Archive for the 'News' Category

Recording a New Record! Grad School and a show at Mississippi Studios!

2014 09 02 16:42

Hi buddies!

I’ve started recording the new record! It may take some time, as I’ve also just started grad school (an MFA in Creative Writing at Hunter College), but I feel pretty confident I’ll have these songs finished up by the end of the year.
IMG_4794 Photo by John Askew

I’ll be sharing a few of the new songs at a live taping for OPB at Mississippi Studios, as part of their OPB’s new Stagepass series. They are offering a limited number of (super cheap!) tickets to the public here:

I’ll be spending much of my time in New York this Fall for school. As much as I’ll miss Portland, I’m excited to explore the East Coast and get to know folks here. Also I am learning that the Atlantic sunsets can be just as pretty as the Pacific ones, even though the sun is behind you:
photo (8)

More News coming soon! Enjoy the transition to Fall! It’s my favorite time of year.


Presenting: The Living Room Tour

2014 06 05 20:02

Dear friends of the Western US,

I am happy to announce that I’ll be doing a Living Room Tour in June. I won’t be touring much this year, other than this, and I’m excited to share some of the things I’ve been working on. These will be super special, intimate shows in people’s homes. There will be snacks, bonfires, stories, new friends. I hope you all can come!

Tickets are here:

June 17 – Jacksonville, OR
June 18 – Berkely, CA
June 19 – San Francisco, CA
June 20 – Santa Cruz, CA
June 21 – Los Angeles (La Cañada), CA
June 22 – Joshua Tree (Morongo Valley), CA
June 23 – Phoenix, AZ
June 25 – Colorado Springs, CO
June 26 – Denver, CO
June 27 – Fort Collins, CO
June 28 – Pinedale Wyoming (Outdoor Festival)
June 29 – Salt Lake City, UT
June 30 – Boise, ID
July 2 – Bellingham (Ferndale), WA
July 3 – Seattle (Snohomish), WA
July 11 – Portland (Sauvie Island), OR
July 12 – Portland, OR
July 13 – Oregon City, OR

I’ll also be making an appearance at the Soundcheck Festival in beautiful Pinedale, Wyoming. Check it out:

I am at the Emily Dickinson Museum this week, studying here thanks to a generous grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Learning so much!

Also, I have been commissioned by the amazing PHAME Academy to write music for an original theater production, in collaboration with playwright Debbie Lamedman. I am writing specifically for performers with developmental disabilities, working within their strengths and limitations. The show will debut at Portland Center Stage, summer of 2015.

More soon!
love, lg.

SEED Words + Music: Collaboration with Cheryl Strayed

2014 01 06 20:25

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ll post a longer update soon, but just wanted to share a link to listen to a new song. Last month I was lucky enough to be a part of SEED Words + Music. I wrote a song based on a piece of writing by author/wonder-woman Cheryl Strayed, while Cheryl wrote a piece based on one of my songs. It was a good challenge and a really fun night. OPB’s great new arts program State of Wonder has a recording of the show.

Laura and Cheryl

Laura and Cheryl—seed-words–music/


House on the Metolius June 14th, Brazil Photos, and Livewire

2013 06 03 18:59

Hello friends near and far,

I am back in Portland after an amazing trip to Brazil. I spent two weeks soaking up as much music and beauty as possible, participated in Samba jams, and sat down with musicians in Rio and Paraty, met warm people and ate rich food. I loved it. Here are a few pictures:


Brazil Beach


I am taking a break from singing my songs, and focusing on writing, but I am playing a special show Father’s Day Weekend at the House on the Metolius in Central Oregon. The Metolius River might be the most magical place in Oregon, and certainly worth a visit. I believe House on the Metolius is offering special lodging deals for June. There are also several cabins and places to camp nearby.

Here’s the info:
LauraG_June14 copy

and finally, I had the pleasure of playing a visit to Live Wire this past weekend, and sang a song with the brilliant and hilarious Kristen Schaal (30 Rock, Flight of the Concords, Bob’s Burgers). It should be available in a few weeks for streaming online.

Laura Kristen

Much love to you as the days are growing longer,

Caldera Residency and March 1st Show

2013 02 22 17:53

Hello dear friends,

I am writing to you from a little A-Frame in the mountains of Central Oregon, a place called Caldera that has been my home for the month. It’s an amazing gift to sit and watch the snow fall or the fire burn without feeling the need to go on to the next thing. I’ve taken to exploring the land around me, finding lakes hidden in the pine trees, getting lost, learning to feel comfortable not knowing where I’m going, taking time to follow a snowflake to the ground, pressing the pinecones, like rough fists into my cheeks. So often this time of year I am just waiting for spring to come, and so often in life, I’m focused on the next season, the next record, the next tour. It has been wonderful to lean hard into the winter here, to be still.

My Cabin at Caldera

My Cabin at Caldera

Caldera is an amazing organization and I strongly encourage you to check them out and find ways to support them.
Caldera was started by Dan Wieden of the Portland advertising firm Wieden Kennedy. Each summer they bring underserved youth from Portland and Central Oregon and give them access to, encouragement and training in the arts, and continue that training and those relationships throughout the year. They transform so many kids’ lives by showing them the power of their own creativity. During the winters, Caldera hosts a handful of artists to come for a month of residency. Hundreds apply, and I was lucky enough to be awarded a spot. It has been an incredible gift to be here.

In search of Dark Lake (which I'd only seen on the map)

In search of Dark Lake (which I’d only seen on the map)

photo (6)

The past few Thursdays I’ve been going into Sisters, Oregon to teach songwriting to high school and middle school kids. Every time I’ve talked to teenagers about the creative life, I end up finding out something I’ve been needing to teach to myself, some truth that’s been stuck in my throat. The kids in Sisters were incredibly engaged and fun and I learned so much from them.

Upon my return to Portland March 1st, I’ll be playing a very special solo show at Mississippi Studios to celebrate my time out here, to share the things I’ve been working on, and to tell stories. Dan Hunt whose played drums with me a bit over the past couple years (he also played in the wonderful band Ages and Ages) will be playing a set of his compositions. I saw Dan play his own music at the Revival Drum Fair a while back and have been pestering him to play ever since. Nick Jaina, one of my oldest songwriting friends in Portland will be playing a set, and also joining me on a few duets. I’ll also have a few special songwriters about town joining me on duets throughout the night.

I spent so much of last year touring with the full band, and I’ve been so thankful for their help in presenting the La Grande to the world. It has been a blast to rock out. I am looking forward to experiencing the vulnerability of playing a solo show, and I can’t think of a better time than upon my return from the solitude I’ve had at Caldera.

It will be a really special night and I hope you can come.

Buy Tickets Here:

Later in March I will be heading to the Southern Washington Coast for a special show at the Sou’Wester Lodge, an amazing hotel, vintage trailer park and hideaway. Portland and Seattle folks looking for a weekend getaway will not be disappointed.

Check out the Sou’Wester here and come March 23rd:

I hope you are enjoying moments of stillness, however you find them. I hope you are leaning hard into the the season.

Love, Laura

US Tour begins Friday!

2012 10 31 23:12

Greetings from rainy Portland,

Last week Pitchfork premiered our video for the Deschutes River Conservancy. Through the good folks at Deschutes Brewery and North Inc, I gathered a group of my best musical friends, and had the opportunity and challenge of turning Oregon’s Smith Rock into a recording studio for the day to make an inspired version of the old American spiritual Down by the Riverside. We embraced the limitations and the advantages of the space, and I think, came up with something pretty special. You can watch the video here:

Deschutes RIver Recordings

Also, last week, the sweet folks at NPR premiered a B-Side from La Grande called the Carob Trees. I wrote a short piece about the origins of the song. You can see that, and listen here:

NPR Premieres The Carob Trees

We leave on a Western US tour Friday with good Portland buddies Typhoon and Lost Lander! Lost Lander (an amazing band that you will love) will be acting as my backing band for this tour, and I’m super excited for the set we are putting together.

Here are the dates. I encourage you to buy tickets in advance.

11.02 – The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA #
11.04 – Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC #
11.05 – Nyne – Spokane, WA
11.06 – Top Hat – Missoula, MT #
11.07 – Visual Arts Collective – Garden City, ID #
11.08 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT #
11.09 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO #
11.10 – The Carter Payne – Colorado Springs, CO #
11.11 – Low Spirits – Albuquerque, NM #
11.13 – Solar Culture – Tucson, AZ #
11.14 – Sail Inn – Tempe, AZ #
11.15 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
11.16 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA #
11.17 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA #
11.18 – G Street Wunderbar – Davis, CA #
11.20 – Wow Hall – Eugene, OR #
11.23 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR #

# w/ Typhoon & Lost Lander

Hope to see you soon!

Fall Touring

2012 09 17 07:55

Hello hello!

Well, it’s been a bit of time since my last update. I enjoyed some rest from touring in August, had a great time at Pickathon, did some camping, taught at Pendleton Rock Camp, and recorded a song for the Dechutes River Conservancy.

A few summer highlights:

The best sunset over Oaks Park, Portland, Oregon

The Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The band and I are thrilled to be playing around Europe for the next two weeks with the amazing Calexico. They have been heroes of mine for a while, and touring with them makes me want to be both a better musician and a better human. Following Calexico, I’ll play a few special solo shows in Germany, then will visit Israel for the first time, performing in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

If you find yourself in any of these cities, please come say hello:

Sep 14, 2012 DE Cologne, Germany – Ewerk
Sep 15, 2012 NL Groningen, NL -Take Root Festival
Sep 16, 2012 FR Paris, France – Le Trianon
Sep 18, 2012 GB London, UK – Forum
Sep 19, 2012 BE Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique
Sep 20, 2012 DE Darmstadt , Germany -Centralstation
Sep 21, 2012 CH Zürich, Switzerland – Volkshaus
Sep 22, 2012 AT Vienna, Austria – Konzerthaus
Sep 23, 2012 DE Berlin, Germany – Huxley’s
Sep 25, 2012 DE Hamburg, Germany – Große Freiheit
Sep 26, 2012 DK Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
Sep 27, 2012 NO Oslo, Norway- Rockefeller
Sep 28, 2012 SE Stockholm, Sweden – Berns
Sep 29, 2012 SE Gothenborg, Sweden- Pustervik
Sep 30, 2012 SE Malmo, Sweden – KB
October 4 – Cologne (solo) – King Georg
October 6 – Regensburg (solo) – Alte Malzerei
October 9 – Tel Aviv – Osen Bar
October 10 – Jerusalem – Uganda

I am also excited to announce I will join forces in November with Portland buddies Typhoon for the Basin and Range (Western US) tour. I’m imagining I’ll somehow incorporate all of Typhoon’s 11 band members into my set every night. I think these shows will be magical. Here are the dates:

Fri 11/02/12 Bellingham WA | Shakedown
Sun 11/04/12 Vancouver BC | Rickshaw Theatre
Mon 11/05/12 Spokane WA | nYne Bar & Bistro
Tue 11/06/12 Missoula MT | Top Hat
Wed 11/07/12 Boise ID | Visual Arts Collective
Thu 11/08/12 Salt Lake City UT | Kilby Court
Fri 11/09/12 Denver CO | Larimer Lounge
Sat 11/10/12 Colorado Springs CO | The Carter Payne
Sun 11/11/12 Albuquerque NM | Low Spirits
Tue 11/13/12 Tucson AZ | Solar Culture
Wed 11/14/12 Phoenix AZ | Sail Inn
Thr 11/15/12 San Diego CA | Soda Bar
Fri 11/16/12 Los Angeles CA | The Echo
Sat 11/17/12 San Francisco CA | Great American Music Hall
Sun 11/18/12 Davis CA | G Street Wunderbar
Tue 11/20/12 Eugene OR | Wow Hall
Fri 11/23/12 Portland OR | Crystal Ballroom

And finally, I’ll be visiting South Africa in December for two special shows in Capetown and Johannesburg! I’m so excited – more news on that soon.

December 13 -Capetown – Tafelberg Tavern
December 15 – Johannesburg – Wits Theatre

Looking forward to crossing paths with old friends and new.

Be well, and more soon,

The Longest Day

2012 06 20 18:42

Dear Junebugs,

Welcome to summer. Today is the Longest Day of 2012. Eight years ago I wrote one of my very first songs on the longest day of the year. It was perhaps the first song I wrote that made me believe in this crazy idea of being a songwriter for a living. Every year on this day I think about that tiny seed of belief, and am so thankful to be doing what I’m doing.

A long overdue thank you note to everyone who helped make our spring Europe trip so special. We faced multiple van breakdowns, thieves, and illnesses, but still came home inspired and in love with the world. Here are a few photo highlights:

After the Europe tour we were lucky enough to do a week of shows in Alaska, and had an amazing time! Thanks you to our hosts at the Universities in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and to the amazing people in Denali. We had a day off in the park, and hiked over the spongey tundra, saw moose, caribou, and beaver, but never could spot the tallest mountain through the clouds.

Here’s the view from Savage River Trail:

I’ll be posting new shows in coming days. We’ll be on the West Coast with our buddies Blind Pilot in July, and will be touring with Calexico in September. Portlanders, we’re playing a free all-ages outdoor show July 12th for the Ecotrust Sundown series.

More soon!

Little Red Riding Hood

2012 04 11 19:47

Greetings from Liverpool, England!

We are well into our Europe jaunt, and minus a few van and gear kinks, things are going wonderfully.

A while back I was asked to record a cover of the song “Hey there Little Red Riding Hood” for a Volvo commercial. The commercial started airing this week and I think it’s pretty damn cute.

Little Red Riding Hood

Stay tuned. Barsuk is going to release a full version of the cover soon. I never though I’d cover a Sam Sham and the Pharaohs song but it was so fun! Perhaps I should record Wooly Bully next.


Europe Dates, Livewire, and more photos from the van window!

2012 03 27 21:26

Hello hello!

I’ve been keeping up with my goal of taking one photo out the van window every day of tour. Here are a few from the last leg of US shows:

Thank you to so many friends and listeners who have made these past couple months of US tour so inspiring and fruitful!

We are off to Europe next week and are excited to see new faces!

Here are the dates! We strongly encourage getting tickets in advance:

April 3 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Kargadoor
April 4 – Haarlem, Netherlands – Patronaat
April 5 – Ottersum, Netherlands – Roepaen
April 7 – Stockton, England – Stockton Calling Festival
April 8 – Totnes, Devon England – Studio Lounge
April 10 – London, England – Lexington
April 11 – Liverpool, England – Leaf
April 12 – Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
April 13 – Brighton, England – Komedia Bar
April 14 – Bristol, England – Louisiana
April 16 – Paris, France – Rough Trade In-Store
April 17 – Hamburg, Germany – Übel & Gefährlich
April 18 – Dresden, Germany – Beatpol
April 19 – Berlin, Germany – Gruner Salon
April 20 – Gera, Germany – BAP (Songtage)
April 21 – Magdeburg, Germany –Oli-Kino Madgeburg
April 23 – Leipzig, Germany – Nato
April 24 – Dusseldorf, Germany – Zakk
April 25 – Frankfurt, Germany – Das Bett
April 26 – Erlangen, Germany – E-Werk
April 27 – Geislingen, Germany – Rätschenmühle
April 28 – Dachau, Germany – Kulturschranne
April 29 – Zurich, Switzerland – El Lokal
April 30 – Milan, Italy – Rocket (“Kiss This!” night)
May 2 – Madrid, Spain – Cafe Berlin
May 4 – San Sebastian, Spain – Homeless Music Festival
May 6 – Cerezales del Condado (Leon), Spain -Plaza Principal
May 7 – Castellon, Spain – Veneno Stereo
May 8 – Huesca, Spain – Matadero
May 10 – Paris, France – Café de la Danse
May 11 – Brussels, Belgium – Les Nuits Botanique Festival
May 12 – Ostend, Belgium – DeZwerver / Leffinge

Portlanders! We are playing Livewire! this Saturday, March 31st at the Alberta Rose Theater. Other guests include the amazing writer/advice-giver Cheryl Strayed!

I’m enjoying a week at home in Portland, spring is slowly playing her hand, and Sellwood is aglow!

love, lg.