Oakville, ON’s country-pop singer/songwriter Lori Lynne Johnson and her debut album Heartache & Healing — available now — embody the notion that once a caregiver, always a caregiver.
“At my core, that’s who I am,” explains Johnson. “I have taken care of people all my life. That has always been a big part of my identity.”
Naturally, it’s a big part of her music.
And it takes just one spin through the Oakville country-pop singer-songwriter’s striking EP to understand that Johnson is still deeply dedicated to helping others. The only difference is, these days she gets results with music instead of medicine.
A former critical-care nurse and longtime health-care professional, Johnson strides into the artistic spotlight for the first time. But you’d never know she’s new to the game. Not from the passion, power and poise of her warm-honey contralto and rich vibrato. And certainly not from the emotional depth and artistic range she displays as a lyricist and songwriter. She’ll charm you with the sunny roots-pop romance of “A Fool and His Honey” and the ear-catching sonic hybrid “A Thousand Cuts.” She’ll touch you with lovestruck, yearning gems like “Walk Beside” and her cover of Janis Ian’s “Getting Over You.” And she’ll move you with true-to-life ballads like “Remember You Instead” — inspired by a dream about the birth mother who gave her up for adoption — and the emphatically orchestrated “Courage,” based on a close friend’s battle with cancer.
Stylishly and expertly crafted with her collaborator, arranger and producer Marc Ganetakos, Heartache & Healing’s tracks stretch beyond Nashville country into timeless pop-rock, finding a distinctive, winning balance that would make any songwriter proud. Especially one who counts them as the first songs she’s written.