Talent comes and goes on every street corner around this country of ours. Sitting on the old rocking chair in motown Mississippi or skipping down the alley of Sinatra’s stomping grounds could be the next wonder of the recorded experience.
Some of these gems hone their craft in a musical education until they can’t stand the sight of a piano they produce wonders on.
Our very own Elizabethtown College has humbly accepted the musical maiden in question to their ranks for a rigorous four years in the basement of Zug Hall.
Her time at Etown may be over, but Genesis Lorraine of the Class of 2015 will charm audiences of thousands just as she did her compatriots here at the College.
The band “Genesis Lorraine and Her 8-Track Mind” recently released their debut album of the same name last month.
Lorraine’s time at Elizabethtown was mostly spent in the Music Therapy department in Zug Hall, granting her talents and healing charm to any client that would have her. Now a working musician, she spends most of her time with the band, as well as teaching lessons on the side.
The band consists of local musicians, including Cody Thompson ‘17, a Music Therapy senior and virtuosic saxophone player. Others are seasoned musicians that have been playing in the Central Pennsylvania music scene for decades.
Their recent schedule consists of live shows in the Harrisburg area, along with plans for the album following this one mentioned here.
Right on the cover it says, “100% Autotune Free.” Not many musicians today have the brawn to record an entire record with no technological assistance. Knowing her from her concert gigs and time at Etown, autotune would be a hinderance rather than helpful.
Her sound is classically trained at heart, and emits a purity of character that cannot be found on a fixed audio file. Kudos to her bravery and confidence on this wonderful album of hers.
The CD itself consists of nine songs—one of which is a bonus track—exploring different sounds in the jazz and blues-rock spectrum. Only two of the tracks on the regular album are covers, leaving enough room for the pallet of colorful timbres expressed in her original work. Genesis wastes no time, jumping out of the speakers parachute and all in “Skydiver.”
A classic framework that succeeds time and time again, the song grooves down the atmosphere at a comfortable pace. Her belts high in the sky, Genesis puts her heart into the microphone with every carefully placed note and vocal augmentation. Her parachute of musicians blissfully place her on the driver’s seat of a stolen hot rod in “Catch Me if You Can.”
This ode to southern rock cruises along the harmonic highway in style, showing off the tang of the more experienced members. Sliding forever further down the crossroads guitar neck, the axe man shows off some front-porch style note noodling. The tune finishes like a warm throat coat of Southern Comfort as Genesis prepares for the “Best Damn Thing.”
Where the usual blues number takes the perspective of the downtrodden recipient of a loss, the trick to this poor pony is the insight from the empowered independent heart-breaker.
The shift in style is appreciated, bringing new outlets to the classic sound. Her voice concludes the tune abruptly like a conductor cutting off their orchestra before the final chord, a pattern that seems to be prevalent throughout.
As far as the remaining original tracks, they offer a wide repertoire for a full picture of the band’s sound with the understanding that they are a live band first and foremost and they carry that over to the album. The three covers are tasteful with a hint of originality in vocal style.
The album does not listen like a concept work, but more like a roulette wheel with a sub-category of style on each section, giving audiences a sneak peek of GL8TM’s live production: a spectacle which this reviewer highly recommends.
The album is definitely worth a listen from music aficionados of all ages. One must keep in mind that what they are hearing is an unaltered human voice, a rarity in today’s popular music recordings.
Their debut record sets a tone for the development of a solid live sound, rather than living in the confines of a studio.
The talent sifted through the humbled halls of Elizabethtown College exists on and off campus, and Genesis Lorraine is merely a marvelous example.