Award winning African-American singer/songwriter/funk bassist, Laura Love, tours California with the master of country/blues guitar, Orville Johnson in September. This tour includes a performance at the Chico World Music Festival and venues in Altadena, Santa Barbara, Atascadero and Berkeley.
These are the first Southern California performances since the 2009 release of their collaborative cd, The Sweeter The Juice, and the duo is looking forward to introducing the Southland to their new music.
Hailing from Washington State, Laura and Orville have been performing and recording together off an on for over a decade. In the past few years they have been touring often as a duo. Laura and Orville performed at UCLA in 2008 as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the legendary folk/blues/political hotbed coffee house, The Ash Grove. They performed on the same stage as Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, The Freedom Singers, Ry Cooder, Holly Near and Mike Seeger and tore the roof off Royce Hall with their funky, rootsy versions of traditional folk, Negro spirituals, civil rights anthems and Laura’s groove laden originals. Laura and Orville both have thriving careers independent of each other but that night they received so many requests for a duo recording that they put their shoulders to the wheel and released The Sweeter The Juice the following year.
The Sweeter The Juice is the follow up to Laura’s 2007 release, NeGrass, which was awarded Best Alt Country CD by the Indie Acoustic Project. Laura, whose influences include The Jackson Five, Sly and The Family Stone, Bill Monroe and Laura Nyro, recorded NeGrass in Nashville with veteran fiddler, Barbara Lamb, producing. Barbara brought in legends such as Tracy Nelson and Tim O’Brien to record with Laura, who, remember, is a funk bassist. The result was a stunning, lively cd featuring some very traditional folk and country songs along with Laura’s beautiful and sometimes amusing originals.
With NeGrass, Laura explored territory that she imagined might be her family experience toward the end of the Civil War, i.e. her great grandmother’s release from slavery in Texas. In The Sweeter The Juice, Laura and Orville fast forward to the Civil Rights era, reworking well known anthems such as We Shall Not Be Moved and Eyes On The Prize and even giving a nod to the Obama election.
Orville Johnson is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who is deeply immersed in old school country, blues, folks and jazz. He is an internationally recognized dobro player who also excels at slide and picked guitar, mandolin, fiddle and banjo. On tour with Laura he scales it all down to exquisite and intricate acoustic guitar. His big vocals are commanding and when paired with Laura’s astonishing voice, the result is hair raising. Please visit Cotton Eye Joe/Ruby to see a recent concert.
Laura Love and Orville Johnson perform at
The Coffee Gallery Backstage
on Wednesday, September 22 at 8:00pm.
Coffee Gallery is located at 2029 N. Lake inAltadena.
For more information and reservations contact (626) 794-2424 or www.coffeegallery.com.