Ever Since the World Ended,
the newest album by vocalist Lauren White
, is a family affair. It is not White’s consanguineous family but her extended music family to whom she turned for succor as the country deals with the Covid-19 pandemic. The loneliness and isolation caused by the quarantine are exacerbated by the disruption of our daily routines and uncertainty about the future. Ever Since the World Ended" is a testament to the anodyne powers of making music as a shared experience.Ever Since the World Ended
is White’s fifth CD. It follows Life in the Modern World
(2019), Out of the Past: Jazz & Noir
(2015), and Meant to Be
(2013). Music Connection Magazine says, “Finding emotional sweet spots, White alternates beautifully between moments of deep, haunting intimacy and lively sass, wit and swing."
White is an accomplished singer who has also found considerable success as a producer on the hit HBO show Homeland. Despite her very busy schedule, music and performing have always been central to her life. A regular in many clubs in Los Angeles, including Catalina Bar & Grill, Vitello’s and the Bel Age Hotel, she also performs regularly at Pangea, the Metropolitan Room, and the Triad in New York City, where she also has a fan base.
Pianist, arranger, and producer Quinn Johnson
is an important member of White’s music family. Johnson has a long and varied career, performing with Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Rita Coolidge, Jack Sheldon
, Diane Schuur
, Tom Scott
, Poncho Sanchez
, Flora Purim
, and many others in the jazz, pop, and Latin music worlds. He was the music director/pianist for Steve Tyrell
for 16 years and is currently the music director for pop singer Debby Boone. This is the fourth CD that White has made with Johnson, who produced, arranged, and played piano on this disc. White says, “It’s healing to work with old friends, especially a friend that’s as talented as Quinn. He likes to think out of the box on standards. He’s very experimental, and his arrangements can be difficult to sing but are a lot of fun for me.”
Also joining White are two stellar Southern California musicians with whom she has recorded and performed on live dates. Bassist, composer, and producer Trey Henry
has worked with dozens of top names in music. A favorite with singers, notably accompanying Ray Charles, Tierney Sutton
, and Linda Ronstadt, among many others, this is the fourth CD he has recorded with White. Drummer Ray Brinker
has been a member of the Tierney Sutton Band for 25 years and co-arranged and recorded 11 of their CDs. He received a Grammy nomination as co-arranger for “Best Arrangement Accompanying A Vocalist.” Brinker is also a member of the Grammy-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band. This is the third CD he has appeared on with White.
White did not set out to make a new album. Like most of us, she was craving some normalcy and just wanted to sing, so she contacted Johnson to discuss getting together to record a song. Towards the end of the summer, some of the Covid restrictions were eased a bit, so they decided it was feasible to make another album safely while adhering to social distancing guidelines. White did not intend to make a “Covid-19” album, but the theme of the recording came together organically by choosing songs that reflect a wide range of moods and emotions that she was experiencing.
From swingers like the opening tune “If You Never Fall in Love with Me” and “Take Love Easy,” to the bluesy and timely title tune “Ever Since the World Ended,” which features White’s close friend, vocalist Dolores Scozzesi
(video link below), to ballads like “Alone Together” and “Shattered,” to wistful songs like “Just the Two of Us” and “Remembering the Rain,” White takes us on a tour of the shifting emotional landscape that has become the new reality in these strange times. White actually recorded “Remembering the Rain” for her previous CD, Life in the Modern World, with Johnson at the helm but with other members of her extended musical family. For various reasons, she didn’t include it at the time; however, she liked the song and thought it was a good fit for Ever Since the World Ended.
In past times, White pursued an acting career. She was the lead on several daytime soap operas, and she established herself as a versatile musical theater performer in shows on and off Broadway. Her approach to singing reflects her training in the theater arts. She avoids gimmicky, vocal pyrotechnics and instead uses her silky voice to establish mood and tell a story.
Lauren White wanted to make music with friends as a balm for the trepidations caused by the pandemic and quarantine. What she wound up creating on Ever Since the World Ended
is a curative for the rest of us. Ever Since the World Ended
will be available everywhere on March 26, 2021.