Joanne Lurgio of Warwick released her fourth CD, titled “Crossing Jordan,” last week and is already receiving praise from listeners.
The official launch party will be held Sunday, Aug. 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. at St. Kevin Church, 333 Sandy Lane, Warwick. Merchandise will be available and refreshments will be served.
There will be a free concert that night, and opening the show will be the Celtic/folk duo of Alice Pace and Ned Quist. They will be followed by a showcase of the music of “Crossing Jordan,” with Lurgio accompanied by Bryan Barrette, music director at St. Kevin’s Church.
Lurgio picked up her first guitar at the age of 10. It was given to her by her father, who passed away in 2011. From there, she began to write songs and to follow her musical dreams and passion.
Lurgio has had an extensive music career and has received numerous honors from Motif Magazine. She won Jane’s Joint Songwriting Competition in 2012 for “Won’t Ever Quit” and is a board member for the Rhode Island Songwriters Association.
Lurgio also provides music therapy for patients at the Beacon Hospice Alzheimer’s/Dementia Unit and other facilities throughout the area. She is also a soloist for funeral and memorial services.
Lurgio said she felt a specific calling to produce “Crossing Jordan.”
“It was almost like I had to do this project. I have been so moved by these songs,” she said. “When I started cantering for the funerals, these songs took on a whole new meaning. I can only describe it as, when I started singing them with ‘purpose,’ rather than the routine of ‘open the music book to [a specific] song,’ the songwriter in me took over as I listened to the stories being told and the messages they held.”
She added: “They are beautiful and comforting. It didn’t take long to realize the important role this music plays as the beginning of a healing process for families and friends who have lost a loved one. I am honored to be a part of it.”
Accompanying Joanne Lurgio on “Crossing Jordan” are Byran Barrette on piano and synthesizer; Aubrey Atwater on vocals and foot percussion; Cathy Clasper-Torch on cello, and violin; Elwood Donnelly on vocals; Pamela Lowell on cello; Joe Lurgio on mandolin; and Joe Potenza on acoustic bass guitar.
John Paul Gauthier of Lakewest Recording served as producer and engineer, while John Mailloux of Bongo Beach Productions mastered the recording. Artwork and graphic design were done by Patricia Ann Almonte, while Erin X. Smithers served as photographer. MaryAnn Rossoni of Second Story Graphics also did graphic design.
Lurgio spoke further about her experience as a funeral and memorial service singer.
“What surprised me was how often family members stayed back, taking time to compliment the music and the songs, letting Bryan and I know how much they appreciated it,” Lurgio said. “Music is so healing. For the record, Bryan is a fabulous musician, and we work really well together. I clearly remember the morning back in 2016 as we were getting ready for a funeral, I blurted out to Bryan, ‘I need to record these songs. Will you accompany me?’ And the rest is history. And not only did we record, but I got some of the best musicians to come in to add their talents, just enough in just the right places.”
Lurgio’s previous recordings include 2015’s “Rise from the Storm,” the 2012 single “Won’t Ever Quit,” 2009’s “Nothing Remains the Same” and 2005’s “Find a Dream.”
Lurgio performs during open mic nights at The Punjab Restaurant in Johnston on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 10 p.m. She will perform at b.good in Cranston’s Garden City Center on Aug. 8 and Aug. 29, and will perform during Sunday brunch starting at 10 a.m. on Aug. 25 at Character’s Café on Rolfe Square in Cranston.
“Something I am excited about is the coming together of the two different audiences – my singer-songwriter music friends and those who only know me as the funeral singer,” Lurgio said. “I am planning to celebrate the release of my new CD, and everyone is welcome to experience something new. And I sure hope they each love what they have never heard before.”
For more information and hear Lurgio’s music, visit joannelurgio.com.