In person and on stage, Lorie Jo has a life rhythm, a presence of energy, and a desire to connect with people through stories and experiences. Musically, she writes a myriad of roots based genres and on occasion she steps outside of the expected. One will even find a handful of jazz, blues, and soul influenced songs in her original repertoire. Lorie Jo’s writing style has often been heralded as “traditional with an edge of her own.” Blessed with an outstanding voice and an innate flair for a hook, she redefines the traditional pop song while cultivating a style unique from the classic, predictable radio plays of days gone by.
Always having been a performer, Lorie Jo became an entrepreneur early on, charging the neighbors a nickel to come see a living room performance of “I’m a Little Teapot.” In her adolescence, she wrote short stories and prose prolifically and was heavily involved in theater and voice. Having the privileges of being part of a state awarded Show Choir, she went on to perform singing telegrams, morning shows, and performed at Epcot Center in Disney World. Her junior year of high school, with the passion for performance and a desire to find her own voice, she signed up for her first variety show and brought down the house singing Jewel’s Who Will Save Your Soul. However, it wasn’t until after her high school graduation that her 11th grade history teacher encouraged her to pick up the guitar. At the age of 19, Lorie Jo went from prose writer to songwriter and began performing original material six months later.
Still imbued with that entrepreneurial spirit, Lorie Jo launched South Forty Music Festival in the fall of 2004. Gaining local and regional recognition, the Kansas based festival grew steadily and hosted acts such as Trampled Under Foot, Big Smith, Mountain Sprout, Kirk Rundstrom (Split Lip Rayfield), Kasey Rausch, Ellie Smith, Dewayne Bros, Fast Food Junkies, and more. It was in 2009 that the economic downturn became too heavy a burden and the festival folded.
In 2003, she moved from Topeka, Kansas to Springfield, Missouri. Early in 2005, she packed up again and headed to her current residence in Nashville, Tennessee. She steadily honed her craft and began performing 4-6 nights a week at local venues taking advantage of the singer-songwriter scene. In 2006, she had the privilege of a live recording with acclaimed musician Jeff Gilkinson of The Dillards, and in 2007 formed a band with Grammy nominated drummer Alexander Arzamastsev of Bering Strait. As the band evolved, Lorie Jo’s group put out two albums. Her first studio album Gadget debuted in 2009, followed by Bootleg in 2010, a mixture of live performance and studio one-takes.
Throughout her musical career, Lorie Jo has been blessed with the opportunity to play some great venues across the south and midwest, including Stage II at the internationally renowned Walnut Valley Festival as part of the “best of the campground” series, as well as the main stage at the 2006 James Brown Music Festival in Augusta, GA. This was one of the last concerts Mr. Brown played before he passed away in December of the same year.
Needing a creative hiatus, in 2010, Lorie Jo made a difficult decision to take a break from the music industry and return to college and complete her degree. Graduating with her BA in Communication near the top of her class in 2014, Lorie Jo was ready to rejoin the music scene.
Her first solo studio album is currently underway, with a release date in early 2017. The EP, mostly made up of songs that come from a darker, grittier side of life tell stories of love, heartache, and the ways of the human ego when challenged. Falling back to her roots, her debut will be comprised of traditional Country and Americana influence, over the more rock oriented albums from her past projects with the band noTVmotel. In the rhythmic, ear-worm melody of Home, Lorie Jo speaks to the growing economic divide and the struggles of those affected by the changing economy.
You’ve been working and paying, saving your whole life
Waiting for the day you’ve finally paid the price
You’ve worked so hard to turn this around
But the money keeps to the other side of town
The devil will get you alone in his grace
He’ll tell you for money that heaven can wait
A slave to the dime you become
As time passes by the devil feels like home
Home, home, home – I want to go home, home, home
Home, Home, home – Back into my mother’s arms
Lorie Jo Bridges will announce tour dates to support her upcoming album due early 2017. Along the way you can catch her as she takes us on the journey of being a DittyTV VJ host on #TheCurve, new episodes airing every Wed and Sun at 10p CST. Catch the show daily at 10a & 10p at DittyTV.com. You can also stream from most ROKU, Apple TV, or TiVo devices.
WHERE IT COMES FROM
“The music comes from my love for the beauty and fragility of life, as well as the human spirit. I often feel as though I am merely the vessel that produces the song. The message comes from somewhere else. Putting stories and poems to page has always been there for me as a way to share and connect with others. Performing live and recording albums is the best way I know how to let these stories and ideas reach other people. Always grateful to be able to tap a creative well, I am truly blessed and honored to perform these stories. Many of them are personal, but sharing in humanism is what helps others heal, dance, smile, cry, connect, and love. You really can’t ask for more than that.”
– Lorie Jo
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