"Hope Like an Angel,"
A Review of
"Like an Angel"
Apple Valley Village
Female Vocalist, is
one of the talented regional performers who has featured at Alley Opps, Apple Valley Village.
Laurie Cagno's puts her soul into her music. "Dance through the colors of a rainbow," a line from "Dance, Jenny, Dance," from Laurie Cagno's first album, "Dancing Cantos," is Cagno's grown-up version of a little girl's dream.
Cagno has that rare quality of a mature singer who has has ridden the emotional roller coaster, but keeps renewing her spirit with her vision about hope and love.
Cagno sings her dreams, the kind of dream a child effortlessly dreams, whether it's visual imagery of horses running free and wild, their manes flowing in a sundrenched endless plain or the deep emotional lift that hope promises.
Cagno's dream is best expressed by her words, "you give me hope like an angel, in her song "Hope Like an Angel." Cagno mysteriously doesn't identifty who gives her hope, whether its spiritual love she draws from her faith in God or the expectation of a fullfilling relationship.
Cagno's talent is to touch and draw from a wealth of styles, whether country, gospel-tinged rock, blues, jazz, or folk. Echoes of Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young, Joni Mitchell, Rolling Stones, Beatles, and other classic musicians and her own deeply emotional energized style helped garner her Best Female Vocalist of the Year Award.
Cagno's singing style can mysteriously dip from sultry lows to graceful high filigrees as in "Hope Like an Angel" or belt out a classic rock and roll Rolling Stones inspired "There's Something." She can carry an audience on her emotional journey by her voice and her stage presence.
"You can't just wait for things to happen, sometimes, you have to make them happen," Cagno recently said in explaining how she came to record her first album. She has gained the respect of fellow musicians with her range and honest delivery, a respect reinforced by the award for Best Female Vocalist in northwestern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania.
Cagno has won over not just those giving out awards, but a host of fans who appreciate her songs from her soul and heart.Cagno says she finds the complexities of life are very simple really, "its all about being able to love, reach out to people."
Cagno draws inspiration from life experiences in her songs, such as "Hope Like an Angel," a deeply emotional healing song about life and love and "I Want to Live." Cagno's range of emotio9ns is her calling card. When she in the past suffered from a failed relationship, at a time when she was past tears, she sings, "If I could shed one tear, I'd shed it for you. You didn't even ask if I'm all right." Yet through thge hurt, she can draw on a wellspring of healing power and say, "I'm all right."
Cagno's themes are drawn from life experiences. "I'm inspired by people who encourage others," she said. The words and passion of her emotional song cycles reach out to the heart to heal. "Love begets love," she said.
"We have to believe in dreams and have a vision." In "This Time," she sings "there's nothing to fear. I want to believe you. Let's sail away to love's perfect world."
Cagno blends Rock and Roll, Gospel, Blues, Classical, Country, and Jazz. In "Sweet Rythmn," a jazz-blues-rock-country riff written by Todd Sheafer and played hauntingly by superband "Kings in Disguise," Cagno's uses her voice like Sinatra used to use his voice as a jazz instrument. Cagno echoes a freight train passing plaintively by.
Laurie Cagno has generated respect from fellow musicians in the area with her technical expertise and tour de force stylization. She and Kings in Disguise are part of an emerging regional style exemplified by musicians such as Laurie Cagno, Bobby Kyle, and Will Hoppey that is being recognized nationally and even internationally. This blues and acoustic based style revisits 60s to 70s rock and and folk classics, has developed under the influence and even tutelage of established stars, and is reinforced by the fact that many of the musicians in the region play together, sing each other's songs, and are influenced by each other.
Life's not all perfect love, perfect vision, perfect relationships. If Laurie Cagno has has been disappointed in love, she has not been broken and she is not bitter. "It's all about love and healing and caring and commitment." Through life's experiences, keep on loving and take some time to be free enough to dance.
Cagno has a following of loyal fans who have bought over 5,000 albums produced under her own label. They understand that she sings from the gut and heart. She's gentle but passionate about her singing, because she knows she can reach and touch people's lives.
Laurie Cagno knows how to touch people. She says "they'll leave with their heart a little lighter and their thoughts a little bit deeper."
What makes Laurie Cagno's art so special and strong is that she can reach both men and women in different ways at the same time. At her recent Alley Oops at Apple Valley Village Club date, men in the audience responded to her childlike honesty, high intensity emotional energy, and her willingness to sing to each person in the audience as if they were the only person in the room. Women said they understood the depth of Cagno's emotional experience, her vulnerability in relationships, her ability to stay in touch with her childhood dreams, and her ability to tap a deep healing source to help weather emotional storms in life. Don't stop singing Laurie.
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Rainbow background by Julianne Tolson.
Documentary Photo of Laurie Cagno by Ken Baumel.
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