That's the question that's both asked, and answered, if you're ever fortunate enough to see Miss LAURA CHEADLE perform live. This South Jersey artist is a vibrant, incredibly talented, young singer/songwriter
that's polished way beyond her years. Her "funky" style is as infectious as it is crowd pleasing.
To understand where Laura gets her musical abilities, one has to look no further than her own family. Her father, James "Papa" Cheadle, listed as her number one influence along with Stevie Wonder and
Tower of Power among others, has been and still is to this day, her piano/keyboard player. It was his gentle push that got Laura into music at a very young age. When she was just four, she and her father
embarked on a tour of the U.S. with the "Appreciation Choir." This project honored and entertained veterans of the first Persian Gulf war.
Over the years, Laura continued to sing and perform. The first instrument which she learned to play was the drums. However, she also had the desire to write her own material and perform. So, at the age
of sixteen, she taught herself to play guitar. Admitting that she utilizes "made up" chords that are "unique to Laura Cheadle," she began to pen song after song. Before she turned seventeen, she recorded
a CD, an acoustic compilation entitled "Maybe One Day."
Shortly thereafter, she began to perform in earnest. One of her first large shows was a set that she did at the VH1 "Save The Music Festival." Confessing to me that it was "kind of scary at first" because
it was just her with her guitar in front of thousands, she said that it was "invigorating and fantastic to hear the response from the crowd to her music." Since then, she has gone on to open for such acts
as The Jonas Brothers, The Spin Doctors, Sister Hazel, and American Idol contestant Constantine to name a few.
Now totally immersed in the desire to write and perform, Laura began work on her first "real" CD. This first effort, entitled "Falling In," only gives a glimpse into what a truly amazing talent that
Laura Cheadle is. Her second CD, "Live On," is a collection of songs that range from the funky ("Constantly" and "Funk Is Dead") to the sultry ("My Only Weakness"). Laura's voice runs the gamut from powerful,
to soothing, often times in the same song.
Recordings are one thing, but to see her live is the way to get the full Laura Cheadle experience. I've seen many players come and go over the years, but rarely none with the energy and stage presence
I had the pleasure of seeing her recently in Princeton, NJ, where she and her two accompanying musicians wowed the packed house with an intense, energetic set. The venue was small, but this didn't stop
Laura from dancing and working the stage, and audience, like a seasoned veteran. Her engaging personality makes you feel like you're the only one in the room. Laura's funny anecdotes about herself and her
family have you feeling like you're sitting on her couch instead of in a club. The set was a tireless effort of originals, a few select covers, and audience requests.
It's been a long time since I've seen a performer put forth the kind of effort on stage that Cheadle does. Her constant motion is contagious, as is evident by the crowd reaction. There was singing, clapping,
and dancing throughout the evening.
Laura was recently seen on Channel 6 Action News out of Philadelphia, PA, as a winner of their Viewers Choice video contest. She's also been featured in many publications, online magazines, and newspapers.
The reviews and accolades are many for this vivacious performer who calls herself "a funky white girl who's got soul."
Do yourselves a favor and check out LAURA CHEADLE. It's in my humble opinion that you won't regret it.
You can find LAURA CHEADLE at www.myspace.com/lauracheadle or www.lauracheadle.com.
Her music is available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.com to name a few.
Until next time... ROCK ON!