Laura Nyro is a name I have always known, but I knew little about her, and so far as I recall had never heard her music. So I put that right today by listening to her early album ‘Eli and the Thirteenth Confession’. If I had any clue about what she would be like I guess I imagined introspective late 60s/early 70s singer- songwriter stuff, but it’s far from it. I certainly didn’t expect exultant funk, soul and gospel overlays, and songwriting of real complexity and originality. If she reminds me of anyone it would be Carol King, but a very left-field Carol King. There are shades of contemporary (Astral Weeks, Moondance) Van Morrison, and even Joanna Newsom, but in a good way. I’m left perplexed as to why, in the era of Joni Mitchell, Carol King, James Taylor and Neil Young she didn’t become a major star.
If like me you don’t know her music I urge you to check her out. And if there are any Laura Nyro fans out there ( and there must be here) I’d love to know more about her music and what you’d suggest I listen to next.
In the meantime, I’ll just say this is a very late contender for best thing I’ve heard all year.