This Compilation has nineteen songs that I've chosen from previously released and unreleased live, studio and home recordings made between 1994 and 2003, including songs from the cds The Child Behind My Eyes, The Trumpet Vine a tribute to Kate Wolf, and Live at the Purple Moon Coffeehouse, plus the cassette tape (no longer availabe) We Were All Babies. If you would like to ask me any questions about the cd, or just want to say hello, please feel free to email me, by just scrolling down (look on left) and clicking where it says "Email Laurie McClain."
NEWS - NOV. 2004: Laurie was a top three finalist in over 50 music genres for FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR along with Jen Slocumb (of duo Martha's Trouble) and 1st place winner Kathy Fisher (of band Fisher) in the 2004 Just Plain Folks International Music Awards; and Laurie's cd The Trumpet Vine, a tribute to Kate Wolf, took third place for Best Americana Album!
"Laurie's voice feels like my favorite moisturizer. It sinks in quickly and starts to heal. Her songs go deep and they stay with you." -Suzy Bogguss
"Whether performing solo or with the excellent band she has put together, she turns each venue into her own living room, and each listener into a new friend with her disarming humor and passionate performance. Laurie's songs explore the themes of identity, growth, friendship and love in a way that always honors the fundamental mysteries of the human journey. In this Mecca of songwriters, she is a gem of uniqueness and authenticity."
- Mike Kearns, Nashville, TN
"What good folk music should be: earthy, truthful, heartfelt . . . Laurie shows listeners her naturally sweetened voice and delightful sense of humor . . . Some songs lament the world's hassles and heartaches; others long for a kinder world where everyone is happy, healthy and free . . . idealistic without becoming preachy."
- Rainbow Rowell, Daily Nebraskan UNL, Lincoln, NE
"Her music cannot be thrown into one single category. It's predominately folk, but under the influence of alternative, country and a touch of blues. Her songs seem to sing themselves with uplifting energy and positive vibrations."
- Maggie Pleskac, DIG Magazine, Lincoln, NE
Born in southern California, a child of the sixties, her family moved back to her parents' birthplace of Lincoln, Nebraska when she was twelve. Lonely in her new surroundings, Laurie asked her parents to buy her a guitar. She wanted to learn the Leonard Cohen song, "Suzanne." She got her first guitar at age twelve, and very soon after that began playing songs for friends at junior high parties. Beginning at age 15, she played frequently at the local open stages, where she heard other folk artists singing songs by Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and John Prine, which sparked her love for roots country music that flavors her style of folk today. By age seventeen, she got her first paying gig at a local bar, where she covered songs by Leonard Cohen, Hank Williams, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Woody Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Kate Wolf, Jackson Browne, Steve Forbert, and others.
Laurie wrote her first song at age eighteen, and has now been writing and performing folk music for over 25 years. She spent the first 17 of those years just playing in nearly every bar in Lincoln, Nebraska. For the past 22 years she has been raising her three daughters, Rachel 22, Anna 19 and Sarah 10, mostly as a single mother, so she was not able to travel extensively, although ten years ago she discovered the folk venue scene -- house concerts, festivals & coffeehouses, and has been sporadically traveling out of town to perform ever since.
In 1995, she released a cassette album called We Were All Babies, containing nine original songs and a cover of Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter's "Ripple." In 1996, she released a 24-song, 90-minute live cassette album entitled Live at the Purple Moon Coffeehouse, that contained seven original songs and 17 covers of some of her favorite songs. Both of these recordings sold well locally in Lincoln, Nebraska, and some surrounding areas, but are no longer in print.
In 1997, Laurie took her three girls and they moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
Laurie's song "MY HEAVEN," was featured in the winter 1997 issue of Sing Out! magazine.
In 1999, she released her first CD, THE CHILD BEHIND MY EYES, containing thirteen originals and an a capella version of Gillian Welch's and David Rawlings' "ACONY BELL." Marcia, Mike & Carol Calvert of Blazon Pearl sing harmony on ACONY BELL Jamie Hartford (son of John) appears on the recording playing electric guitar, mandolin, and singing harmony. Charlie Chadwick, a top session bass player in Nashville, produced THE CHILD BEHIND MY EYES. During the recording, Laurie and Charlie fell in love and were subsequently married in 2000.
Also in 2000, Laurie's song, "ONLY FOUR," from THE CHILD BEHIND MY EYES, was chosen for the HOPE, MOTHERS HELPING MOTHERS CD, with proceeds going to a women's and children's shelter, Project Hope. Other artists appearing on that CD include: Tish Hinojosa, Diane Zeigler, Sara Hickman, Suzzy Roche, and Eliza Gilkyson.
In 2001 she released a thirteen-song CD from a 1996 live recording at a coffeehouse in Lincoln, Nebraska, titled LAURIE MCCLAIN, LIVE AT THE PURPLE MOON COFFEEHOUSE, which is a digitally mastered, stripped down verison of the 24-song cassette album mentioned above, with five originals and eight covers, including songs by Steve Forbert, Dar Williams, Gram Parsons, and "Suzanne," by Leonard Cohen, which was the first song she learned to play on the guitar.
Recently she formed the Laurie McClain Band, a subtle five-piece group consisting of Laurie on acoustic guitar & harmonica; Sergio Webb on acoustic & electric guitar; Jeff Gilkinson on cello, harmonica & banjo; Rick Lonow on light drums & percussion; and Charlie Chadwick on upright bass & cello. Their September 2002 debut performance was at the RADIO CAFÉ in Nashville, TN, opening for folk rocker Steve Forbert.
In January, 2003, Laurie released THE TRUMPET VINE, A TRIBUTE TO KATE WOLF. This 14-song CD has 13 Kate Wolf songs and one song, called "WE'VE LOVED AWAY THE NIGHT," that Laurie wrote music to some Kate Wolf lyrics. Musicians and harmony singers contributing their talent to this album include: Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton, Pam Tillis, Anne Hills, Nina Gerber, Donna Henschell & Kelly Mulhollan of Still on the Hill, Muriel Anderson, Jerry Rau, Kathy Chiavola, Carter Wood, Tom Mitchell and more.
This fall Laurie will be releasing a 2-cd set of LIVE at the Purple Moon, with 27 songs! She is also currently working on her next cd of original music, and a cd of '30s, '40s & '50s jazz tunes.