A fine singer with a beautiful voice, Loretta McNair is a very talented songwriter whose lyrics give fresh takes and viewpoints about universal topics, especially love and relationships. A superior storyteller, she introduces a dozen fine originals on her latest release, Intimate Portrait.
Raised in Southern California, Loretta remembers, “My grandfather, who played mandolin & banjo, bought me a guitar when I was 12 years old and sent me to guitar school. My mother played piano and wrote songs for all of her children. I taught my sisters how to sing harmonies and we had family jam sessions.”
Loretta got occasional calls to perform as a single act for hotels and weddings, appeared in musicals, sang with an int’l chorus for 4 years, and particularly enjoyed being part of an ensemble. And she continued writing songs. A turning point occurred in the mid-1990s when Herbie Hancock heard a demo she had recorded. Hancock encouraged her to focus on her music career and later said, ”Loretta’s songs are fresh and unique. Her voice is clear, with a beautiful balance between warmth and edgy power. The more I hear, the more I want to hear.” She has since been a guest vocalist on Mars Lasar’s CD The Eleventh Hour and performed her originals in Los Angeles and Orange County clubs and coffeehouses.
She first gained attention when she recorded Loretta McNair & Blues Of The World. “That EP did not have a central theme. They were simply songs I liked with several band members contributing a track apiece.” While her next CD, Deeper Than Indigo, was an impressive effort as a mostly driving set, her recent recording, Intimate Portrait, is a giant step forward. “It is a collection of my best writing,” says Loretta. “It is all acoustic, and it has the vocals and lyrics up front.” Loretta McNair, who has developed into one of the most promising of today’s singer/songwriters, has on Intimate Portrait recorded several originals that could easily catch on as 21st century standards