Lori Diamond/Fred Abatelli and Jaime Walker of THE STEAKS!!
"Best Female Vocalist" Pulse Magazine's Worcester Music Awards
By Jenifer Bakkala
Her voice is lush and alluring, and her lyrics dare to visit some of the most secluded tide pools of the human heart. It's a combination that continues to make listening to her music a profound journey -- one that Lori hopes will forge a real bond between herself and her audience.
"I want people to feel like they've had an emotional experience when they hear my music. I want to feel like I've made a connection with them."
A self-taught pianist, "there was never a moment when music was not there" for Lori. She began on her home piano as a toddler and joined her first band at the age of 14. Beginning in her college years, she was keyboardist and back-up vocalist for the Boston-based Bee Charmers, an acoustic/folk/rock group which offered her some experience in writing and arranging as well. During her 10 years with the Charmers, she also moonlighted with other bands, increasing her repertoire to include Motown, blues, classic rock and jazz.
Sometimes described as a cross between Joni Mitchell, Aimee Mann and Alicia Keys, her influences include Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Carole King, Liz Story and Sarah McLachlan. The result is an adult contemporary style infused with jazz, pop, folk and blues.
In 2003, Lori put her songwriting abilities to the test with her first solo album, Bound, which is dedicated to the memory of her sister. Since then, she has performed avidly as a soloist, and has added her voice and keyboard work to the albums of many local artists.
Lori teamed up with guitarist/vocalist Fred Abatelli in 2007, a musical union that she calls "inevitable." "He paints more colors -- takes it to a different place, and expands the sound, making it richer and bolder." With Fred's help, Lori wrote and released Mystery, which made its debut to a standing ovation at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, Mass in 2009.
Currently, Lori and Fred are enjoying a full performance schedule, and hope to expand their horizons geographically as their reputation continues to grow. They also plan to collaborate on a new CD in the coming year -- recording begins in June 2010.
JAIME WALKER is one of the singer-songwriters and the 'senior steak' in the seminal Boston band, The Swinging Steaks. He remembers first writing songs on the school bus in second grade. He played his first paying gig at a junior high dance at the age of 12. As a guitar player he was initially enamored with first British invasion of blues players (ie Jeff Beck, Page, Clapton, etc) and first started playing slide in standard tuning shortly thereafter, a la Duane Allman. Initially inspired by late 60's AM radio, he has always been a lover of 'the song' and a song writer. In the Steaks era he has been particularly fond of the Texas singer-songwriters, such as Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Terry Allen, Guy Clarke, Jerry Jeff walker, etc. In retrospect most of Jamie's material has a spiritual aspect to it (although certainly not ALL of it!).
First Parish UU in Watertown (View)
35 Church St.
Watertown, MA 02472
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