Laura Taubman – Ol’ Kentucky Light


Laura Taubman - Ol' Kentucky Light

Laura Taubman – Ol’ Kentucky Light
Format: CD – Digital
Label: Continental Record Services
Release: 2022

Release date: May 20, 2022

The idea for this album came on a hot day in July in Manhattan in 2021. The pressure of the heat was down on me and the gospel song “If I Can Help Somebody” was playing in my ears, the version sung by Mahalia Jackson. I floated down the hazy sidewalk on University Place, her voice loud and raw in my headphones, and the meaning of mercy was brought to me for the first time in my life, in a strange and mystical experience in Washington Square Park.

I fortuitously met producer and drummer, Steven Williams and I realized I had met the person who could help me make “Ol’ Kentucky Light” for which I had already begun writing some of the songs. The genre of gospel I responded to, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples, The Staples Singers and others like them, was what inspired many of the songs for this album. The stark but rich recordings of their voices is the feeling that I wanted to create within as I wrote.

2021 was the year I began to cover some classic gospel songs. Singing those deep, healing sounds sparked something profound in my body and mind. I have come to understand the songs on “Ol’ Kentucky Light”, as my personal immersion into surrender, mercy and love. Being from the South and my roots in Appalachian music are not far from classic gospel music. The two kinds of music have always intermingled historically. In a way, these new songs have brought me closer to my southern background but in a deeper, more spiritual way. I truly hope that I can share my experience with listeners.

“Ol’ Kentucky Light” could not have had a better birthplace than my current home of New York City. NYC is my creative home, where I have always gone to make things. I am grateful that I got to make this music in collaboration on this album with Steven Williams, Paul T. Frazier, Walter Parks and Etienne Lytle at Atomic Sound Recording Studios in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

It was truly one of the most integrated and enlightened experiences of my life. I am ever grateful to them and grateful to the universe that I found them.