Erin McLaughlin
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Erin McLaughlin

Yucaipa, California, United States | SELF

Yucaipa, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Erin McLaughlin In Indie Rock Reviews"

Erin McLaughlin is bangin’. She’s like a man smoking in a gas station or a fat man eating at a buffet—she’s about to blow up. I recently saw her play at Lestat’s in San Diego’s hip Normal Heights area on August 7th, which has hosted a wide range of local legends and up and coming artists from all over, such as Greg Laswell, Gregory Page, Jason Mraz, Blink 182 and Jewel. As McLaughlin walked on stage in her skin tight black pants, moccasin knee high boots, long shaggy red hair flowing over long skinny arms, she immediately filled the big shoes that were left before her. I got chills. She’s got star power.

McLaughlin headlined the show along with Sean Watkins of Nickelcreek and Fiction Family who harmonized and played a mean backup guitar. Watkins has a Grammy win under his belt for Nickelcreeks’ 2003 “This Side” record which won for Best Contemporary Folk album. He also qualified for the National Flatpicking Championship in 1993 at age 16, thus the conclusion: he’s good at guitar. He played on McLaughlin’s six- song acoustic album, “Something Like a Miracle”, along with Tyler Chester (bass), Aaron Redfield (drums), and Scott and Joel Owen (back-up vocals) from the Pawnshop Kings.

The audience warmed up watching the darling Kelsea Rae Little strumming her harp, tactically decorated in sparkly blue pipe cleaner, singing kooky songs like “You and Me stew” and “Your Garment Life.” She was full of charm and charisma and got everyone in a good mood.

Renata Youngblood came next screaming everything hippy. With no bra, she took a swig of whiskey from her flask after every song. She sings beautifully. She’s just drunk.

After the opening acts, McLaughlin and Watkins commandeered the evening. Her songs are catchy and fun to listen to. She has the confidence of an old pro, but still the charm of a newbie, exemplified when she got too close to the mic and knocked her tooth. She made a quick joke about it and continued. “Marry Me”, she told the audience is her favorite and I’m sure every man there would have been ready, pronto. Some of her songs are upbeat like “Fix”, where she sings about a boy she needs one final fix with, and some are sad like “Blue Bird”, which she wrote about her little brother who passed away in 2007. She is entertaining, interesting, talented, and you can tell, full of drive.

McLaughlin is a rising regular at places like The Hotel Café, House of Blues, and Room 5 in LA and is setting her goals high. She wants to tour with Ryan Adams and is currently shopping for labels. She wants to craft songs that you sing along to, and in her own words: “One day I hope to get everyone to raise their pints and smash them into each other.” And with a sound like Jenny Lewis and looks to rival Zooey Deschanel, the underground world of folky pop is in for a pleasant surprise. -

"Local Music Scene: Erin McLaughlin"

Posted: 01/31/2008 09:59:41 AM PST

Erin McLaughlin and friends filled the Performance Loft space Wednesday, Jan. 23, for the monthly "Music @ the Loft" event.

Loft music coordinator Jeff Wilson was pleasantly surprised by McLaughlin's performance.

"I wasn't quite sure what to expect," Wilson said. "I saw Erin play three songs at open-mic night at the Vault Martini Bar, probably in March or April of 2007. She was accompanied by a woman on cajon and a backup vocalist. That lineup by itself was my expectation."

A folk acoustic musician, McLaughlin began her musical journey as a vocalist.

"I have sung in church bands since I was in high school (nearly 10 years ago now) but didn't really begin to develop my own style until maybe three years ago," she said.

McLaughlin later taught herself the guitar.

"I picked up a guitar about six years ago and mostly taught myself, asking friends how to play this chord or that," she said. Music for McLaughlin is ever evolving.

"Just as I begin to understand myself and my vision, maybe even begin plotting a course for myself, some unexpected turn of events has me flung into a whirlwind of change," she said. "It could have to do with the music, on a very technical level. Or (more often than not) it has to do with life and the totally random unfolding of events both empowering and tragically defeating. Somehow, though, I collect a little inspiration as I go and thus the very practical evolution of my music ensues." Sometimes her music depends on the season, or a phase McLaughlin may be going through.
"I may have a particular season where minor chords are the only honest music I can stand to produce and yet another season may find me writing poppy little love songs about rain clouds and honeybees. I obey my impulses as much as possible in music."

McLaughlin influences are as diverse as her impulses.

"I need a lot of time in nature, the earth in its purity is by and large my greatest influence," she said. "Of course there are a few acclaimed musical artists that have inspired me. I give a lot of credit to Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne, Mindy Smith and Feist."

As far as lyrical content goes, McLaughlin writes about real-life experiences: "Lots of heartache with a thread of crimson red hope as strong as life twisted throughout."

In May 2007 McLaughlin lost her little brother, which has greatly affected and influenced her.

"Most of my songs at this state in my song writing career are in some way connected to him."

In terms of success, McLaughlin sees sharing her music with people as a great success.

"I am honored to have the attention of my community, to have their support and interest," she said. "As far as where I dream of going from here I dream of covering as much ground as possible sharing my story and my journey to hope."

Wilson enjoyed McLaughlin's music but was a little nervous that he never saw her again until she came to a Loft event.

"Would she draw? Could she fill a set?" Wilson wondered. "I was astounded by the crowd and the professionalism and the beauty of the music. Both from Erin and Brian Lightfoot."

Lightfoot filled the first half of the set of the Loft performance on Wednesday.

Wilson said he would classify McLaughlin's music as contemporary folk or acoustic pop.

"It's very catchy some of the tunes are still in my noggin from days ago," he said. "Her music broadly reminds me of the Cowboy Junkies, Amy Grant. Although Gentry's tight harmonies are derived Western music, they don't come off as country. Maybe mellow roots rock?"

Wilson said he would gladly have McLaughlin back to perform at the Loft, but said the event is booked through May 2009.

Darcie Flansburg is the Loft's general manager.
- Redlands Daily Facts


EP- Something Like A Miracle



Erin McLaughlin began writing her stories to songs several years ago but didn't really dive into music until after the untimely death of her youngest brother Bryan, in 2007. She says, “There's nothing like heartbreak to cause you to slow down and take a good look at the things you want and believe. I pretty much had to push restart”. As it turns out the best thing Erin felt she could do for herself was to air out her "frequent grappling with life and its peaks and valleys”, through music. Since then she has compiled a set of songs that tale some of that journey and the hope that she believes remains. She shared her songs in their early stages at open-mic nights and local coffee houses in her hometown of Redlands Ca and has since worked her way into LA playing at buzzworthy venues such as The Hotel Cafe. She says "There's such a wealth of talent and community in that tiny nook". This year Erin will play at the Hotel Cafe showcase at SXSW in Austin TX, sharing the night and the stage with such artists as Brooke Fraser, Meiko and Cary Brothers.
On the heels of her newest release "Something Like a Miracle"- a six song acoustic EP featuring Sean Watkins (Nickle Creek), Scott and Joel Owen (The Pawnshop Kings) and more- Erin is writing for her first full length record. Meanwhile fans persist in their diligence to get to know her as the lighthearted artist they've come to love. With her homegrown spirit and truly lovely voice Erin McLaughlin is a name you'll want to remember and a story you won't forget.