Cory Woodward: “Bear”

cory 3

Two weeks ago my aunt went into the hospital. She was suffering with the advanced stages of liver disease. We thought we had lost her, but after four days in a coma she woke up and hope was renewed.

I attended Cory’s show during those days of miracles.  I remember his music filled my swelling heart. His voice was like an answer to prayer, and his stories of love and redemption seemed like signs of what could be.  He was a testament to the power of love and how it transforms. Like people witness to their faith, Cory witnesses to love, pure and simple.  He has wonderful stories, and if you get yourself to a show you will be sure to hear them. But I am not going to share them here. I know I should, because that is what I am supposed to write about, him as an artist and his performance. But I can’t. Because he is not who I thought about when I listened to his songs tonight, the first time I have allowed myself to truly “listen” to music in almost a week.

The day after his show I found out the doctors had given my aunt 3-10 days to live. Everything we had started to believe in was shattered. All interventions were stopped and she was moved to palliative care.

Cory’s show haunted me. I did not want to listen to the music that had filled me with hope, and I feared what it may force me to face now, or more accurately, to feel.

I spoke to my aunt last night. I heard her voice and saw her face. She even smiled and laughed a little. I received an email this morning from her husband, my uncle. It was only a few lines, thanking me for some words I had written about her that my mother had forwarded on to him and my cousins. They have been reading them aloud to her over the past few days. In his last line he wrote, “I was so very lucky to have met and married her. She means everything to me.” His words hung in the air like a weight I couldn’t move.

I went to my music library, opened Cory’s album “Bear” and pressed play. The tears came instantly as I knew they would. I hadn’t cried until that very moment. Each song seemed to tell the story of my aunt’s life. The songs and his voice held me and my fears of letting her go.

Tonight I forced myself to try and write about the show, but what I wrote were the first lines in this piece.

I can’t remember the details of Cory’s performance, the stories behind his music or our conversation that night. His songs are no longer his, they are hers.

I don’t know if I should be apologizing for this, it is hardly a “review” in any certain   terms.  But this is all I have to give, and it might be the most I ever will.

mary lou 2 Dedicated to my beloved aunt, Mary Lou Smith. 

To hear and download Cory Woodward’s new EP “Bear” visit

To stay up to date on his tour dates and other music news, “like” his Facebook page at

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