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HomeMusicFeatured Michigan Musical ArtistsCrafting Music from Life's Stories

Crafting Music from Life’s Stories

Though most conversations about music are centered around the output of A-List celebrities or the hits that populate pop radio, the vast majority of live music that people will consume in their lifetime is likely performed by “local” artists.  Playing their trade on stages that may double as the corner of a restaurant bar or a community park, their songs and stories keep us entertained in ways we may take for granted.

While the proceeds of a rock star lifestyle are often measured in celebrity and riches, our local heroes are often simply rewarded by the richness of their lives.  If you are looking for authenticity, would you look for it in a millionaire pop star singing about a Mom struggling with her daily priorities or would you instead seek out a song written and sung by a Mom struggling with her daily priorities?  That answer should be simple.

Mid-Michigan’s LoraDale is an artist in this vein.  In promoting her latest album Pieces, the wife, mother, musician, and local business person found herself in just such a place.  The album is at turns confessional and inspirational, with a delivery to match.

We caught up with LoraDale and she shared with us some of her thoughts on music, family, and the intersection of the two.

Beginnings

Growing up, music was a lifestyle; it was the backdrop of every minute of my life in one way or another.  My parents traveled on the weekends with a group called “Living Truth” and my siblings and I were quite often the roadies.  Although we were of little help to them, I did learn how to properly wrap cables.  More importantly, I unknowingly learned the power that lives inside of a song. 

The piano was my safe place; it was my escape. This childhood piano knows every untold secret, and never broke my trust.  I was writing and composing in my early teens about all the injustices of love and school drama.  I wrote about friends, family, God…anything that pulled at my heart. Therapy.

High school was rough and I found myself a teen mom. Life just took hold, and although I held on as tight as I could, the creative side of music took a back burner for many years.  I finished my Cosmetology certificate and started building a life with my husband, having 3 more children. It was busy!  I barely had time to shower, much less sit down with my guitar, but I could never regret those years; my family is my all.  

Music camps and theater became my outlet.  It was something I could do with my kids, and I took every opportunity to shower them with the arts.  I so desperately wanted to give them the same kind of upbringing that I had.  As they got older, I was able to give more time to my art, and I began to sit at the piano more to create.  It’s been quite the balancing act, but with all the emotions involved in marriage and raising kids, there’s been an overload of things to write about. Some of my favorite songs are those that have a personal message to the ones I love.

Behind The Songs

“I’ll Stay” –I wrote this song over a bonfire in my backyard at the very beginning of COVID when everyone was unsure of what the future would hold. I just remember thinking “I’m ok…if we have to run for the hills or hunker down; if these are the only faces I’ll ever see again, I’m ok”. I was filled with peace knowing I’d have my family and my faith for the rest of the days we had, however many there might be. We sat and watched the fire burn down to nothing, and I felt safe.

This song was written for my husband Scott Aldrich, and I just wanted him to know that he is enough for me and the kids.

“Me and You” – A couple years ago, my son Silas had an accident in a river in Muskegon while we were visiting family. I didn’t talk much about it afterward in fear of people judging my parenting skills and just being…ya know…how people are. But, we have healed from it, and it’s worth sharing. Silas, 10 years old at the time, nearly drowned as he was pulled under by a current as we were all done and getting tubes out of the river.  I thought he was gone, but my brother and I gave him breath and compressions until he came back to us.

I could not be more grateful for his life. What a gift. It has made us all change the way we view each other, and love better.

“Twenty”- I was 18 when I had Sayge…so young…and I had no idea what I was doing. I do know that she saved my life just by existing. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted her to know she was loved and wanted. So, we all kinda grew up together. I saw so much of myself in her, but she is most definitely her own soul…the sweetest soul I have ever met.

“All is Not Lost” – So, this was written in one of the darkest moments of my life. I was watching those around me struggle while trying to battle my own demons, and it all came out in like 4 minutes at the piano one day in between clients.

My message is Hope.  Sometimes we just have to lay all of our crap down and trust that there is a bigger plan…that we have the strength we need to pick up the pieces and move forward.

I do not write for the masses, and I perform for the love of seeing one face change in the crowd.  I have felt alone in my struggles for many many years, and my hope is to help make one less person feel that way.

You can find LoraDale’s music on Spotify or other major streaming platforms and catch her performances on stages around Mid-Michigan and the Thumb.

Watch LoraDale’s latest video “Pieces” from the album Pieces.

Matt de Heus
Matt de Heus
Despite his background in chemical and manufacturing engineering, Matt's true passion lies in music. Matt has received local awards from REVIEW magazine, recognizing his achievements in country songwriting, single releases, music videos, and more. His captivating song "Gone" has garnered particular acclaim. Alongside his musical pursuits, Matt is an accomplished freelance writer, lending his expertise to REVIEW magazine. He now joins LLL as their resident music expert. By following Matt and LLL, music enthusiasts can stay informed about Michigan's exceptional artists, captivating venues, and remarkable music scene.
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