laura ganci
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laura ganci

Farmington, Connecticut, United States

Farmington, Connecticut, United States
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Laura Ganci knows how to throw a CD release party. None of this rounding up the usual suspects in a bar like it's any other night. Instead, she invited her closest family, friends, and supporters to Monster Lab Studios, the New Britain recording complex where she spent three years recording her debut. It seems the lady is close to quite a few people, since a crowd of about 40 braved the snowstorm this past Saturday to be with her as she celebrated the completion of Sung To.

Ganci, who is based out of Farmington, first came to my attention three years ago, when she began playing open mics and Webster Underground gigs. Then, as now, the hallmark of her style has been her slow, methodical approach to folk rock. Between her deliberate tempos and her full, clear enunciation, Ganci's music is communicative and uncluttered. However, until Saturday I had only ever seen her perform solo. So it was impressive, if not entirely surprising, to see her strength as a bandleader. She played all the songs off her new disc, supported by the stellar musicians who had recorded with her. Keyboardist Matt Zeiner, who also recorded and engineered the CD, did a magnificent job aiding Ganci. Together, they effectively transformed solo acoustic guitar pieces into piano-rock arrangements that sit well alongside local stars like Bipolar Jukebox, Rachel Zamsteen, and Columbia Fields.

T. S. Eliot noted that in free verse, "freedom is only truly freedom when it appears against the background of an artificial limitation." His idea holds for music as well. After being familiar with Ganci's music for three years, on Saturday I was struck by a subtlety I had never noticed: the darkness of her guitar melodies, which range from the diminished to the downright crestfallen. It's against this backdrop that her vocals soar. Ganci and her band created an evocative, gently commanding performance.

Sung To is available for download at If you want to see Ganci live, you can bring your special someone (or your bitterness) to The Olive Bar (9 School St., Unionville) on Valentine's Day, where she'll be performing a special long set.

Earlier, on Friday, I watched Hartford's lovable Stalactite Party play at Sully's. I was thrilled to see that their nerdy jazz-prog-funk mashup got such an enthusiastic reaction. Doubtless this was in part due to their stage show, which they switched from an austere, instruments-only jazz setup ("Watch our dazzling technical prowess!") to a Red Hot Chili Peppers-inspired kitschfest ("Have a good time with us!"). The musicians cut the lights, donned spelunking headlamps, and hung a banner above the stage announcing their name on a series of stalactites. Awesome idea! They made it impossible to be intimidated by them, even though they were ripping out furious, Yes-fueled math witchcraft. They probably came up with the time signatures for their songs by throwing 30-sided Dungeons and Dragons dice or something. Stalactite Party announced that they have a new CD coming out soon; I'm excited to hear it.

Every Thursday night, you can catch some of Hartford's best hip-hop at Sully's, where Joey Batts, Lump Sum, Create and Abu host a freestyle-based open mic. And if you haven't made the pilgrimage to Bridgeport's amazing Two Boots pizzeria, Saturday is the day to do it: Lys Guillorn and her band open for Matt Rae Trio and Quicksand Collective (9 p.m.; $5; 21+).


By Dan Barry

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Sung To LP
1. gravity
2. gypsy
3. good ones
4. sung to
5. the middle
6. try
7. smash
8. patiently
9. pack light
10. wake me in the morning
11. fault lines
12. love junkie



Laura Ganci envisioned a life filled with music starting at the age of eight. Her first instrument was a violin, which she played more often by laying it sideways on her lap and plucking individual notes with her fingers rather than using it in the traditional fashion. After several years of asking, she finally received the gift of a guitar from her father on a Christmas morning. Without lessons, the task of learning an instrument seemed daunting. But every time she picked up her guitar, things began to make more sense. She briefly studied music at a small guitar shop in a town nearby. It was isolation after moving out of state for her first two years of high school when Laura developed a deeply intimate and confessional relationship with her guitar through songwriting. It was loneliness and darkness that taught her to write, and it was observation and analysis which gave her writing its soul. Having more of an educational background in the field of fine art, specifically painting and drawing, Laura pursued the arts more than music in her schooling. She has attended Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and the Hartford Art School affiliated with the University of Hartford. Laura has since left both schools and now studies part time so that she can pursue music full force. She is inspired by everything from a glass of water to a crack in the sidewalk. Her vast sources of inspiration extend into her interests in music. No person that has heard Laura could deny the fact that she has pure talent. Her music is fresh and innovative. Her songs are the honest, soulful lullabies that people suddenly realize they need to hear. Something about her songs makes the things we don't understand have attainable answers. As she plays the guitar she plucks at your every heart string, spreading to you emotions you've forgotten about. Every note hit within the melodies raise hairs up on your neck. This is a girl who was made to sing songs of our lifetime. This is a girl who refuses to be something you can forget.