Laura Orshaw’s Songs of Lost Yesterdays Pulls from Her Deep Patriarchal Roots in Music

laura and father performing

Laura Orshaw and Father Mark Orshaw performing together.

Laura Orshaw Songs of Yesterdays CoverFather’s Day is quickly approaching and it is a time to reflect on the memories of the fathers and fatherly-figures in our lives. Nashville Music Guide took the time to sit down with singer/songwriter Laura Orshaw to talk about her latest project, Songs of Lost Yesterdays, where she took some originals and personal favorites of days past that showcase her grandfather’s stories and her dad’s musical values and influences.

Laura as Child Performing

Laura Orshaw performing as a child.

An interview with Laura reveals as much about her as an artist as it does about the values her father instilled in her musical career. She grew up in a musical family in northeastern Pennsylvania, where she learned to play and sing from her paternal grandmother. Throughout her teens, Laura performed across the Northeast with her father in The Lonesome Road Ramblers, performing classic bluegrass.

“I started recording at 12. My dad and I made a couple of fiddle tune albums in my teens. It really focused on fiddle music. Late teens I started singing more. I have been searching for songs from old-time music and making them more bluegrass-y. I have been making a list for the last 7-8 years of songs that I wanted to put together,” said Laura.

Laura Orshaw Songs of Yesterdays CoverLaura’s focus on Lost Songs of Yesterdays pays tribute to a lot of influences, including a vocal style that originated from old time songs from the 40’s and 50’s country music scene. She has dedicated herself to transforming these tunes for this project by giving them a bluegrass sound. The topics on the album focus on old ideas/stories that are presented in a way that carry a current-day relevance.

IMG_8876Laura has 12 years of experience performing, teaching private lessons, and conducting educational programs and workshops throughout the Northeast. Laura’s passion for teaching is also evident in her professional education. She is a Master’s level counselor at Lesley University as Coordinator for their Expressive Therapies Graduate Program.

“I really have been doing it [music] as a hobby but now that I have graduated and have a good job this album is a snapshot of where I am in my musical career,” said Laura.

Recently, Laura has been living in Boston and for the last four years she has been enjoying the fresh, young music scene that brings talent from across the musical-genre board and she has been gaining inspiration and new collaboration opportunities.

“Growing up in the small rural community was so different because there were no kids to play music with and now that I am in Boston there are more musical opportunities and artists to share ideas with,“ said Laura.

But that doesn’t change how big of an influence her small rural community and family has played on her musical journey.

laura performing with father

Laura Orshaw performing with father and band.

“It has been really huge that I am very close with my family. Within my family there was just music all the time. My dad always played in a bluegrass band, there was a bluegrass radio show that he did, and dad with his band recorded music in our house,” said Laura. “There was just constant music going on even with local festivals and music events. As a child I thought that it was a normal part of everyone’s life to have instruments and music around all the time. After every meal, there was music and it was a part of life. When my dad was not playing music he worked at a music store. I would hang at the music shop all day during the summers and after school and took lessons in my downtime. “

Laura had the opportunity to experience music in ways that many do not. She interacted musically with adults, which gave her the maturity and confidence from a young age to focus on her own music. It was through family – most importantly the bond that music created with her father – that guided her through these experiences and contributed to her finding her own musical style.

“There are so many moments that I feel are memorable because I was growing through music and my dad was present and supportive of that. Spending hours driving to gigs; performing on stage together and knowing when the harmonies were good and when it was a really energetic show,” said Laura. “Those moments and experiences that we shared is what makes music addictive created a very deep connection with my father. I don’t think that I would have had that strong link to him if we hadn’t started playing music from a young age.”

laura, father, and grandmother.

Laura Orshaw with dad (Mark Orshaw) and paternal grandmother (Betty Orshaw)

Another influence in Laura’s musical career and an inspiration for themes in Songs of Lost Yesterdays is patriarchal – her grandfather. While her grandfather never really played professionally as her grandmother and father did, he would sit in and play guitar and sing along with the family.

“He had real support of the music. And his experience growing up in rural Pennsylvania during the Great Depression times allowed him to really identify with the writing and the stories behind old-time/bluegrass music. He would always comment about songs or certain records that told stories that may not have otherwise been recognized,” commented Laura. “He was the inspiration behind my song “New Deal Train” because of the stories that he used to tell about the hard times that he saw when he was young.”

Laura considers her grandfather as a great critic of her sound and music career.

“My grandfather was really surprised about the growth that I have had over the past 5 years. He would come see me perform when I lived close and now he and my parents are proud to see me bringing my music into a larger Bluegrass music community and be able to represent where I am from and my music roots. They are proud of me taking it to the next level,” said Laura.

Laura does a lot of freelance work with Bluegrass music workshops and events in her region. She also works with Boston Bluegrass Union, which has some great music education academies that give children the opportunity to be introduced to Bluegrass. It gives kids a chance to socialize and learn about music in a safe and comfortable environment.

Laura will be jamming and networking at World of Bluegrass 2015, appearances are TBD. If you would like to know more about Laura Orshaw and her new album Songs of lost Yesterdays visit: www.lauraorshaw.com

Keb’ Mo’s Tour Includes a Stop at #Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center

kebmoIt’s been a diverse and award-winning year for singer, songwriter, guitarist and modern day Blues and Americana artist Keb’ Mo’. Though he is a multiple GRAMMY award-winning artist, his latest acclaimed album, BLUESAmericana, on Kind of Blue Music, accomplished a career first; three GRAMMY nominations and the honor of being awarded the Blues Music Association’s Best Contemporary Blues Album of 2015.  The honor marked his 11th Blues Music Award, however, it was his first in 13 years.

On the heels of his success, Keb’ and his three-piece band will take their routinely sold out show to fans across North America for a 2015 Summer Tour, which will launch on June 18 and continue well into the fall.

Katherine Satarin of LiveMusicDaily.com spoke of it in these terms after she attended a show recently, “If Keb’ Mo’ is coming anywhere near you on his North American summer tour, I nearly order you to attend.”

When asked, Keb’ said, “I’m having more fun on the road maybe more than ever before. The talent of my team and band and the gratitude I have for people that continue to come out to see me, sometimes for the 10th or 15th time . . . it’s overwhelming.”

Dates for Keb’ Mo’s forthcoming tour are as follows:

June 18 – Count Basie Theatre – Red Bank, NJ
June 19 – Syracuse University – Syracuse, NY
June 20 – State Theatre – Portland, ME
June 21 – Calvin Theatre – Northampton, MA
June 23 – Stone Mountain Arts Center – Brownfield, ME
June 25 – Wilbur Theatre – Boston, MA
June 26 – Bergen Performing Arts Center – Englewood, NJ
June 27 – The Grand Opera House – Wilmington, DE
June 28 – The Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
June 30 – New Hope Winery – New Hope, PA
July 9 – Kimo Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
July 10 – KTAOS Solar Center – Taos, NM
July 11 – Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale, AZ
July 12/13 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
July 15 – Saban Theatre – Beverly Hills, CA
July 16 – Montalvo Arts Center – Saratoga, CA
July 17 – Cargo at Whitney Peak Hotel – Reno, NV
July 18 – Cache Creek Casino and Club – Brooks, CA
July 21 – Belly Up Aspen – Aspen, CO
July 22 – Denver Botanical Gardens – Denver, CO
July 26 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
July 27/28 – Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA
July 29 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
July 30 – Bing Crosby Theatre – Spokane, WA
August 4 – Barrymore Theater – Madison, WI
August 7 – Big Top Chautauqua – Bayfield, WI
August 9 – Heritage Music Blues Festival – Wheeling, WV
August 11 – Stuart’s Opera House – Nelonsville, OH
August 13 – Babeville – Buffalo, NY
August 15 – Calabogie Blues & Ribfest – Calabogie, ON
August 23 – Amphitheatre Trois-Rivieres – Quebec
August 28 – Schermerhorn Symphony Center – Nashville, TN
August 29 – Atlanta Symphony Hall – Atlanta, GA
August 30 – Charleston Music Hall – Charleston, SC
August 31 – The Carolina Theatre – Durham, NC

For a more extensive list of Keb’ Mo’s 2015 tour dates or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.kebmo.com/tour/.

Zac Brown Band’s April 28th chart topping and eclectic release, Jekyll + Hyde, contains a song called “Remedy,” which was co-written by Keb’ Mo’ and his contribution “To The Work,” is featured on Orthophonic Joy, a collection of artists paying tribute to the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions. The two-disc set was released on May 12, and features Keb’ Mo’ along with Brad Paisley, Carl Jackson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Vince Gill and many more.

Additionally, Keb’ Mo’ was honored to help launch the Americana Music Triangle at The Franklin Theatre this past May. The Triangle, which has been in the works for more than three years, is a multi-state project, designed to promote a 1,500 mile stretch of highway that birthed nine uniquely American genres of music — Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll, R&B/Soul, Gospel, Southern Gospel, Cajun/Zydeco and Bluegrass. Keb’ Mo’ appeared and performed at the launch party, which was attended by Governor Haslam and other dignitaries and music executives.

For more information on Keb’ Mo’ or to view a list of upcoming tour dates, please visit http://www.kebmo.com/ and follow him on Twitter, Facebook andInstagram.

Chloe Bakers Self Titled “Bitters Kiss”

Cover 'Bitters Kiss" courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Cover ‘Bitters Kiss” courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

The artistic talent this young lady holds in her voice is exquisite. She has such a unique sound that when you hear her voice the first time you will remember her name each time you hear her.

Sixteen and amazingly talented with such a powerhouse of a voice. Her control and manipulation of her vocal talents represents experience far beyond her age.

Chloe Baker, young, beautiful and very talented. Her uniqueness will set her apart for sure. With a hint of Nellie McKay and a dash of Sarah McLaughlin, Chloe surely exudes a rare breed.

Her self titled EP “Bitters Kiss” with the #1track being “Bitters Kiss” is a classic even though it was just born. It deals with many of life’s struggles like, peer pressure in today’s world, life, love, religion, and suicide. It gives us a chance to reflect and look within to who and what we really are and can be.

Wise well beyond her years she has exploded on the music scene and is making big impressions. Music is a family staple. Her father is a season musician with a home recording studio, a collection of exquisite guitars and he’s also her number one fan. You’ll find Chloe and her dad make up a super talented duo.

Video shot courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Video shot courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

“The Rope” speaks of unspeakable things such as teen suicide and how loosing our true self can lead us down the wrong road. Excellent.

Her songwriting is an electronic journal, a diary as she lives and learns through her life. Even though some of the songs may be filled with discord or sadness Chloe herself is a young woman filled with hope and she loves to express it in her songs.

“Love Will Make You Cry” expresses so many reasons why love should not make us cry on the way to learning what it really is. Nicely done.

Such beauty and raw talent left to express in her music and in herself, Chloe is sure to make a giant leap and a big statement very fast.

Video shot courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Video shot courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

One last song I’d like to mention is “Too Far Too Fast” it talks about moving forward in life and how we should take it a little slower and not rush to fast. We have a lot to live for.

For more information on Chloe and “Bitters Kiss” you can visit:

www.bitterskiss.com

http://www.facebook.com/bitterskiss

Matthew Morgan “Empathy for Inanimate Objects”

Album cover courtesy of Independent Music Promotions.

Album cover courtesy of Independent Music Promotions.

This Folk/Folk Rock master musician will blow your mind. His expression of American Folk mixed with a splash of rock, a flash of blues and a crash of powerful country.

His exquisite way of interweaving bits and pieces of folk blended with such a texture of other genres to make one very unique and compelling genre of it’s own. Folk Country Rock.

I could listen all day and all night. “Empathy for Inanimate Objects has become my mantra for writing. It is, I do believe, the best album I’ve reviewed this year. Exceptionally done.

Quote:

Bringing real music back to the people is what I do ~ Matthew Morgan~

Fitting nicely in the category of Folk Rock “Empathy for Inanimate Objects” is a six track EP that has most graciously placed Matthew Morgan as one of Chicago’s fastest rising folk artists of 2015.

You just can’t stop listening. It’s inspiring, soothing, consoling and utterly mesmerizing. Once you hear the first song you have to listen to the end.

His rendition of “Hold On I’m Coming” presents three things, his deep love of music, the source of the music, and staying true to the message of the song. It is wild yet tender, it brings to mind an Appalachian mountain man living free.

Legendary artists Neil Young and Nick Drake have deeply influenced Matthew’s music and college radio stations across the country are taking advantage of the raw and gritty energy, that has put Matthew into a whole new classification of folk musicians.

Matthew Morgan courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Matthew Morgan courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

The love of music runs deep in Matthews family history. His mother was an award winning piano and vocal coach, his grandfather a professional saxophone player during the big band period. Sidelined by health troubles and illness Matthew was unsure of his calling. He was left out of work for a few years and began to build on the belief in his own music, his own songs and found his niche, his own unique place in the world of folk music. He is one of only a few select who are truly making waves in the folk industry this year. His accomplishments have put him on the watch list.

In 2012 Matthew joined fores with a group of outstanding players who formed the Lost Brigade and with that union they were nominated for at least three Indie Music Channel awards, and acquired synchronization licenses with several major outlets such as the Discovery Network, Disney Channel, and Viacom.

In 2014 the guys went in different directions and Matt worked with producer Nate Lockwood on recording a new solo EP. The blend of his voice with just the right tone and mix from the instruments creates a melodious rhythm that cannot be duplicated.

With his vast experience and the privilege to play with so many other creative artists Matthew as been able to perform at some very highly regarded establishments, ie…Hard Rock Cafe, The Double Door, and on August 22nd he will be appearing in Chicago at the SubT Lounge.

Matthew Morgan courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Matthew Morgan courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

There’s a new band, a new record and a passion to bring real, soulful, roots driven music to the people.

Websites for further information on Matthew Morgan are:
Official Website: http://matthewmorganmusic.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattmorgansmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mmorganmusic
Bandcamp: http://matthewmorgan.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/matthew-morgan/sets/empathy-for-inanimate-objects-ep
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MatthewMorganMusic1/videos

“Two Below In Tupelo” with Steve Oliver, Rhonda Vincent and the late great Vern Gosdin

Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

In 2008 Steve Oliver released an album called Stone to the Bone Country and on that album was a song that was never released as a single. It’s called “two Below In Tupelo” and featured a duet with Steve and the late great Vern Gosdin.

Recently Steve talked with Nashville Music Guide and shared his dream of finally releasing the song as single and what a joy to have a new duet partner, the incomparable Rhonda Vincent. Steve’s idea of doing the song as a trio is magical. Vern is still there and Rhonda steps in to smooth out the edges.

The song was written by Steve Oliver along with Lee Bach and Gilles Goddard. Originally released in October of 2008 on the album Stone to the Bone Country this is one of the truest classic country songs I’ve heard in a long time.

True to the roots of what country music has always held dear to so many fans who believe in the “real” side of country music.

Steve Oliver and Rhonda Vincent courtesy of Donna Bridges

Steve Oliver and Rhonda Vincent courtesy of Donna Bridges

Steve Oliver, a Grammy nominated songwriter and Nashville recording artist is true to his roots in keeping with traditional country music. Country music is truly where his heart is and this new single is even more special because one of his closest and dearest friends was part of it, Vern Gosdin.

Rhonda Vincent is such a jewel. I had my first opportunity to hear Rhonda when she was touring with the great Gene Watson. Rhonda is truly the Queen of Bluegrass with 6 Grammy nominations and hundreds of awards.

~CMT NEWS ~
“Rhonda Vincent – A bandleader who ranks with Bill Monroe and Ricky Skaggs when it comes to inventiveness, virtuosity and discipline, Vincent played to each of her band member’s strengths, urging them along with her own driving excellence as a vocalist, mandolinist and fiddler.

 

~BILLBOARD ~
“Vincent is too good to be mortal” ~Ed Morris    

 

The late Vern Gosdin and Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

The late Vern Gosdin and Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

The late great Vern Gosdin gave us an amazing legacy of hit’s in country music. In 1983 Vern had two top five hits, one of my favorites “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)” will always be synonymous with Vern Gosdin. A young man growing up in a family who sang Gospel music, hit the high note when in1989 Gosdin’s “Chiseled in Stone,” won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award, the son was co-written Max D. Barnes. Even though country music went through several changes through out 80’s and country rock, and pop was introduced, Vern stayed true to his roots and continued to record many hit’s during his long career.

This new single features the three, Steve Oliver, Vern Gosdin, and Rhonda Vincent, in one of the years most promising new trio releases. Other artists performing on this album include Hank Singer and Joe Spivey on Fiddle, Buddy Hyatt on guitar, Brent Mason- guitar, Eddie Bayers and Lonnie Wilson – on drums, Bobby Terry – acoustic guitar, James Mitchell- guitar, and the notorious Mike Johnson on steel. For more information on where you can enjoy music from all three of exceptional entertainers please visit the links below and keep your ears to the radio waves for “Two Below In Tupelo.”

Websites:

Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

Steve Oliver courtesy of Donna Bridges

http://www.steveolivercountry.com/

http://www.facebook.com/steveolivercountry

http://www.rhondavincent.com/

http://www.facebook.com/RhondaVincentOfficial

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vern_Gosdin

http://www.buddyhyatt.com