before her. Like Chrisette Michele, I can hear in her voice that she has been studying “Ms. Billy, Ms. Ella, Ms. Sarah Vaughn, and Ms.Natalie Cole.” She also commands the stage with ease and it’s obvious she’s completely comfortable there and with her ability to connect with the audience. Songs that are “for the ladies” don’t feel like another sad love song. Thank God for that.

Check out a couple of her uptempo tracks. When she got up from behind those keys, she had us rocking down in the cave.

This track I may have to put on my 2009 Inspirational songs list, a reminder to be thankful for what you got. This should be a theme songs for the tough times we’re in. Whatever you’re going through, the next woman may be going through something worse. I have already been reminded of that several times this year.

Laura is headed back overseas to open for John Legend ahead of her album release. She wrote every song and co-produced the album as well. It’s all Laura, with no guest artists. She says,

“I didn’t want to be anybody’s protégé.” “It’s very tempting to put in the reinforcements, but for my debut album I wanted it to be 100% from me.”

Just like a true Bull. And let the truth be told, she doesn’t need anybody. She can stand alone. Quite well.

Mark your calendars for April 28th. Complete set is over on the You Tube channel.

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