Seattle Folk Singer Rose Laughlin sings traditional Celtic and American Roots songs. Rose’s interpretation, blend of different influences, and highly personal approach to songs, results in a unique and captivating sound to traditional music.
Rose performed with guitarist/ composer/producer, Mike Kirkpatrick while in Chicago. She has released her second cd “The Chicago Sessions.” Rose and Mike have collaborated on the cd which features many of the songs they performed together. Mike produced the album as well as played guitar, soprano 12 string guitar, organ, dulcimer, and vocal harmony. “The Chicago Sessions” also features Devin Shepherd (fiddle), Jackie Moran (bodhrans), and Kat Eggleston (vocal harmony.)
“Souvenir,” Rose Laughlin’s debut cd, is a collection of both traditional and contemporary Irish and American folk music. Rose captures the spirit of each song; from the warning tale of “The Month of January” to the reflective, “Shades of Gloria.” Rose’s soulful interpretation along with producer, Dennis Cahill’s striking musical arrangements make “Souvenir” an engaging and beautiful compilation of songs. Accompanying Rose on “Souvenir” is renowned musician/producer Dennis Cahill: (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, bass), and a stellar lineup of musicians: June Shellene (piano), Kat Eggleston (vocal harmony), Jimmy Moore (low whistle), Liz Knowles (violins), and John Williams (accordion).
Rose’s musical influences and inspirations include Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Linda Rondstadt, Ricki Lee Jones, Stevie Nicks, Shawn Colvin, Karan Casey and Susan McKeown.
Rose is a sensitive artist with a moving voice that gives the listener a poetic moment of contemplation. (Translation) Cri du Coyote, France 12/08-1/09
The richness of Laughlin’s voice paired with the incredibly solid guitar work of Mike Kirkpatrick creates a warm and generous feeling throughout the album. I found myself flowing along with the music. Even in “Unquiet Grave”, the richness of the story fills the space. It has a definite presence to it.
Laughlin is a gifted storyteller. I’m most taken by the different and refreshing arrangements to many old favorites. Changing Gershwin’s “Summertime” to 6/8 time and adding a jig for the instrumental break, is inspired. “Cold Rain and Snow”, “Wild Mountain Thyme”, “Storms are on the Ocean”, “Barbara Allen” all have been renewed and touched with Laughlin’s creative talent. They tend to tease around with my sense of what I expected to hear and the surprise in what I actually hear. It’s exciting to experience a different and new perspective to something so familiar. Laughlin is backed throughout the CD by Mike Kirkpatrick on guitar, vocals and electronics (?). In fact, Kirkpatrick also produced the CD, recorded it and mixed it. Despite that, there was still room for some excellent vocals by Kat Eggleston and some fiddling from Devin Shepherd. It’s all very well blended together for a truly lovely effect. I guess it’s a good think Mike can wear so many hats. For Rose herself, she could easily make that difficult step from regional presence to national popularity. She has a husky sweet voice that can draw you in and demand attention. Her solid grounding in Celtic and Old-Time tunes create a promising blend of the two genres. It’s all there, and exciting to contemplate. Rose Laughlin is someone to watch. Go out and see her. Buy her CD, and I’m sincerely hoping she starts playing out more.
(Matthew Moeller, Victory Review, November 2008)