Gravelroadsongstress Lori Erhardt's album OPENING TIME is the latest incarnation of her passion for sharing music. A labour of love from beginning to end, these original songs speak to the life and challenges, joys and relationships of those who are trying to ease on down a road to wholeness. She is thrilled to have work with HOMEMADE JAM musicians Leora Joy Godden, Dave Morton, Ross Nykiforuk and Glenn Ens, who offer instrumentation and vocal textures that makes you want to lick your lips in anticipation for the next intro... ***** In concert halls and cathedrals, classrooms and conference centres, palliative care wards and prisons, at friendship centres and feminist events, churches and children's festivals, peace marches and AIDS vigils, Lori creates quality musical experiences with crowds, both large and small. Her idea of heaven is a spirited singalong with a packed audience in full voice - with just enough space for soulful solos that touch the heart and mind and imagination... in short - OPENING TIME! Lori grew up on a variety of gravel roads in Saskatchewan, and upon leaving the family farm after graduation, received the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree in Music and Drama from the University of Regina in 1984. She was awarded the A.R.C.T. (Gold Medal: Singing Performer) in 1985 while studying with soprano, Lynn Channing. After several opportunities to perform on CBC radio, she made her professional musical theatre debut in the first stage production of Elizabeth Raum's contemporary opera 'The Garden of Alice' at Regina's Globe Theatre. Lori continued studies with reknowned mezzo soprano, Catherine Robbin in Toronto and in 1985 was chosen as the contralto soloist for First St. Andrew's United Church, member of the the Elora Three Centuries Festival Choir, and vocal instructor at Fanshawe College in London. The road led back from Ontario to Saskatchewan and she adjudicated once again for the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, and performed as soloist in several performances with the Regina Symphony and Philharmonic Chorus. Lori began composing, while studying at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1990, she released her first recording 'Time to Be Together', a celebrative collection of songs of faith by prairie people. She received the Master of Divinity degree from St. Andrew's College in 1992 and got back on the gravel to begin rural ministry in the Abernethy-Lemberg area, where she was able to try her hand at choral conducting (and was told she looked a lot like Sister Act star Whoopi Goldberg - from the back!) In 1996, Lori moved to Sunset United Church in Regina and together with the Sunset Healing Circle, created the recording 'Dream Child' in '98 to raise money for the Aboriginal Healing Fund. She enjoyed the opportunity to conduct Regina's GLBT 'Prairie Pride Chorus' in their '98-'99 season and in 2000, Lori teamed up with librettist Walter Farquharson to create the musical 'Little Red Wagon' (available on CD and musical score). 'Spirit Dancing', another of Walter & Lori's songs has been published in the 'Voices United' Hymnal. The 'More Voices' music resource includes Lori's composition 'Moments of Myst'ry' with text by John Wesley Oldham. Lori's most recent collaboration with John has led to three songs on OPENING TIME! Lori now shares music and ministry with the folk from Oxbow and Alameda and lives on another family farm just off the Manor Road (yes- it's gravel). She never ceases to appreciate the inspiration of the many birds and beloveds she claims as neighbors - and that amazing living prairie sky!