Laura Meyer
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Laura Meyer

Santa Cruz, California, United States | SELF

Santa Cruz, California, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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"Resonance @ Matchless"

For two reasons, it’s very important to catch Laura Meyer at Matchless on Wednesday. The first is simply her music. Beams of adeptly and uniquely finger-picked guitar support walls of elegant, earthy vocals and through tall, open windows come remarkably poetic and relatable lyrics. These songs are country roads, rich with story and movement. Speaking of which (and coming to the second reason you should hear Laura while you can), this spirited songster loves to travel. Taking to the road with only four wheels and six strings as company, Laura has accumulated more miles across our expansive nation than most full bands (it’s no surprise to see the names of various U.S. highways scattered amongst her list of influences). See her now! Before long she’ll be back on the granite track… - Jezebel Music


"The Magick Of Alchemy Music Series featuring Laura Meyer"

This is a great live performance that I recorded with professional soothsayer Laura Meyer (No matter what you call her, don't call her a "singer-songwriter." She took out her congas and did her song and dance at an undisclosed paramilitary hanger in Manhattan for the Starving Artists Guide in preparation for her upcoming Album "Miles from Nowhere", available here. While cameras weren't allowed because of black-ops shit, we certainly managed to have a good time. Check it out, because she's going on tour and might play a show near you soon! The best way to describe her music is to compare it to a girly Conor Oberst mixed in with a hint of Lisa Hannigan and a dash of Robert Zimmerman. Check it out below by pushing the sideways triangle. Or subscribe in Itunes to the right!

(live performance at link) - Starving Artist Guide


"Pop Making Sense"

Laura Meyer's latest, Miles from Nowhere, serves as a travelogue. This, Meyer's third album, reflects her findings while touring the country and observations of nature's beauty. "Between the Earth & the Sky" is a lush, tender ode, while "Flying V" serves up some delicious gritty guitars. The New York City-based folk singer has appeared on the Food Network's $12 Challenge. Meyer has two dates lined up in Chicago. First, she will be at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, on Saturday, Sept. 26. Then she will be joining Samantha Cathcart and Sherri Anne at Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon, on Monday, Sept. 28. Her Web site, www.laurameyer.net , has recipes, free downloads and even prizes. - Windy City Times


"Miles From Nowhere"

After 30,000 miles of touring in unique places, such as a small store among medieval ruins just outside Dublin, Laura Meyer found herself spending the winter of 2009 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with no heat. But hearing her fiery vocals and warm lyrics, it’s no surprise she was able to release a stunning collection of folk rock inspired songs by fall.

In the title track ‘Miles from Nowhere,’ Meyers growls the chorus, “Fifty miles from water, and I’m forty miles from wood, thirty miles from nowhere, and I’ve gone there for good. A bird in a cage, ain’t a bird at all.” Meyer makes it clear her inspiration comes from traveling as the album has a reccurring theme of beautifully laid out nature-driven images. There are specifics heavily reiterated such as the moon, sky, and birds. Poetic lyrics and open imagery grant a sense of freedom, “I try to bring the sky to me. I wish that I had feathers of my own, and a flock with which to fly.”

Tone shifts throughout, keeping songs fresh and enriched. The tonal changes reflect the different moods of travel, whether “breath[ing] in all the smog” of a big city or on a “night drive.” One minute she sounds like Cat Power, breathy and bluesy, other times folksy and pop like Jewel. She also has a distinct rumble to her voice in songs like ‘Used to Be’ and ‘Chelsea Hotel’ which contrasts brilliantly with her more softly flowing songs ‘Flying V’ and ‘Carolina Rose.’

Overall, songs are accompanied by steady guitar beats, whether electrified or subdued. She also uses a finger-picking guitar style which compliments an equally peaceful spirit song to song. If soulful Sarah Bareilles or Missy Higgins is one of your favorites, then Laura Meyer would definitely be a perfect addition to your playlist. - Bootleg Magazine


"Night Drive by Laura Meyer"

Laura Meyer, a folk-rock artist based in New York City, independently released Miles From Nowhere, a collection of twenty songs, this fall. Inspired by 40.000 miles of touring, she documents her travels with natural imagery, reflections of life in the city and on the road, and a voice that turns soft or growly at will. Her fingerpicking guitar style is simiiarly soothing or charged with bluesy energy from song to song.
"Night Drive" shows her folk side with poetic images – the moon rises like a ripe peach, I'd like to taste it, but it's out of reach – and her clear, wistful crooning that's appealing whether the setting is a coffeehouse gathering or intimate club. Her intricate fingerpicking adds enough lively accompaniment to keep good energy flowing as she guides listeners along.
She gets bluesy at times, her voice deepens like a lioness in protective mode. On "Miles From Nowhere" her vocal gets gritty and surly to back up her no-nonsense lyrics and chugging guitar riff.
"City of Angels" is a quest for miracles that rings with a forlorn wanting. Her electrified guitar bolsters the song with a potent but subdued power. Lead track "Katrina, Katrina" is melodic as Meyer pines, gathering answers in her solitude and questions.
Working the folk festival circuit, Meyer has earned a number of awards and accolades in recognition of her skill. She's successfully translated that live performance appeal to her recorded material. Meyer's array of songs on Miles From Nowhere are like a set of charcoal sticks with subtly different colors that leave marks of defiance, heartbreak, attraction, contemplative meandering, artfully rendered observations, and hopeful moments.
Laura Meyer performs Thursday, October 8, 2009 at recordBar. Other acts include John Velghe and Chupacabra. - Present Magazine


"Musician Finds Herself 'Miles From Nowhere'"

On "Miles from Nowhere," her new full-length album, Laura Meyer sings to us from a place of authority that seemingly would belie her age. The album was inspired by her recent cross-country travels on tour and speaks of a breadth of experience uncommon to someone of 26.

What's more, her singing voice has that edge-of-the-world weariness more common to songwriters like Ani Difranco and Joni Mitchell.

Meyer, who plays in Athens at Rye Bar on Friday, discusses weighty opener "Katrina, Katrina" as "a play on the old blues song 'Corina, Corina.' I remember watching coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and it was one of those moments that recalled 9/11," she says, "the unimaginable pain felt by all those people. I was in Paris a few years ago, and the song just came to me."

Meyer graduated from NYU two years ago and also attended Goddard and Wesleyan - in the interims taking plenty of time to explore.

"I grew up in the Northeast, and I was seduced by the romance of going West - from Tom Petty songs to Clint Eastwood movies," she says.

Music has, of course, provided her the opportunity to go west - and in every other direction - again and again.

Many of the 20 songs on "Miles from Nowhere" are chock-full of stories from the road. Sometimes songs are centered by landmarks or roadblocks, sometimes simply by a single prevailing sentiment. With her bluesy alterna-girl folk musings, Meyer takes us from the devastated landscape of "Katrina, Katrina" to the mountains of Telluride to the urban metropolis of New York City in songs like "Back in New York" and "Chelsea Hotel."

A few of the songs, she reveals - specifically "Flying V" and "This Land" - even deal with the Classic City.

Due in part to all of her touring, Meyer has developed a loyal fan base that recently assisted her in raising $5,000 to record her next album with a full band. "I worked with a company called Kickstarter. They give you up to 80 days to run a campaign - I posted a video explaining it to my fans," she says, noting Athens pop sweetheart Allison Weiss used the same method. People who donated $75 or more received Meyer's entire catalog.

A few especially generous patrons also will be rewarded with all manner of handmade goodies courtesy of Meyer. Crafting is something she's especially fond of, as she assembled all of the album art and CD packaging for "Miles from Nowhere" by hand. "It was very time consuming" she says. "I often thought, 'Why am I doing this?' But I wanted to do something for the fans."

In another nod to fans - and also in hopes of picking up a few new ones - Meyer isn't charging admission for most of the shows on this tour. "I'd rather have people come be at the show than be deterred by a cover," she says.

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/101509/mar_504730011.shtml - Athens Banner-Herald


"Miles From Nowhere"

Inspired by a year of touring the country (and beyond) while logging in more than 40,000 miles, “Miles From Nowhere,” New York City folk-rock artist Laura Meyer’s latest independent album, is chock full of tough-minded vocals, insightful lyrics and gritty guitar that no doubt will keep her on the road for years to come. Meyer, who has been honored at songwriting competitions at the Telluride Bluegrass, Rocky Mountain Folks and Great Waters Music festivals (including 2008 song of the year for “Atlantis”) sets the bar high on the album’s first few tracks, taking listeners on a musical journey of Bob Dylan-like balladry (“Katrina, Katrina”), old-time blues (“Miles From Nowhere”), rebellious punk scorn (“Used To Be”) and the flight of the imagination (“In the Clouds”). Gutsy stuff. CV

(Laura Meyer performs Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Ritual Café. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.)

http://www.dmcityview.com/2009/10/01/music/check.html - Des Moines Cityview


"Album Review: Laura Meyer's "Miles From Nowhere""

Laura Meyer's Twitter bio describes her best: Globe-trekking folk-rock poet. The New York-based folk-rock artist recently completed a 38-day, 34-show tour across the US and will be back on the road in early December. It seems the tour bus is truly her home and she's at ease at any locale — whether it's performing in Dublin for over 10,000 fans at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival or in New York at the intimate Rockwood Music Hall.

It is perhaps no wonder that Meyer's latest release, Miles From Nowhere was inspired by her time spent on the road. The 20-track album takes the listener on a journey throughout the 40,000 miles Meyer has traveled. With detailed scenic description and continuous alliteration, Miles From Nowhere grabs the listener's ear and takes him to a new destination.

It's not often that an artist can transport the listener to another time and place, but on Miles From Nowhere, Meyer succeeds. Whether she is singing about New Orleans on the rustic opening track, "Katrina, Katrina" or her beloved home on the colorful "Back In New York," each song is distinctly different from the previous.

An old soul, it is easy to envision Meyer performing at folk festivals, for it is her lyrics that stand out most. The way she imparts constant emotion and vivid imagery throughout each track is remarkable, bringing to mind Joni Mitchell with her vocals and distinctive guitar style. Additionally, the occasional angst shown in edgier tracks like "Miles From Nowhere" and "Chelsea Hotel" exemplifies Alanis Morissette circa her Jagged Little Pill era.

Miles From Nowhere progresses naturally from song to song, despite obvious differences in tone throughout each new track. The softer "Katrina, Katrina" transforms into the edgy title track extremely well while the dark and somber "Chelsea Hotel" and it's faster guitar picking segues equally fittingly into the love story of "New York, New York."

Recorded in one session, Miles From Nowhere alternates solely between acoustic and electric guitar and Meyer on vocals. The album is simple, and not overproduced. In fact, it's as if you're receiving a private concert by Meyer in your living room. Her songs are incredibly honest as she opens up her diary to the world. "I trust the universe takes care of me/But sometimes my trust is just so hard to believe," she sings on "Night Drive."

Much of the album deals with the uncertainty of love. "The Ocean" embodies a spoken word segment on love and is a welcomed change while "New York, New York" speaks of the uncertainty in relationships. "I've always felt like New York is a yo-yo/Tied round my finger I can't throw her away/But now I see after coming and going/New York's the only one who ever stays/I'm just the toy in her hand/Like a boy who thinks that he's a man/I'm just the toy in her hand/She throws me away and I go back again and again/I've always felt like love is for strangers/Soon as you know it, it goes away/I've tried to love him despite the danger/And in the end only love remained," she sings.

Whether it's her intricate finger picking or moving lyrics, Meyer is one folk-artist who deserves your attention. Visit her Web site and if you like what you hear, be sure to catch her on tour in December and January.

Recommended: For fans of Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Ingrid Michaelson.

http://yousingiwrite.blogspot.com/2009/11/album-review-laura-meyers-miles-from.html - You Sing, I Write


"Out of My Mind: Dig these musical hidden gems of 2009"


Laura Meyer, “Miles From Nowhere”: It’s not often you find a 20-song CD. It’s rare to find a 20-song CD with not a bad one in the bunch. But it takes something extraordinary to leave the listener eagerly anticipating more, more, more. But Meyer has accomplished that on “Miles From Nowhere,” a musical travelogue so well-painted with intimate lyrics that you can picture New York, Los Angeles and “the stars above Telluride.”

Check out her MySpace page (www.myspace.com/laurameyermusic) and her Web site (www.laurameyer.net) for a vast array of songs to sample. Check out the lyrical beauty of the love song “Back in New York,” the quiet longing of “Flying V” and the bitter anger of “Chelsea Hotel.” But really, you can’t go wrong with any of the songs on this album.

Or better yet, check her out in person when she performs Jan. 6 at Phoenixville’s Steel City Coffeehouse. It will be the well-traveled musician’s first performance in the Philadelphia area, but hopefully not her last.

http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2009/12/30/springford_reporter_valley_item/opinion/doc4b3be0afc8f70156690385.txt - Montgomery News


"Laura Meyer — forever ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’"

“A bird in a cage ain’t a bird at all,” Laura Meyer sings on the title track of her latest CD, “Miles from Nowhere.”

It's not a stretch to assume that the line is a metaphor for Meyer's life and musical career.

Though she makes her home in New York City, Meyer is happiest when living the life of a modern troubadour, loading her belongings into her car and traveling around the country, visiting new places and performing for anyone willing to listen.

“We moved around a lot when I was younger,” Meyer said. “I never really planted my roots anywhere. It’s good practice for life, because everything is fleeting. I find when I’m traveling, it’s easier for me to be present because everything else is changing around me, so something has to stay steady.

“I love to travel, I love to go West, especially. It's where my heart pulls me. It’s such a beautiful country. I see no reason to take a break until I physically break down. I pretty much see myself on the road until I record my next album [sometime in 2010].”

So it’s no surprise that Meyer’s “Miles from Nowhere,” released in September, serves quite well as a travelogue, with many of the 20 songs taking the listener on a journey to the many locales that have affected Meyer and the feelings and memories associated with those places. From the tender “Back in New York” to the New Orleans blues of “Katrina, Katrina” to the melancholy “City of Angels,” Meyer creates a journey from sea to shining sea ... and beyond.

“I’m really proud of it,” Meyer said of her fourth CD. “It definitely captures a vibe — the past year, of being miles from nowhere, in every sense of the word. A record is, in the literal sense, a record. It's a record of this past year. And what was so liberating about this — it was flawed, there are really some pitchy notes here — but I thought, I could just spend the next 10 years trying to perfect a song trying to put it out. That’s not how I choose to work. It was really finding empowering moments.

“It’s the kind of stuff that comes out. I would hope it would take people somewhere. Something I really want to move away from is the singer-songwriterish and naval-gazing, introspective music. That's great and it serves a purpose, but I really want to do more. I want there to be a variety, especially if I'm playing live. If people are coming out to have a good time, I don’t want to just sing a bunch of sad love songs. I want to build up my variety.”

She’s already quite adept at that. Styles and tones change throughout “Miles from Nowhere,” just as they do on her previous CDs. It’s nothing she plans; it’s just the way the music moves her. And more often than not, when writing a song, Meyer finds herself to be more a matchmaker than a writer.

“Sometimes I like to sit down with my guitar and fiddle around and I’ll come up with a guitar bit. Sometimes I’ll spend a couple hours just repeating the same riff, which the people that I live with, or my neighbors, just love,” she said with a laugh. “And then the words will slowly come out and I really feel like there are words attached to those notes and they can only be those words. And similarly when the words come first, there is music in those words, and it can only be those notes. So it’s like finding the musical soulmates.”

And while there’s something magical about creating music, for Meyer, it’s even better when she has the opportunity to share it with others. From Sept. 19 to Dec. 20, Meyer played 50 shows and traveled 11,844 miles. She estimates she’s played fewer than 100 shows in 2009. Having spent time off the road to write and record the CD, 2009 was a “light year” for touring, she says, insisting that “2010 is going to be a big one.”

She’s not kidding. She’s already got 25 gigs on her calendar through Feb. 18, with new dates added on an almost daily basis. The second stop will introduce Meyer to the Philadelphia area, with a show at Steel City Coffee House, Phoenixville, at 8 p.m., Jan. 6.

From there, Meyer will head south through North Carolina to numerous performances in Georgia and Florida, then out West to New Orleans, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Throughout her career, Meyer has performed in 42 states. She’s played everywhere from the famed The Living Room in New York City, to bars in Omaha, Neb., to cafés in Des Moines, Iowa. She’s performed in Toronto, Dublin, London and Paris. She’s received standing ovations at performances in a vineyard in Fairfield, Ill., and she's played before more than 10,000 people on the main stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in each of the past two summers.

“That was the first time I had done anything like that,” Meyer said of her experience in Telluride. “To get up in front of 10,000 people is definitely something I had envisioned every night for 20 years. But it’s different in person.

“The people at Planet Bluegrass [organizers of the festival] have been so supportive, having me back again this year with a whole new set - Montgomery News


"Laura Meyer"

Considering the circumstances surrounding the bungling would-be plane bomber on Christmas Day, Laura Meyer's decision to dub her recent northern jaunt "The Long Underwear Tour" might have proven somewhat unfortunate. So it's a wise choice she shed that banner for her current tour, which includes an extended stay in South Florida. (Of course, there's always a chance the recent blast of blustery weather might call for donning those long johns once again.)

Under whichever guise she comes, the fact is that Meyer might be the best singer-songwriter still unknown in these parts. She has garnered numerous awards from her frequent appearances on the summer festival circuit as well as recognition from BMI and ASCAP for her intimate songs. Stylistically, she freely crosses the transom between folk and blues in ways stirring and sensual. A well-traveled troubadour, she boasts deft guitar playing that also bolsters her credentials, giving her an extra edge that separates her from the rest of the singer-songwriter competition. - Miami New Times


"Laura Meyer on Lyrical Venus"

Laura Meyer lists New York City as her base, but between moving often while growing up and her extensive touring, it seems that this independent artist is also an independent spirit, able to find beauty wherever she lands. Her latest album, Miles From Nowhere, supports that idea, capturing slices of the traveling life from New Orleans to Colorado, Carolina and back to New York, with plenty of other places in-between! Painting word pictures with a shimmering, smokey voice, Laura supports her little road vignettes with deft finger-picking and crunchy blues riffs in turn, providing as much of a trip for your ears as your imagination.

Winner of numerous songwriting honors, Laura has played in every sort of venue, from tiny coffee houses to huge outdoor festivals - including the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, which I’ve attended the past two years! We must have been there at the same time and I didn’t realize it.

Between all of Laura’s traveling and my love of live music, I’m betting we’ll end up in the same place sometime again in the future, and I’ll be sure not to miss seeing her. In the meantime, there’s always YouTube!

Here is Laura performing her song The Ocean at WSCA 106.1 FM in New Hampshire. (Another low-power community station, rock on!)

If you’re reading elsewhere, you may need to come to the blog to see the video

And of course info, photos, blogs, songs and purchase info can be found on Laura’s site: http://www.laurameyer.net
You can also connect with her through MySpace, Facebook and Twitter for starters. (other social sites are listed on her webpage.)

Finally, don’t forget to tune in to Lyrical Venus on KRUU-LP 100.1 FM this Tuesday, March 2nd from 9-10am Central for your weekly dose of female singer-songwriters! Laura will be calling around 9:30.

http://lyricalvenus.com/laura-meyer-on-lyrical-venus-32/ - Lyrical Venus


"Miles From Nowhere: Laura Meyer Interview"

Laura Meyer has a long way to go before she settles down. Her music has taken her on a tour of heartland America and she has no plans to clean the dust of her boots just yet. I caught up with her for a phone interview and found out that she has made it to the West Coast on her current tour, playing shows in bars, restaurants, and anywhere that will have her. Her latest album, Miles From Nowhere is an introspective folk gem that shines brightly thanks to it’s lonely acoustic guitar and her sultry voice. Lyrics are of long, dusty roads, the snow capped peaks of the Colorado Rockies, and finding the comfort of home on the road.

Q: How have the shows on this tour been going?

A: Awesome. There’s just been so many. The new songs have really held up ’cause now I’ve played them hundreds of times. They’ve grown up, too.

Q: Have you come up with any new songs on the road?

A: I’ve been writing a ton. I’ve written over 500 pages. Mostly when I’m driving things will come to me, but I haven’t had a chance to go through it. I’ve written a couple new songs that are standard songs, otherwise it’s fragments that once I get a few days off I’ll get through it to see what it is. I’m also writing a book of my travels.

Q: Is it fiction or nonfiction?

A: It’s gonna be like a travelogue thing. I’ve got a bunch of photos for it, too.

Q: Can you tell me a story for the book you might be including from it?

A: Well, let’s see. This is kinda funny. I mostly play clubs or bars, but I got this restaurant gig in Arizona a few weeks ago. I didn’t know where it was and it wasn’t showing up on my GPS. So I called the venue for directions. It’s just North of the border, in the middle of nowhere. I get off and make the turn. I’m going down this road and there’s absolutely nothing. I get to this dead end, and I see a group of trucks and guys and they have this camp. I get to this dead end and there’s just desert. So I call the venue, and they say I went the wrong way, that it’s North. So I turn around and go back, and reach another dead end. So back and forth, back and forth. Finally I pulled over and asked a woman right by the highway. Apparently there are two roads parallel to the highway with the same name and I was on the wrong one. So I get on the right road and start driving. I see desert and more desert and then all of the sudden there are like, a hundred cars. I pull up to the place and go into this little restaurant, and it’s absolute insanity.

A:[continued]…Inside, there are like, hundreds of old people. I’m talking white haired old people. It’s a little after five, and they’re all chowing down on dinner. It was so shocking. Words really cannot describe. I tried to take some pictures and video of it on the sly.

Q: Seems like you were on peyote, being in the desert. Was it anything like that?

A: Yeah, I felt like I was on some kind of commune or cult thing. Definitely felt like I was tripping. I’ve never seen so many old people. Some guy told me that they all drive from Tucson to get there. I ended up playing for, like, four hours. These little old people eating so much, and drinking margaritas out of Mason jars. They were getting down!

Q: So are you doing any festivals this year?

A: I don’t know yet. I applied for a few, but won’t hear back for a couple of weeks. I’d love to. Then I’m gonna take some time off soon until the fall, then start working on the new album.

Q: Great, how far along is that?

A: I’m actually gonna meet up with a producer next month to figure which route I’m gonna go.

Q: Are you gonna rework some of the older songs or are you gonna focus on the new stuff?

A: I’d rather do material, but there are more than a couple songs, over the past couple years doing the solo stuff, that I would like to hear with a backing band.

Q: Good to hear. You’re such a hard worker. You seem to love the road, though.

A: Yeah. It’s hard though. The more I tour, the more I see that this is my life. I keep meeting people that tell me “You gotta come back!” I’ve been to a lot of cities in the past six months. I wanna go back and see those people all the time and it’s never ending. But, it’s like, “Wow. This is my home.”

Q: How many dates do you have left on the tour?

A:…about 50.

Q: Do you have a favorite city that you’ve been to?

A: I love L.A., I have a lot friends there and I’ve always been enchanted by it. It’s got such a mythology to it. Some people feel that way about New York City, but for me it’s L.A.

Q: Alright, well I look forward to seeing you when you get back to N.Y.C, and I can’t wait for the new album! I’ll let you go find out where you’re gonna stay for the night.

A: Thanks, take care!

To take a listen to an informal audio interview/performance I did with Laura Meyer before she set out on her tour across America, click this link.

Or, you can check out LauraMeyer.net

http://www.deathandtaxesmagazine.com/?p=8173 - Death + Taxes Magazine


"Do-It-Yourself Tours on the Rise"

N omatter what city she travels to, Laura Meyer makes sure her Subaru Forrester is packed with a yoga mat and a rice cooker.

“I don’t think I could go on tour without either of those,” said the 26-year-old singer-songwriter.

And ear plugs. Because when her gig is over and she finds a place to crash — sometimes at a newly-made friend’s house — she needs silence in order to catch precious shuteye.

“Between e-mails and driving, there’s not a lot of sleep time,” she said.

While national tours were once primarily the domain of label-backed groups, the Internet has made it possible for independent musicians to post songs, book small-venue gigs and promote shows.

As a result, the highways are jammed with wandering, unknown singers who pack their cars with guitars, clothes, copies of CDs and the few things they’ve carried over from their once stationary lives.

“When I was in my 20s, this world didn’t exist,” said Dorian Michael, a 60-year-old fingerpicking guitarist from Templeton. “Traveling people were Bob Dylan. Now there’s a do-it-yourself world of traveling musicians.”

For most of his professional career, Michael primarily played local gigs. But 12 years ago, he decided to tour the country in search of venues that appreciated original music.

“I didn’t want to play hits from the ’70s with bar bands,” said Michael, who recently returned from a trip that took him as far as Florida.

When he was younger, acts didn’t record their own music. And there wasn’t an easy way to find venues to play.
“We live in an age where it’s totally easy to do it on your own,” said Pamela Means, a jazzy vocalist and guitarist from Milwaukee, who will perform at Senor Sanchos in Paso Robles and the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo next month.

Changing industry

While songwriters haven’t completely given up the goal of scoring a huge record deal, they’re also aware that the music industry has changed. Sagging sales have weakened record labels, which are no longer as gracious— or frequent—with big signings. So the realistic musician who wants to make a living singing songs has to surrender dreams of limo rides and Rolling Stone covers in favor of playing in small bars, coffee shops and libraries that can offer a few people and a tip jar.

“I really wanted to do music full-time, and the only way to do that, really, is to tour,” said Meyer, a New York-based singer, who performs at The Porch in Santa Margarita tonight.

Every night in San Luis Obispo County you can find some touring act you’ve never heard of, trying to spread its fan base, not with slick ads or music videos, but with its most grassroots promo tool — the live performance.

When The Northstar Session became serious about making a living in the music business, the retro rockers moved to Los Angeles. But the band soon realized that success would entail more than being in the hub of the music industry.

“L. A. is a good town for the business,” said guitarist Matt Szlachetka. “But it’s not a great place for building a fan base.”
His band is currently touring the West Coast, which includes three stops here — Last Stage West in Atascadero and three gigs in San Luis Obispo (Steynberg Gallery, Boo Boo Records, Backstage Pizza).

It’s hard on the road

Stacking multiple gigs in one area is a plus for acts hoping to maximize each stop — particularly when gas is so expensive. But lining up gigs takes considerable effort — finding the right venues, sending e-mail pitches to them and promoting gigs.
“You have to treat it like you’re a door-to-door salesman,” Szlachetka said.

Then there’s the many long road trips, taking musicians to places they’ve never — purposely, in some cases—dreamed of.
“I think you have to have the right personality for it,” said Means, who usually travels alone. “I’m very content with solitude.”
Being alone in a car gives her time to write songs in her head. But it doesn’t necessarily help with relationships.

“Nearly all my relationships have suffered,” said Means, who has toured for 12 years. “Everybody wants their partner to be around.”

Being a veteran of the road, Means is familiar with many of the venues she performs in—be it the Tipsy Teapot in Greenville, N.C., or the WOW Hall in Eugene, Ore. But life on the road can lead to unpleasant surprises, particularly when going to unfamiliar venues.
“It’s totally like a blind date,” Meyer said.

One venue owner in San Diego tried to stiff Means on pay. Meyer, meanwhile, remembers a bad experience during a gig in Cincinnati.

“The owner of the venue started sexually harassing me,” she said.

Unlike famous musicians, whose tours rake in big bucks, unsigned or small-label acts often get a share of the door, which means if there’s no crowd, there’s no money. And because venues don’t usually put musicians up for the night, acts often rely on the kindness of strangers to provide sleeping arrangements.

“I used to be shy and avoided that,” said Means, who - San Luis Obispo Tribune


"On the road again"

Tomorrow night, singer-songwriter Laura Meyer will headline a three-artist show at the Stafford on Main Street in Downtown Bryan. It's another stop on the nearly never-ending tour for Meyer, 27, who has been going full-time as a musician since 2007 with no tour hiatuses longer than a month and a half.
It's what some would call a lonely life: put your belongings in the car, drive to a gig where the fan count can range from tens to 10,000, then leave only to repeat the same process again and again, the only constants in life being yourself and your writing. But actually, it's just the opposite for Meyer, who said that if anything, there might not be enough time to herself.
"I love what I do," Meyer said. "And people always ask ‘Well don't you get lonely?' But the truth of the matter is no, I'm not. If anything, I'd like a little bit more alone time because I'm typically in a venue every night with a bunch of people. I usually stay with people, so that's also time with people."
Many songwriters need to detach themselves from the pressures of touring, performing live and writing songs. The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, for example, stopped touring in 1965 after the added responsibilities became too much. But songwriting comes more organically on the road for Meyer, who said she is continuously inspired by what she sees and does.
"I write when I drive," Meyer said. "And I've gotten pulled over for it, but I've also written some of my best songs doing it. I need that inspiration. I need going out and getting in the world, living."
The road, however, does have its downsides. Meyer faced bed bugs and swine flu from her last tour, but has taken steps forward from her first tour, where self-professed "crazy driving" and eye problems became a persistent issue, not to mention the always present factor of added adrenaline from place to place and pent-up energy from sitting and driving day in and day out.
"Really, I'm learning just how much you need to take care of the body," Meyer said. "That's really the hardest part because I feel like if you have your health, you have everything else. It's so important to tap into your center and [be] healthy and creating. If I'm creating, that contributes to my health – my mental health."
Despite being a native of the Northeast – she's lived in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Connecticut — Meyer said she has always had a love of the West Coast.
"I definitely have always felt a pull out to California," Meyer said.
Her online autobiography describes her musical epiphany, hearing the track "Yer So Bad" by Tom Petty in the backseat during her years before kindergarten and calling it the "equivalent of the first glimpse of Southern California by eyes acquainted to gray New England winters." She goes on to describe Petty as a musician whose songs "emit love" and has been the continuous inspiration from that first listen.
"I think he [stands out because] he was the first, and he planted the seed," Meyer said. "Every one of his songs, they fell complete from heaven. They don't feel pieced together; they feel organic and pure. He's all about good times. The hooks are incredible and the musicianship is just top-notch. The band is just so rock ‘n' roll. Today, you have, like, indie-rock and all these hyphenated categories and genres. But they're just rock — have fun, rock ‘n' roll. It's so American and so California — have that dream, coming out from Florida and it's ... I like it."
That American dream of living life to the fullest has stuck with Meyer as she continues her perpetual musical road trip, always trying to find that next moment of bliss, be it from music or other avenues of expression.
"I'm all about having fun right now," Meyer said. "It's so serious growing up, and work's really hard. Being on the road has transformed my life and taught me to enjoy life because this is all we have and it's a gift – it's not meant to be suffered through. It's meant to be enjoyed and money will come. You have to be responsible, but what's the point if you don't enjoy life?" - The Battalion Texas A&M


"Live Music: Laura Meyer"

(Live video and interview at link) - My Fox Austin


"Laura Meyer"

When I see these things ahead of time, and plan to see them, I still don't feel fully prepared for how much I will like them. The time of discovery is just a snap shot of something that I like but can afford to miss. The frugal voice tells you to deny yourself for some bullshit higher purpose. It's a different voice that urges me to see performers like Laura Meyer. The smallness of a great artist performing in a restaurant style venue. Uncommon Ground is a nice little restaurant with a stage. Well, a space that can be set aside for a stage is what they got. What UG did not have that Friday 3 December was an audience that gave a shit. People seemed to be just interested in their own affairs, like eating. If they paid attention to her, it was to get her to play some bullshit cover. I left that night a fan of Laura Meyer so I'm not going to blame her. Uncommon Ground seemed more a restaurant than music venue. It's not on them either. Hell, they at least had her performing. So I had to listen to her through a filter of voices that shared the same space but not the same experience. It did feel as if I was the only one that went to see her. Most of the video I took I had to delete because of all the people talking over her. That's OK too. There are a number of youtube videos with her as well. So I took pictures. OK, so good venue, good singer, bad, indifferent audience. I'm really amazed that it did not in the end influence my decision to buy her CDs. So that made me listen to Laura a little more and I bought the two CDs. I listened to "Been Here Before" on the way back and pow! I met Laura Meyer! I saw her play at Uncommon Ground! I drove home in complete disbelief. Some of these songs she played on stage, I recognized them, but I had to listen to them through what seemed to me an indifferent crowd.
She strikes me as a bluesy, Aimee Mann. An intelligent, thoughtful songwriter with a flexible blues impulse. And an excellent guitarist. That's Laura. I say blues but not like say The Pack A. D. It's not abrasive like them, and they seem to just have like two speeds. I can't see them slowing down like LM. Having said that I like The Pack A.D. They are about strength in the outer shell, which is awesome. I hear them and I feel the coolness of Patrick Swayze driving a truck in that movie he was in Black Dog? Yes? Well, Laura does cool introspective blues, most of the time, strengthening the inner self. You just picture yourself in that slow motion cool swagger that you see on TV when you hear these songs. - Goth Traveler


"Music Junkies’ Top 10 Songs of 2010"

Sam Quinn + Japan Ten – “Gun”
Kaiser Cartel – “Okay”
The Walkmen – “Blue as your Blood” (video embedded below)
Alejandro Escovedo – “Anchor”
The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – “Medicine”
David Bazan – “Curse Your Branches”
The Mynabirds – “Let The Record Go”
Laura Meyer – “Blackberry Lane”
Brandi Carlile – “Impossible Sorrow” Live at Eddie’s Attic - Radio Potato


"Europe-Bound Singer Brings Her Folk-Blues Balladry to Redding"

Musician Laura Meyer has spent the majority of three years living out of a car, driven over 100,000 miles and played nearly 500 shows. She has “lived at the mercy of tires, tip jars, and the kind souls who fill them.”

Laura, who is proud of the fact that she built her career “the old-fashioned way,” with an investment of years on the road, will treat live music fans to a set of old and new recordings, tonight and Friday in Redding.

This seasoned singer, songwriter and performer transfixes audiences with her early sweet, innocent folk songs, plus work from her new album, “Been Here Before.”

“They're my new babies and I also think they're the best I've ever written,” boasts Meyer of the “Been Here Before” recordings. “I'm also featuring a lot of the hits from past albums, because people still request them and there are some gems in there. The newer ones are darker, bluesier, and feature more complicated guitar parts.”

I talked to Laura about recording, life on the road and her upcoming tour across the pond.



You're interviewed in a San Luis Obispo Tribune piece about the rise of "do-it-yourself tours." You seem to be getting quite adept at life on the road.

Thanks. I've been living on the road full-time for over three years, so I've had some time to adapt.

What's the most challenging part about being on the road?

I've found the most challenging part is stopping! Ha. I'm in a different city just about every day, so now I have friends scattered across the country. Once I've finished visiting all of them it's time to start all over again! I've been able to get to know my fans on a personal level and some of them have become my closest friends.

Seriously, most of my struggle has come from maintaining my health, especially in the cold climates, and trying to finance my tours and new releases. Many people don't realize that I'm 100% independent, which means I do all of my own booking, promoting, and web maintenance, not to mention driving, performing, writing, and finding time to be creative and hopefully sleep a little too. It takes a lot of time and energy, and I don't have the security of a steady paycheck. I have a tip jar.

This year, you're headed to Europe. Do you have any idea what to expect from European audiences?

I'm extremely excited for this tour. I performed in Ireland, England and France a few years ago, but this coming tour is by far the most ambitious one I've planned. The hospitality I received overseas is unparalleled, and I'm already getting a great response to the new material, through my mailing list and website. I think this tour marks a turning point in my career.

UK, Germany, Italy and France. Are you giving yourself some time to sightsee?

Hmm ... I have a show nearly every night (I'll be over there for two months) so I'm managing my expectations. One thing I've learned about touring is there's always "next time." I used to try to see everything when I got to a new city, but I've learned the pleasure of peeling back a little at a time, and saving some of the mystery. One thing that's going to be great about this tour is that I'll be taking trains instead of driving, which will afford me lots of time to write (and to figure out where I'm going)! I'm writing a book inspired by my travels, and I'm sure whatever I manage to soak up this spring will be a big chapter.



Five albums ain't too shabby.

I actually have ten recordings, but not all of them are available. I've made a recording at least once a year since my junior year of high school, kind of like a school picture. I definitely need to record and "release" my songs, so I can move on to the next. They're always pouring in, and the faster I can move them out, the faster I can get to the next one. I guess this kind of parallels my touring lifestyle, ha. See a common theme?

What's the first thing you're going to do after the tour is over?

Good question. I don't know, because tour is never over. I've just been offered a summer tour with an Italian booking agency, so I might be hopping back over there shortly after I land. I'm sure I'll be ripe for a new album, so it'd be nice to find a wealthy rock-loving philanthropist and produce another band recording (if you're reading this, please email me). Regardless, I'll make a new record when I return from Europe, and a new record always means a new tour. But I see myself touring differently in the future. I'd like to have my own bed.

Many thanks for doing what you're passionate about and enriching our lives. Did you remember your rice cooker?

No rice cooker this trip, sadly. Fortunately I mostly stay in people's homes now, so I travel with a saucepan and a skillet.



Catch Laura on the first leg of her Western World tour tonight (Thursday, Feb. 17), 8 p.m. at Maxwell’s,1344 Market Street, Redding and Friday (Feb. 18), 8 p.m. at Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant, 1790 Market Street, Redding.
- News Cafe


"Soulful Sensation"

It’s hard to put your finger on Laura Meyer. On the title track of her new album Been Here Before, she starts off sweetly singing: Been here before/ Got a rope against my neck/ Been here before/ I guess I never left. The tender folk vocals don’t prepare you for the striking left turn the album takes next, delivering the hard driving blues of “Motel Room Blues #1.” Meyer looks like a sweet little waif, but there’re dark corners seething under her ingénue exterior.

Alternating between folk and blues, she’s a skinny white chick with soul to burn, and inside are tough-minded songs that simply don’t seem like they could have come from her. On “Don’t Let Them Collect You,” a martial new wave beat delivers an edict about being trapped by exactly the sort of stereotyping I’m engaging in: Don’t let them collect you/ Don’t let them collect you/ They’re just trying to get you/ Put you on their shelf// No one’s gonna protect you/ no one’s coming to the rescue/ they’re just trying to dissect you/ So you better take care for yourself.

Folk and blues rock poet Laura Meyer has a series of three area concerts to choose from: Thursday, Feb. 24, at Frog and Peach (7:30 p.m.); Friday, Feb. 25, at Costa De Oro Winery (5 p.m.; 922-1468) in Santa Maria; and a show on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Sustenance Cooking Studio (7 p.m.; 543-2186). - New Times San Luis Obispo


"Laura Meyer: A Cozy Listen"

I'm most attracted to pensive music, the kind that stirs the soul in strange places and won't budge away from the tip of the mind.
Mazes of lyrical ideas that carry the heart into the journeys of the musician. Cheesey, no? But it's true!
Laura Meyer writes from the roads and of the turns in a pregnant thought. It's difficult to explain- perhaps kind of like making jello with tea (highly recommend it fruit tea!) instead of warm water. There's more to the song, more to story.

Just a quick listen to her guitar skills and thoughtful lyrics on her website caused me to email vigorously, in hopes to interview Laura for AggieTV. This is a lady I wanted to meet! Our chat about her inspirations will be uploaded soon.

Here is a glimpse into the night: a simple music video of "Ocean". - KDVS 90.3FM


"Larry Miller: The Tunnels"

WHILE the rest of the city was painting the town red, donning their red noses and doing something funny for money we were engrossed in music of a completely different hue. Blues in fact.

Not the morbid "my baby done left me" type of blues, but the pile-driving kind where the volume level is welded to "loud" and the metronome is set at "fast".

However, the gig started quietly enough with supporting act Laura Meyer.

Seated on a high stool with an acoustic guitar, the Californian looked very much the archetypal introspective singer-songwriter and so an odd choice as a support on a night that had attracted a predominantly male rock audience.

But with a rather strange blues-folk style, a powerful voice and strong songs mostly about life on the road, the chatty, bubbly singer not only won over those who ventured out of the adjacent bar but even managed to get a well-deserved encore.

Larry Miller, who has been a regular visitor to the city for many years, had a new-ish album to promote called Unfinished Business.

But it seemed to be very much a case of business as usual as, ably aided by a powerhouse rhythm section of Simon Baker on drums and Derek White on bass, he opened with one of the new songs, Mad Dog, that had the trademark crashing chords, pounding rhythms and scorching extended guitar solos we have come to expect from him.

He is too experienced a performer to dwell too much on the new album and loads of older favourites like Shame on You, Outlaw Blues and his fiery version of Junior Wells' classic Messin' With The Kid got an airing.

Miller could be criticised for sacrificing soul for raw power and emotion for unbelievably fast fingering.

But there were two tracks from the new album, Delilah and the very extended and rather beautiful Cruel Old World, that showed a marked change of direction towards much slower power-rock ballads.

And after closing with a very long version of As Blue As It Gets that turned into a homage to guitar gods Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Rory Gallagher, it was to the Gary Moore songbook that he turned to finish the show with a stunning version of his lovely Parisienne Walkways.

The only problem was that there just wasn't enough variety in the set and this showed in the way that the audience numbers dwindled as the evening progressed.

Which is a real shame, for Larry Miller is without a doubt one of Britain's finest blues-rock guitarists and a great showman.

7/10

KEITH CLARK - Bristol Evening Post


"Wat Kijk Je Nou?"

Vanavond een avondje bij buurman Bas op bezoek geweest. Bas runt het veel maar nog steeds te weinig geprezen Delicatessen in Amsterdam Oost. Vanavond had hij 5 optredens, waaronder zea. zea, de band die ik in 2001 een jaar lang volgde. zea, waarmee ik dus een bijzondere band heb. Het was voor mij een day off, maar ik heb toch maar van elk optreden een FIY gemaakt. Met Song For Electricity van zea als kippenvel-moment. Hier heb je alvast de beelden, die soms een beetje donker zijn, omdat we ons op onze vrije dag natuurlijk niet met het licht gingen bemoeien. - FIY en zie alles


"Laura Meyer"

... e poi una sera sei nel tuo circolo Arci preferito, molti amici attorno, perfino un incontro inaspettato e felice. Il pirlo fa il suo dovere, forse qualche sigaretta di troppo passa ad affumicarti le dita.


E Laura sembra saperlo che è quello il suo momento per essere sul palco, accarezzare le corde e spandere la voce.

Così scopri Laura Meyer, musicista che, con la passione sulle spalle – proprio accanto alla chitarra –, ha preso e se n'è partita da New York per farsi il giro dell'Europa. Giorni interi di viaggio, decine di incontri, grandi città e province nascoste, cibo da condividere. E musica, perché vive di questo, del portarla in giro, del farsi portare da lei.



L'incontro con lei è stato prezioso, nei suoi occhi chiari puoi distinguere, mentre parla, la scintilla di chi ha trovato il coraggio per fare ciò che ama. E vi auguro che la sua gita italiana tocchi anche le vostre orecchie, ne sarete felici.
- Pizza Carbonara


"Travelin' On"

Singer/songwriter Laura Meyer touches down on the 1078 Gallery stage in between European tours

By Christine G.K. LaPado

This article was published on 06.09.11.

“I’ve got a travelin’ fever, baby, got a travelin’ jones. No, don’t look for me in the mornin’, baby, I’m gonna be travelin’ on.” —Tom Petty, “Travelin’”

Laura Meyer’s life-long love of Tom Petty began when she was a kindergartener in the state of Vermont and heard his voice coming from the radio of her father’s car as it traveled down the road.

“I was sitting in the back seat when this jangly refrain of ‘Yer so bad/ Best thing I ever had’ sprung me forward to demand WHO IS THIS?!” writes Meyer on her website (www.laurameyer.net), adding, “The music was the equivalent of the first glimpse of Southern California by eyes acquainted to gray New England winters. In that instant I heard my calling in the voice of Tom Petty. He was, and will always be, the absolute.”

“I can see it clearly as today,” said the 27-year-old singer/songwriter in a recent interview, of that life-changing experience. “I nearly launched through the windshield, I was so excited.”

Meyer—who has been described as “a skinny white chick with soul to burn”—will bring her soulful voice; gutsy, sensitive, folk-blues lyrics; and able guitar work to the 1078 Gallery June 11.

“As a young woman [who] wanted to be a rock star and play with the boys, I was always really impressed by his female characters—independent, fleshed-out,” said Meyer from her home in Venice, Calif., of Petty’s songwriting. “He made his mark on me.”

Listen to Meyer sing and you can hear Petty’s influence in her gritty, laid-back delivery.

But, while Petty was the first, he wasn’t the only male rock star that made an enduring impression on Meyer. She also shares on her site what led her to write a junior-high-school social-studies research paper on the other person who would become her musical hero, Bob Dylan (who played alongside Petty in the Traveling Wilburys): “This kid named Kevin got to pick [his topic] before me, and I was left to choose between Dylan and some political leader or whatnot. So I chose Dylan.

“He really has a way of defying definition,” Meyer added. “He’s really tapped into creation, the life force. He channels it. All artists do that—we all feel moments when we’re totally engaged—but he actually gives the impression of existing in that space.”

Meyer, who was raised in New England, recently moved to Southern California—Petty’s adopted home state—after spending the last four years living out of a suitcase while she traveled solo around the United States and Europe performing at countless venues.

“This is actually the first home I’ve had in years,” she said. “I’ve just been going from place to place, couch to couch, staying with people.”

Meyer’s wanderlust is often reflected in the lyrics to her sometimes forlorn, moving songs. “An empty motel and nothing to eat/ 11:30 is too early to sleep/ An empty bed and a broken TV/ Just salt and pepper and I need something sweet,” she sings in “Motel Room Blues #1,” from her latest CD Been Here Before.

Meyer is looking forward to her next European tour, which begins July 15 and takes her back to Italy, where she spent nearly three weeks earlier this spring.

“It was like a dream come true,” she said of the Italian audiences’ response to her. “They were so responsive. And they feed you, they put you up, they buy CDs.”

Meyer said she picked up a few words of Italian on her last tour, but mainly relied on “sign language, food and music” to communicate. “Every meal was an event,” she gushed. “They are so accommodating.

“Other people go to work 9 to 5; I go out on the road,” Meyer said. “I hope to be able to do it forever. Like Dylan.”
- Chico News & Review


Discography

Close to Home, 2013
Golden Delicious, 2011
Been Here Before, 2010
Miles From Nowhere, 2009
Roadwork EP, 2009
Boys & Eros, 2008
Four Corners, 2007
Across the Great Divide, 2006
Taking Off EP, 2004

Photos

Bio

Currently at a loss for words...