I was struck by Rose the minute she entered the venue. She had an ease that sometimes accompanies people when they are in "their element" and her performance proved my first impression true. As she tuned her guitar, she told us of her work with the elderly and how she plays for people who are suffering or in unfortunate straights - often the elderly and their kin. She explained that she "interprets music" mostly, arranging a rendition as she feels the authors of the songs would want them performed. My intellect processed this information as: "Oh she does covers". None of this, however, prepared me for the searing essence of these tunes wending their way through me as they did that evening. It was as if Rose channeled somehow a part of these compositions, mostly Celtic, from her deep genetic roots. It was so subtle and profound that it took me over thoroughly before I could examine it. In between the tunes she educated us on the research she had done on each song and I wondered if her studying the songs empowered them in a mystical way because they became much more than "covers"; it was more the songs became reborn from their source.
I was holding my own through this cradling of music until, synchronistically, Rose chose to perform "Over the Rainbow". This is the song that was played at my Mother's funeral a few years back. I can't hear it - and I hear it often - without thinking of my mother. When Rose did the song, I remembered my mother. The tension and the feelings of loss from life and work came flooding out as she played the song and the song played me. My waterworks began and as I listened and I was able to remember nothing is ever really lost, it just transforms. People we love, jobs and prosperity we enjoy, even the moments of terror and regret...they are all transient. So are troubadours like Rose who leave in their wake a slightly healed and transformed environment then they silently steal away to the next act of kindness. Such is the healing prowess of Rose Laughlin's renditions of song. Don't miss an opportunity to see Rose Laughlin perform live. Support her endeavors. She's a rare and valuable bird.
Rose has just announced the arrival of her third CD, "House of Memory". It can be purchased at her website. Digital downloads are not available yet, but should be within the next couple of weeks at cdbaby.com.
..."House of Memory" is a collection of American Roots, Celtic and contemporary song. There is also one song that I wrote myself, the title track, "House of Memory". It is a song that was inspired by a woman with dementia.
There are many fine musicians that played on this album and it was produced by folk luminaries, Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston..."
Some artists perform music to let you know what they have to say and some artists; those like Rose Laughlin, perform music to allow you to experience what music can do.
Photo Credit: CelticFolkPod.com