CD Release at Virgin Megastore
March 24, 2006
By Karen Sng
Local artist Lauren Flaherty and her band rocked out at the Virgin Megastore this past Friday (March 24, 2006). It was a CD release party for her debut album, What Makes an Angel, which she started recording about a year ago. Her sweet, melodious voice filled the cozy café containing mostly family, friends, and students of the artist, however, a number of Virgin shoppers drawn by the music also stopped by to listen.
Despite its shortness in length, the group's performance contained a variety of melodies ranging from soothing piano ballads to lively rock songs. The group also performed a few covers such as "Love Song" by the Cure and "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. Though a good show, Flaherty had a few areas on which she could improve upon such as breathing control, tuning, and stage presence. At times, it seemed that she was holding back in both her body language and high, climactic notes. Still, Flaherty is new to the scene and is likely to improve with time and experience. Her passion for her music and cheerful personality definitely shine through both on and off the stage. I had the pleasure of experiencing the latter during a short chat after the show.
Flaherty was born and raised in South Boston where she still resides today. She started voice and guitar lessons about 10 years ago and composing "within just twenty-four hours of striking her first power chord." Since then, she has started gigging, and has experimented with several line-ups. Currently, she performs with David Ragland (bass) whom she works with at Berklee School of Music and Fabio Pirozzolo (drums) whom she met while singing at a friend's recital. She describes her music as "alternative rock with pop melodies" and gets inspiration for her song lyrics through feelings and emotions that she would otherwise not be able to say in normal conversation. One such song, "Goodbye" expresses her difficulty of ending a former relationship with a guy. Her desire is to "make my audience feel everything I'm feeling," "all the joy, love, and outrage. To create real art " Bands that she is influenced by include Tori Amos, Garbage, Hole, and The Cure. A secret lover of R&B, she also enjoys listening to Mary J Blige and Aretha Franklin.
Over the years Flaherty has obtained a number of awards and achievements. In 2005 she won "Honorable Mention" at the Billboard World Songwriting Contest for her song "Slowly," and a year later, in 2006, she achieved "Top Finalist" at the Great American Song Contest for her song Angel. She was among the featured artists in Empowerment Records' 2005 compilation CD "The Power to Break You Free," and has received airplay on Pulse Now, an English Internet and satellite radio station. In the past, Flaherty has performed numerous shows throughout Boston and New York at places such as T.T. the Bears, CBGBs, Club Passim, and Berklee Performance Center, and at events such as The Special Olympics.
Flaherty is working on furthering her music career. She has a couple shows
lined up in April at Kirkland Café (April 7, 2006) in Somerville and
T.T. The Bear's (April 25, 2006) in Cambridge. When she is not busy working
at Berklee or performing with her band on stage she can be found doing volunteer
for the Democratic Party and teaching voice lessons to inner city students.