Laura’s Fall Tour Update No. 2

Great show in Saint Louis last night. The crowd was really friendly and participatory and loose. The owner let us use an apartment upstairs so Tennessee could sleep in a quiet place during the show (he slept under a table with a quilt over the top.)  All went well until the end of the night when the tenant came home with her German Shepard who barked furiously at little sleeping Tenn.  I swept him up off the floor and dashed him outside. An unwelcome adrenaline rush!

Funny places Tennessee has slept on tour: underneath the seat in front of me on the airplane, in a blocked off chimney in NYC, on a window sill in NYC, on various bedside tables, on the beach under an umbrella in Rhode Island, on towels on various hotel and green room floors, in a closet in a green room in Louisville and on a dog pillow in Tucker’s old closet in Nashville.  What a trooper!

Now we’re in Madison, out of the southern heat…. stay tuned for more adventures … xoxo

Laura’s Fall Tour Blog Update No. 1

Hi everybody – 

This tour is going great.  TN is a trooper and can be entertained in a variety of ways during our long hours in the van: a teething rattle, a plastic bottle, a piece of paper, funny faces, and many, many songs. This is the most singing I’ve ever done with a band in a van.  We are in Nashville resting now at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and off to Louisville tomorrow.  We have a LOT of driving coming up, but we will take each day as it comes.  Alex and Tim are playing their asses off, Gracie is a natural tour manager AND baby care-giver, the Watson Twins are sweet as they come, Tennessee is a smily, good-natured fellow and I feel tired but very lucky!

Laura Channels Robert Plant.

cover art

Courtesy Jealous Butcher Records

Jealous Butcher Records is releasing a double disc compilation of Led Zeppelin cover songs, set to come out on Oct. 12. Six years in the making, From the Land of the ice and Snow: The Songs of Led Zeppelin features more than 50 artists and bands, including M. Ward, Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie,) Laura Veirs and Mount Analog.

Check out the Veirs-Mount Analog take on “The Ocean.” at NPR.

The Portland-based record company Jealous Butcher will donate a portion of the record proceeds from the sale of the album to a non-profit called First Octave, which aids public school music programs in the area.

You can pre-order copies through the Jealous Butcher website, and if you’re an Oregonian, can get it three days early at the record release show on Oct. 9.

Laura on KEXP, Huffpo, NYT

Listen to the performance online at KEXP

See more photos and read a description on the kexp blog.

Meanwhile a profile recently ran on the Huffington Post, accompanied by sneak preview for a session recorded for Fogged Clarity.

Veirs has been putting out smartly arranged, lyrically cogent records for over ten years, but only recently gained the listenership she warrants with the release of this year’s July Flame.

Lastly, this plug for Laura’s NYC show ran in the New York Times:

Laura Veirs and the Hall of Flames (Tuesday) Ms. Veirs’s ballads, with electronics twinkling above soft acoustic guitars like stars in a perfect night sky, cast romance as both intimate contact and cosmic event

Laura’s Parents’ Blog No. 8: Tour ends on the beach in Italy.

Ravenna by the sea — a beach resort and a spectacular historic city. Laura and the Hall of Flames played their last concert of this European tour last night on the beach as a full moon rose over the Adriatic Sea.

Tennessee got his first bit of beach sun and put his feet in the ocean for the first time. While we played on the beach the restaurant was transformed into a performance venue.

Leslie and I returned to the hotel in Ravenna and the band played until late. It was a good crowd and a great end to a great tour. After the music stopped, well after midnight, Karl headed for the airport in Venice to start his trip home to the Northwest.

Today Laura and Tucker and Tennessee enjoyed a much needed break from the long drives and evening performances. Leslie and I took in the sights of this ancient city — a world center for mosaics. A few are shown in the photos below.

Arrivaderci Italy and Arrivaderci to Laura Veirs and the Hall of Flames. Tomorrow Leslie and I head off on our own and Laura, TN, and Tucker visit Venice before returning to Portland.

We ‘granny nannies’ have had a great trip across Europe; learning how to help little 4 month old Tennessee cope with the rigors of travel and enjoying watching and listening to Laura and her band create musical art that touches people deeply and seeing beautiful places and meeting great people.

“Dear New Orleans” Benefit Compilation Out Now

31 tracks for $7.99! Support NOLA & the Gulf

Includes “I Can See Your Tracks” by Laura Veirs

To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina  — and in response to the Gulf Oil Disaster also deeply affecting the region — Air Traffic Control (a nonprofit resource for activist and philanthropic musicians) has produced Dear New Orleans, a digital music benefit compilation for the people of the Gulf.

Dear New Orleans will be available for download on Tuesday, August 24th at http://www.dearneworleansmusic.org, iTunes, Amazon.com, Rhapsody and eMusic.com.

Dear New Orleans is the product of lasting friendships forged between musicians from all walks of life and New Orleans artists, tradition bearers, organizers and a cast of “only in New Orleans” characters during artist activism retreats co-produced by Air Traffic Control. The compilation features 31 New Orleans-inspired tracks ranging from original compositions written by musicians about their experiences in the area to covers of popular New Orleans songs to one-of-a-kind collaborations between retreat alumni and celebrated New Orleans musicians.
Proceeds from Dear New Orleans will be granted to New Orleans based nonprofits working to support and sustain the region’s unique musical and cultural traditions and to protect and restore vital environment and community resources for future generations. Such beneficiaries include Sweet Home New Orleans (http://www.sweethomeneworleans.org/) and Gulf Restoration Network (http://healthygulf.org/).

Laura Veirs is honored to lend her voice to Dear New Orleans. She encourages each of you to check out this amazing compilation and do what you can to help make a difference for the Gulf Coast.

For more information on Dear New Orleans, a free download from the compilation, and to learn more about how you can help the Gulf, please visit www.dearneworleansmusic.org.

Laura’s Parents’ Blog No. 7: Now we are in Italy!

Gronigen to Frankfort across miles of windmills and green fields — long walks in wild park near venue Haufener Brotfabric while the Hall of Flames plays on.

Then a long and tiring for all drive to lovely Arona at the south end of Lago Maggiore, a long lake with 1/3 in Switzerland and the rest in Italy just northwest of Milano. But, yesterday was a day off and good times were had by all. Laura, Tucker, Alex, Karl and Tim all swam a couple of times in the clear and dramatic lake. Leslie and I took a day ferry ride north to Isola Bella, a Baroque era castle where the wealth of the very, very wealthy of 500 years ago is still very much on display.

Today we drive east across Italy to the last performance of Laura Veirs and the Hall of Flames in the seaside town of Ravenna – just a bit south of Venice.

Arrivederci!

Laura’s Parents’ Blog No. 6: Groningen, Netherlands

It was a long 14 hour drive from London to Dover and through the Chunnel and through a bit of France and across Belgium and on to where the Netherlands meets the North Sea. Tennessee was such a good traveler and Leslie was such a good baby whisperer.
We all have enjoyed the green city of Groningen in the Netherlands. There are bikers everywhere: working women in all attires, including high heels; people carrying paintings, paint cans, flowers, bread, children and partners. A calm prevails as bikers bike and cars pass by slowly.
Today it rained, and Tenn and his granny nannies and many others got caught in a downpour near one of the canals.
The arts festival began today and will continue for the next ten days, with a wide variety of performing arts, including children’s activities. We wandered through the park grounds, sampling tiny Dutch pancakes dusted with powdered sugar, yummy ice cream sandwiches, and great koffee from food kiosks scattered between the venues. Laura, Tucker, Alex and Karl performed in the Spiegeltent, a charming round wooden structure with colorful stained glass windows. They reported (at 12:30 a.m.) that the tent was packed and that the concert was well-received.

I (Val) have noted that this town if filled with tall and beautiful people! It is not uncommon to see a 6 foot tall woman wearing 3″ heals and towering over her male partner!

Tomorrow morning we leave Groningen for Frankfort where Laura and the Hall of Flames perform in the evening.

Laura’s EU Summer Tour Blog Update No. 1

Hi all — This is the “Experimental Baby Tour” through Europe. It’s been challenging in many new ways, and way more fun when Tennessee is smiling us through the normally-boring hours waiting around airports and venues. My parents have been doing the blog this time since I’ve been busy with the baby. What do you think? Thanks to the Mom and Dad for helping out, to Tenn for being awesome, and to the band and crew for making this a fun first family tour. Off to play a show in Groningen, Holland…Only three shows left! Love, Laura

Laura’s Parents’ Blog No. 5 – London

Lots of traffic on that drive north from Brighton to London! But, Tim fought our way off the main and very clogged roads to alternative after alternative and arrive we did on schedule at London’s Jazz Cafe. We are just north of central London on Camden where hoards of tourists gaggle and gape. Lots of noise, with TN napping through amazingly loud sounds of street-cleaning trucks brushing by, checkered emergency vehicles with sirens blaring, horns honking and brakes screeching. We walk a mile or so home to our hotel each night and enjoy the calm quiet. We search out green parks and are surprised when we find one designed by an elementary class in true Victorian-garden style. The students made scale drawings, visited an authentic Victorian garden, designed theirs, propagated plants and grew their own plants from seeds, and even built a stumpery.

Back at The Jazz Cafe, Tim did a sound check as The Hall of Flames practiced, Val danced with TN in the stroller, and Leslie photographed the shenanigans. We met Celia Brooks and her friend Justin, walked to a market area for Indian fare in a building originally used as a horse hospital. Waiting as we often were on the street outside the venue, we saw many people stop and look at the posters and some had tickets and others wished they did. One woman was scalping tickets but we don’t know how much money she was asking.