Lauren Adams

How many ways are there for a performing songwriter to “make it?” 

You could hit the Top 40, as Ed Sheeran did. 

A big-name recording artist could cover one of your songs, like when country superstar Dierks Bentley made Travis Meadows' song “Riser” the title track of his last album. 

For Americana singer-songwriter Lauren Adams, it was when she met a fan who had tattoo’ed a line from one of her songs onto her foot. 

“I've shared the stage with some pretty big names and even had my song in a major motion picture but this girl's foot is easily the most satisfying milestone of my career,” she said with a chuckle. 

That kind of audience appreciation is what keeps an artist going in the absence of big-time success. From her first guitar lesson as a Florida teenager to her arrival in Los Angeles to her new CD (her fourth, titled Somewhere Else, due out this summer), Adam's has always kept going.  

Adams' musical journey began on the stage of the world-famous Troubadour in West Los Angeles with a performance that was so tentative, she was completely caught off guard by the waves of applause.  

“The response was so positive,” she said, “that I realized, 'Hey, I could actually do this.'” That was summer of 1978, when the club still hosted its open-mic “Hoot Night,” where songwriters could get up and play a few. 

Since that time, she actually has done it: 

  • Opened shows for Leon Russell in Fort Lauderdale and for Rita Coolidge in Southern California. 
  • Gigged regularly (some would say “relentlessly”) at clubs and festivals across California, Texas, Colorado, and in Nashville, TN. 
  • Released three CDs of her own songs
  • Had her song “Thirsty” featured in the Lion's Gate film Peaceful Warrior (starring Nick Nolte)
  • Hosted LA's longest-running Americana music event, the Americana Song Circle for 10 years

As she has done on her previous three releases, with Somewhere Else, Adams delivers quality songwriting in the Carol King/Eagles/Lucinda Williams vein: deep Americana roots and vivid storytelling delivered by a group of tasteful, compassionate players including her producer and friend Nick Kirgo (Nels Kilne of Wilco, JD Souther, Vonda Shepard, Pocket Goldberg and Dave Fraser). 

On the title track she laments the kind of heartbreak you just can’t shake: “Every place I’m in, I see your face, so I need to be somewhere else,” she sings, to a timeless all-acoustic accompaniment that includes haunting fiddle and mandolin flourishes by the multi-instrumentalist Luke Halpin of Bettman and Halpin. . 

With little more than an acoustic guitar and vocal, Adams sings you back to “Bay View Drive,” where you’ll see and feel the best parts of your own childhood, no matter the name of the street you grew up on. 

Adams pulls in her full band to deliver “It Takes What It Takes,” a melodic earworm with Kirgo’s tasty electric guitars and some of the silkiest harmony vocals this side of Hotel California.

She duets with singer/drummer Lynn Coulter on “We Try Harder,” a Stones-y ramble with gritty slide guitar and some unexpected lyrical twists about the true love beneath the day-to-day grumblings: “You don’t like it when I steal the covers / I don’t dig it when you look at others / We both spend too much time on the phone with our mothers.” 

Fuzz-rocking like Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Adams and band inject new life into “Seminole Wind” (a Top 10 country hit for John Anderson in 1992). It’s both a nod to her deep south Florida roots and a reminder to all to value and safeguard the environment.  

“You don’t have to be perfect,” Adams sang in “Perfect Right Now,” from her 2001 Thirsty CD. (That’s the lyric the fan tattoo’ed onto her foot.) With Somewhere Else, Adams again brings us stories from her viewpoint of this imperfect world. She’s mature enough to embrace the imperfections and she’s artist enough to know how to turn them into great songs and engaging performances. 

 

Somewhere Else is due out July 2016.

 

In L.A.’s indie music scene, there are many stars fighting for attention, but after seeing her, there’s really no secret as to why Lauren Adams shines above the rest. Venues Worked ( a list from memory so, there may be some omissions) - The Bluebird Cafe - Nashville, The Troubador - L.A., The Roxy - L.A., Hotel Cafe - L.A., Kulak's Woodshed, L.A., The Mint - L.A., Coffee Gallery Backstage - L.A., Cozy's - L.A., Lulu's Bee Hive - L.A., The Talking Stick - L.A., The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA, , 3rd and Lindsay - Nashville, The Broken Spoke Nashville, Threadgills - Austin,TX, Trophy's - Austin, TX, Avogadros Number - Ft. Collins, CO, Steve's Guitars - Carbondale, CO, Alligator Alley Ft. Lauderdale, FL, The Browad Center for Performing Arts - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - FESTVALS- The Spud Film and Music Festival - Driggs, ID, L.A. Women's Festival - L.A., SXSW - Austin, TX, GoGirlsMusic Fest - L.A., TX, FL