First there’s Lauren Shera, a star on the rise who is swiftly developing a reputation in the folk-indie world, joining the ranks of such artists as Jessica Lea Mayfield, Iron & Wine and Gillian Welch. She makes her Maryland debut at NightCat June 5th. Tickets are just $12, and showtimeis 8 P.M.
“Every generation or two, a voice comes along that redefines what you thought you knew about music and touches you deep down in your soul…” said Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead about Shera. “Her voice is going to define the next generation of folk music.”
Music has played an integral part in Lauren Shera’s life from the very beginning. The New York native grew up surrounded by an eclectic range of performers. When she was 13, her family relocated to northern California at the same time that she picked up the guitar.
In 2008, she studied at the renowned Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, where she expanded her knowledge of traditional folk music and honed her skills as a singer and a musician while adding ukulele and clawhammer banjo to her arsenal.
Her original songs and soulful voice combine to make a sound that is equal parts powerful and melancholy; she weaves her opulent sound together with the performances of various instruments, including the mandolin, violins, cello, banjo and more. Her personal experiences with grief and emotion translate effortlessly into stunning musical arrangements, haunting melodies and honest lyrics.
Shera’s most recent project “Once I Was A Bird,” re-tells the stories of her hard-learned lessons with heartbreaking transparency, while imparting solace and wisdom to the listener. The album’s lush sounds and beautiful temperament are complimented with guest performances by Abigail Washburn, and Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses).
“It’s important to me that people are able to relate to [the album],” said Shera. “and take out of it a shared experience that everyone has been through in some form or another.”
Shera has shared the stage with such artists as Ray LaMontagne, Jason Mraz, Phil Lesh, Shawn Colvin, Billy Bragg, Nanci Griffith, Kristin Hersh, Joan Osborne and Abigail Washburn. She’s also making her mark on the festival circuit, making appearances at Bonnaroo, the High Sierra Music Festival, Sausalito Music and Arts Festival, Monterey Music Summit and South by Southwest.
When she was 18-years-old she was also invited to perform at the Bob Dylan Tribute Concert at New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall. Virginia’s Native Run, who has developed a large popular following like their predecessors Carbon Leaf and Eddie From Ohio, continue their upwards path June 7 with a headlining date at Nightcat. The group sold out their previous NightCat date last year. Showtime is 8 P.M. and tickets are $15.
Next up is Native Run, consisting of Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley, both born and raised with deep roots in the Virginia commonwealth. It all started in a tiny, red practice room at their local Virginia venue, Jammin Java. Though a young band, after hitting the road for two years straight they’re no rookies to the stage. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, Beauregard and Dawley bring a chemistry to the stage that is unparalleled.
Collectively, they bear influences from Shakespeare to Springsteen, and from Patsy Cline to Keith Urban. Hailed by Paste Magazine as “The Best of What’s Next”, it is no surprise that the duo is now taking Nashville by storm. Native Run will be gracing the stage this fall at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Tickets for the Deep River show are $15 and available by calling 410-690-4544 or going online to www.nightcatmusic.com.