A self-taught soul/blues singer who began writing songs at age 16, Laura Cheadle is one of those all-around performers who leave you wondering why she hasn’t made it bigger yet. Since 2006, she’s recorded three independently-released albums of original music and a collection of Christmas standards arranged to suit her style, besides establishing herself at New York venues like the Bitter End and Crash Mansion.
She typically delivers high-energy sets, beginning with bluesy ballads and getting more up-tempo with tunes such as “Love Map,” “Live On” or the bossa-meets-soul “Sunday Naps,” which get her fans grooving. Cheadle has a five-piece backup band, in which her father, keyboardist James Cheadle, serves as music director.
The band is one of Cheadle’s great assets. Her dad spotlights his well-developed improvisational chops and smart riffs, while guitar, bass and drums provide funky support for her sexy, confident mezzo-soprano voice. Her rhythm guitar skills aren’t shabby, either. Laura Cheadle doesn’t represent much jazz content—but she’s well worth hearing.