Photo by Dennis Benavides
Lauren Calve possesses a truly stunning voice, soulful and powerful, she's backed by some very talented musicians -- brothers, Colin Thompson and Bobby Thompson on guitar, her brother Michael on bass, Ben Tufts on drums and Jesse Hooper on keys, her debut EP has polish and refinement not typical on debuts.
A Virginia native, raised in Fairfax County, and is now a resident of the District. Although she's loved music and singing as long as she can remember, she didn't seriously begin writing songs and playing publicly until a year a half ago. Our friend Ben Tufts met her two Winters ago at IOTA.
"I wandered into the Wednesday open mic and heard this huge voice--he introduced himself immediately." They began working on the EP August of last year.
Lauren's influences--Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Susan Tedeschi, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few--are immediately evident on the first hearing. Lauren tells stories of personal struggle, her own family's history in the steel mills of Pennsylvania, and pays homage to sharpshooter Annie Oakley.
Lauren is also a gifted studio artist--all of the artwork for the album is by her own hand.
Looking For The Water
"We made the record in a barn in Fairfax--no AC, no running water. Just some drums and guitars and the engineering genius of Aaron Mason, a new face on the recording scene in the metro area. Lauren made a conscious decision to forgo slick packaging and polished production in favor of a genuine, natural sounding recording. When you listen to these tracks, you can really hear the barn (and it's inhabitants) breathing and singing along with us. It's the fifth band member on the album."