Monthly Music Mix show to focus on music with a message

Hear Lara Herscovitch’s folky tunes at her website, laraherscovitch.com. (Courtesy)

Hear Lara Herscovitch’s folky tunes at her website, laraherscovitch.com. (Courtesy)

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Singer-songwriter Lara Herscovitch doesn’t write songs just for the ears, but also for the heart and soul.

A former State Troubadour of Connecticut and a policy social worker, Herscovitch’s music makes statements, tells stories or just entertains. She’ll show off her tunes this Friday at the Link Centre’s Monthly Music Mix concert, where Tony Caldwell will open.

“Overall, my music is thematically about transformation, whether it’s personal, political or social,” she said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “Some songs are humorous. I like to offer a wide variety, a mix of storytelling through music and just a conversation with the audience.”

Herscovitch, who has been a guest on “A Prairie Home Companion,” has worked in the U.S., Latin America and Asia on behalf of the disadvantaged, and those experiences have helped her create many songs, both lyrically and musically.

“My songs are all over the map and include Cajun, blues, jazz, Latin,” she said. “I call my music modern folk.”

She’ll share stories in between her songs, as will Lt. Ronnie Partlow with the Lee County Juvenile Detention Center. Herscovitch’s last album, “Four Wise Monkeys,” deals a lot with the U.S. prison system, so her songs and Partlow’s storytelling will work well together.

“He’s doing such important work helping our kids heal and helping our children and our communities move in a positive direction,” she said.

Herscovitch is writing a new album, and said she knows she’ll be inspired by her trip to Mississippi.

“I’m always really sincerely moved, being in the Deep South, knowing that ground was at the heart of the Civil Rights movement. That’s such a transformation for this country. We’re facing so many challenges today, and I keep thinking how Americans can be good and I think we will be good again,” she said.

She hopes to make a connection with her audience in Tupelo this week – that is, after all, what music is all about, she said.

“What I love about touring and playing music is enjoying the people who are there and having a really unique, shared experience,” she said. “I would love for people to leave inspired to make a difference in their own way. I want people to leave feeling more connected, but also to each other.”

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ON STAGE

What: Lara Herscovitch, Tony Caldwell and Lt. Ronnie Partlow

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Link Centre Concert Hall

Cost: $10/adults, $5/students

Info: (662) 690-4011