“It’s hard to put your finger on Laura Meyer,” writes Glen Starkey of SLO New Times. “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.”
Although she started out playing folk clubs in New York City, Meyer quickly stood apart from the singer-songwriter crowd. Less than a year after graduating from NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study she was performing on the main stage of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival alongside heroes David Byrne and Benmont Tench. In late summer 2013 she returned to Telluride for the Blues & Brews Festival, where she was named Winner of the Acoustic Blues Competition.
“The first albums I bought were Blue and Are You Experienced?” says Meyer, now based in Santa Cruz. “I feel those two albums have colored everything I’ve done. My songs are emotional, so of course they’re going to be diverse. But I feel most at home with the blues.”
Since finishing school in 2007 Meyer has toured the US & Europe extensively, including performances at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival and esteemed listening rooms like Rockwood Music Hall, The Troubadour, and Eddie’s Attic. However rather than solely court the major metropolitan markets Meyer has devoted two hundred thousand miles of touring to often overlooked places. The result is a collection of songs rich in travel imagery and the hard-won wisdom of someone who walks a solitary path.
“Living in Los Angeles I got kicked out of a yoga class for not following along. Can you imagine?” Meyer says, “The cultural disease of conformity is rampant. I see it everywhere I go. People come up to me after shows and they ask, ‘Aren’t you afraid? Aren’t you lonely?’ There’s so much fear. Part of my job is to remind people we have choices. We have power. We are free.”
Meyer’s resistance to being pigeonholed is evident in “Don’t Let Them Collect You” and the Occupy-inspired Golden Delicious, hailed as “illuminating” by Eugene Weekly. Brian Palmer writes, “Alternative rocker Laura Meyer calls it like she sees it. Religion, greed, life on the road and relationships all get their share of attention on her albums, and her observations will certainly get you thinking.”
Whether she’s calling out corrupt bankers, Monsanto, or no-good boyfriends the 1970s punk spirit of Tom Petty and Patti Smith pulsates in these songs, ensuring the next generation of blues-infused rock and roll.
“Ultimately my intention is to uplift and inspire people,” Laura muses. “Life is short. There’s no need to spend it following orders and not doing what you love. My mission is to show people that, yes, it can be done. We can do what we love.” [+]