Gospel and blues singer Twyla Birdsong has lived in Lansing since she was 5 years old. She attended Jackson Community College to study business administration, joined the army and ended up at Fischer Body, where she met a co-worker who encouraged her to join his garage band.
“I grew up singing in church choir,” Birdsong said. “But those guys really became like my brothers and exposed me to a different type of blues than I had grown up with, and together we eventually formed the first band I’d ever been in, named Westside Healers.
Now a mother and grandmother, Birdsong operates an in-home day care when she isn’t singing. She admits the road leading to where she is now hasn’t always been easy. When she first started singing, Birdsong was diagnosed with sever depression and panic attacks.“For me, not only my faith in God but also singing helped me to overcome those feelings. We all have a part to play in life; my part is to help people find joy and to encourage the discouraged,” said Birdsong.
Birdsong uses social media to “whisper love in the air,” to use her platform and share ways to become eco-friendly, find good health and achieve inner peace. She shares this message through her performances at venues including the former Temple Club, Mac’s Bar, The Green Door, Unicorn Lounge, Capital City Grill, local festivals and as a regular at Moriarty’s Pub.
Birdsong has also co-produced shows alongside Detroit’s “Queen of the Blues,” Thornetta Davis; Sharrie Williams; and Kathleen Murray. Birdsong is included on Davis’ latest album, “Honest Woman,” singing a highlighted portion on the track entitled, “Sister Friend Indeed.”
Birdsong is now planning the production of two new shows that she hopes to present in Lansing. She’s also planning an evening performance of songs that evokes the spirit of love.
“Every mistake I’ve made in my life, every pain I’ve experienced and then every hope that I hold onto of love and happiness … I connect with my audience no matter what color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class or age,” Birdsong said. “We become united on the same frequency.”
You can find Birdsong’s touring schedule and hear her music at reverbnation.com/twylabirdsong.