Laura's Blog

 

Welcome to my website!

We've tried to make it easy to get around and filled with music and info. Here at my Blog, I'll be writing notes to let you know what's been going on. I'll keep you posted. From time to time, I'll also be posting drawings and sketches from my travels. Thanks for stopping by and see you on the road. Laura

I am so excited to announce my first EP single called “The Fracking Blues.”  I’m really proud of this tune, one of three singles I hope to release this year. Here’s some backstory on the new song.

I wrote it for a benefit concert I was going to perform in March for a local environmental group. We’ve been fighting a natural gas pipeline extension and its compressors up here in the beautiful, rural western Massachusetts mountains,

a conduit that would have done much damage and benefited only the corporation selling gas overseas. Local protestors eventually succeeded in turning it back, in our area at least.

I researched and learned of the terribly destructive practice of the hydraulic fracking of natural gas that is wreaking havoc around the world, causing under reported environmental disasters everywhere, from earthquakes to water and air contamination. Check out foodandwaterwatch.org for more information.

I was incredulous and upset enough to write a kind of protest rap, and decided to set it in the brilliant African-American song form of the Blues. Gospel also is a strong influence, and I heard Shirley Caesar and the great Aretha in my head when writing it. Every musician owes so much to African-American artists for creating these now iconic, gorgeous artistic idioms.

It’s interesting. I haven’t written many songs like it, but The Fracking Blues does echo an earlier song of mine on my Songwriter’s Notebook CD called Union Street, also a Blues in Ab, about Brooklyn’s notorious Gowanus Canal, written when I lived on its banks. The Blues lends itself to protest.

On the music production side, the lyric is a bit ‘spoken word,’ and lengthy at 4:59, so I wanted something really fun, up tempo and uplifting, a  ‘save the earth’ Gospel homage with a big horn section and B3 organ, and I worked closely on the arrangement with my dear friend and co-producer George Wurzbach. George made absolute magic with his keyboards, playing every line himself as a one-man band. He worked with me on the kid’s CD too. George is an American musical treasure, an unbelievable talent. His instrumentals are a huge gift. You’re going to love the band! I sang the vocals up at Northfire Studios with a wonderful engineer named Angelo Quaglia. Thanks, guys!

On the cover design: A photo I shot in our forest: ferns, one green, one brown, with a broken stone ledge, seemed appropriate. I wanted the lyrics on the CD as well, and we went with an environmentally more conscious cardboard sleeve design.

On the lyrics: I tried to create something that asks us all to take responsibility for change, and not just point fingers. I still use petroleum products, and I drive a car. I’m just asking us to look at these horribly destructive, non-cost effective hydraulic fracking practices, and move faster towards new technologies: to renew, to conserve, to invest in something better for the future. This problem belongs to all of us and I know we can change over time.

Finally, this is a benefit CD sale.  A portion of the profits will be donated from each CD sale to environmental defense organizations.  Best case scenario, the song will be used to educate folks about what’s going on, and raise money for good causes that are working to protect the earth. It’s my small effort. I hope you love it, and help me get the word out by telling your friends. Let me know what you think? Thanks! Love, Laura

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