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Sounds Like: Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Susan Werner
Age Appropriateness: All Ages
Artist Age: 30 Something
Artist Location: Portland, OREGON, United States
A recent transplant from Champaign, IL to Portland, OR, Joni Laurence strives to live with no regret, no remorse and no apology. A peculiar path of advanced degrees and a 10-year career in labor relations has led her to become a thirty-something, full-time touring singer-songwriter of the modern folk kind. With No Apology (2006), Laurence's fourth full-length CD, was recorded live in Urbana, IL with the generous financial (and emotional) support of her loyal fan base in central Illinois and beyond. The recording was released on July 15, 2006 in her new hometown of Portland, OR. With No Apology is a collection of songs from the rockier side of folk written during the two years after she left her day job to face the challenges and rewards of pursuing her passion for making music. Joni's music has been praised by both reviewers and fans, who are mesmerized by her imaginative stories, her warm and powerful voice, and lyrics that bring tears in one song and contagious laughter in the next. With vocal stylings a combination of Mary-Chapin Carpenter and Helen Reddy, Joni has a unique and soul-stirring talent for translating the human experience into insightful lyrics and unforgettable music.Audiences to her live shows are taken in by her simple and accessible performance style. St. Louis music connoisseur, Beatle Bob writes, in Sauce Magazine, "Laurence's melodies are instantly memorable, and her lyrics show a faith in reconciliation and resurrection. Her voice displays a range and depth with complexity." Since Joni left her day job in Labor and Employee Relations at the University of Illinois in May 2004, she has been widening her fan base and expanding her exposure with an intense touring schedule across the Midwest region, as well as in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and parts of the East Coast. Highlights include touring in support of well-known singer-songwriter Catie Curtis and performing live on the television program "Arts Across Illinois: Center Stage," at WTTW in Chicago, IL, the nation's third largest PBS television station. Joni traveled an unconventional path to become a touring singer-songwriter. She was born with a genetic predisposition for making music, as both her parents were professional musicians during their early adult years. However, making music was not nurtured during childhood like it was for many of her contemporaries. Growing up in a single-parent home, Joni was steered by her mother toward practical endeavors that were more likely than music to secure Joni an adult career and financial stability. Joni's latent passion for making music began to show itself during her senior year of college when she borrowed a guitar from a friend, and with the help of library songbooks, began teaching herself to play. Over the following decade, as Joni developed her skills in playing guitar, so also grew in her passion for songwriting and performing. Eventually, that passion became the central focus of her life. Fast forward 15 years, Joni left her professional, secure and reliable day job to pursue a musical career, and she did so with no regret and no apology. Now, after two years as a full-time touring artist, Joni made another life changing transition and moved across the country to begin building another loyal local following, which she is certain to do with her new release, With No Apology.