Lorna Bracewell

Chicks Rock: The Top 10

click to enlarge Lorna Bracewell - Shanna Gillette
Shanna Gillette
Lorna Bracewell

Lorna Bracewell is refreshingly difficult to define. She's an acoustic-guitar-wielding singer/songwriter who appreciates Ani DiFranco and The Rolling Stones — and isn't afraid to let both influences spice her music.

The St. Petersburg resident has shared stages with The Pretenders, Heart, Chris Isaak and even Christian music star Amy Grant. Bracewell is also an open lesbian who regularly performs the hymn "Amazing Grace" with all the passion and verve of a seasoned gospel singer.

Raised on religion, the 23-year-old has spent most of her career — which already totals five albums of original material — using music to reconcile a Bible-based upbringing with progressive social views. "I have some God-baggage I'm working through," Bracewell says with a laugh during a recent visit to the Creative Loafing offices.

By sorting out her "baggage" in song, Bracewell is bridging the gap between conservative Christians and lefty liberals with an international fan base (she's toured Europe several times) that includes members of both sects. "I don't self-identify as a Christian," Bracewell says. "But I don't see any conflict or tension between loving someone of the same sex and believing in [Jesus Christ]. It's funny how homosexuality has taken on such a big role [in defining Christianity]."

On the folk-rock title track to her new album Flowers on the Chain, inspired by a Karl Marx essay, Bracewell plays the role of adviser, cautioning her sister against jumping into marriage, questioning a brother's blind religious faith, and then in the third verse calling on the community at large to address "a fire in our pretty city on the hill."

Yes, Bracewell is an artist/activist. She made headlines nationwide last month when she went to City Hall in Largo to protest the firing of city manager Steve Stanton for undergoing a sex change. A picture of Bracewell holding a pink sign that reads "Don't Discriminate" ran in Newsweek, People and other publications.

"Being there to voice my opinion meant a lot to me," said Bracewell, a graduate of Largo High School whose brother works for the city. In fact, she had been to City Hall before, several years back, to sing "Amazing Grace" at a prayer breakfast for former Largo Mayor Bob Jackson. "I bet if he knew I was a lesbian," Bracewell says, "he wouldn't have had me sing 'Amazing Grace.'"

Latest release: Flowers on the Chain

Key track: "Flowers on the Chain"

More info: lornabracewell.com

Upcoming gigs: May 18 at Friday Extra Concert Series, Lowry Park Zoo Bandshell, Tampa.

Music Issue 2007: Chicks Rock

Tampa Bay's top 10 women musicians — plus 100 must-have CDs by women artists


Natty Moss-Bond
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY ERIC SNIDER
Yo Majesty
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
Lorna Bracewell
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
Belinda Womack
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY ERIC SNIDER
Rebekah Pulley
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
Giddy-Up, Helicopter!
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
Valerie Gillespie
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY ERIC SNIDER
Tina Louise
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
Anna Kate Mackle
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WAYNE GARCIA
Geri X
Cover
Chicks Rock: The Top 10
BY WADE TATANGELO
The Essentials
Cover
100 Must-Have Albums by Women Artists
The Best of the Fests
Cover
A smorgasbord of Florida music festivals.
BY LEILANI POLK
The Definitive Venue List
Cover
Music Issue 2007
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