We first met Laura Oakes on the 11th October 2015. She was supporting Raintown on their ‘Writing On The Wall’ tour at a venue in Wolverhampton. We hadn’t started this blog at that stage but were planning to do so and knew next to nothing about UK country music. Laura was a name on the billboard, nothing more.
She did a 30 minute set and we had a brief conversation afterwards. We have seen her numerous times since and have never failed to experience the emotions that tell you that someone has a special talent. If we were asked to name a team of UK country singer songwriters to compete against Nashville’s finest, Laura would be opening the batting.
2017 saw the release of her ‘Nashville Stole Your Girl’ EP, and since then we have had various singles, culminating with the release of ‘Learn To Be Lonely Again’, a song that she has performed regularly at her live shows over the last year.
She teamed up with Nashville-based singer-songwriter Beth Nielson Chapman, who is a Hall of Fame member and twice-Grammy nominated artist, to pen this emotive ballad which will deeply resonate with anyone who has suffered the pain and anguish of losing a loved one.
Laura’s inspiration for the song was the reaction that her family experienced when her Dad was admitted to hospital for (thankfully) a brief stay. Her Mom had to lock the front door at night, a job that he would usually do. The subject matter is one that we all have or will face at some stage, and the mark of a great country song is the ability to convey those emotions couched in honesty and sensitivity.
This is a divergence from her usual sound and showcases a songwriter and performer who has the undoubted ability to take her music and career to the next level.
One of life’s mysteries has been the lack of major label involvement to date. She’s about to embark on her first tour of Germany, and the involvement of a heavyweight US songwriter is a hugely positive association.
We pray that those big mainstream opportunities will be realised by the exposure that this song should provide. Laura Oakes should be more than UK Country Music’s best asset.