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Letitia VanSant Guts It to the Studs

One of the joys of the Pearl Street Warehouse is its fidelity to fostering local talent. Lisa White, responsible for club’s lineup, has a real eye for developing talent. This will be on full display on Aug. 25 as singer-songwriter, Baltimore native Letitia VanSant takes the stage for the first time as a headliner.

VanSant, possessed of a beautifully soprano, can spin delicate melody or step out and belt like the best of them. She very much reminds me of Sarah McLachlan. Listen to the refrain on “Man Enough” to hear her voice exploring all the crevices and crannies of a tune.

VanSant’s songwriting is confessional without verging on the self-indulgent. On “Gut It to the Studs,” she reevaluates a difficult relationship:

There are people risking all they have in fragile little boats
But me I lay here in my bed reading Wendell Berry quotes
Well he has something figured out, yes he knows how to hope
And that’s a skill that I might need in a fragile little boat

Here, VanSant demonstrates her sense of proportion between personal travails and those facing the greater world. Ultimately, she resolves to tear things down to build them back up:

Have we got the gumption to believe that we could start anew
It could be called naivety or the foolishness of youth
But only fools can sleep in homes with the cracks a-running through
Yes we must build from the very studs something level something true

As a performer, VanSant is vibrant and approachable. The honest of her delivery connects with audiences. The intimacy of the Pearl Street Warehouse is the perfect venue for such an intimate performer. So, don’t miss VanSant “gutting it to the studs” this Saturday.

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