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It’s so exhilarating to find a performer like Lauren Lucas.  She’s powerful and curvy and sexy and talented and from South-by-God-Carolina!  I’ve known Lauren since we were little girls and though I don’t get to see her much now that she’s in Nashville, I’m always a taken aback when I hear her strong and sultry voice or see those in-the-moment photos from her latest performances.

“With soulful pop melodies, country undertones, and thoughtful lyrics, Lauren is a powerhouse singer/songwriter and skilled multi-instrumentalist.  Think Bonnie Raitt sipping tea with Dolly Parton at a blues joint.” – Supersonic

Check out some of the content below from her EPK and do check out the link to sample a taste of her music (click audio).

Biography
“If I’m out there singing every night, I want to do something I love,” Lauren Lucas declares. “I want to share a little piece of me with people, and I don’t want that to be false.  I don’t want to do something that’s not me.”

The truth that Lauren Lucas wants to share with her audience comes filtered through a talent that has been molded in unique ways and in surprising places. Her songs and her sound emerge from the point where several deep rivers of American music meet: the country hits she sang along with as a child in Columbia, S.C.; the musical theater training that led her to Tony-nominee status as a teenager; and the passionately soulful singing style that came from … well, she’s not sure where that came from. Maybe it just comes from the heart.

ll3Lucas first stepped onstage in Columbia when she was only 3. Tagging along to her older sister’s community theater audition, she decided she wanted to give it a try herself. She got a part in the show (as did her sister), and since then has wanted nothing more than to connect with audiences as a performer. “I caught the bug right then and there,” she recalls. “To this day, I still get such a high out of being onstage. I love it.” At 10, she traveled to New York to take part in a national talent competition and began exploring the city’s tradition of Broadway musicals. Simultaneously, she was delving into country—she appeared on the Grand Ole Opry Gospel Hour at 11 and spent much of her high-school years singing Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis and Trisha Yearwood hits in a country covers band. “I was such a busy kid,” she says. “But it never seemed like work, I was just doing something I loved to do. Thank god my parents were supportive of that.” In fact, her father acted as her sound engineer—and chaperoned her in the bars at which, were she not onstage, she wouldn’t have been allowed inside. Raised in what she describes as “the Leave it to Beaver household” by loving parents who’ve been married for almost four decades, Lucas felt driven to help young people less fortunate than herself. That’s why—even with her already overloaded schedule—the teenager found time to start a youth-oriented community service project, Kids Accepting Challenges Today (Kids ACT). She spent several months performing in an off-Broadway show, which led to another one-of-a-kind chance when she was invited to submit songs for a stage version of the 1978 John Travolta country-music movie Urban Cowboy. “Take Me for a Ride,” a tune she wrote with Sarah Light and Danny Arena, became part of the show’s Tony-nominated score. “I guess you could say that was my first cut as a writer,” she says.

Despite her unexpected Broadway success, Lucas had decided that her future lay in country music—and in Nashville, where she moved to attend college. Two months before her graduation from Belmont University, her demo found its way to Warner Bros. Nashville. She was invited to the label office to sing for label executives, and left with a record deal. By March 2005 Lucas had a debut single (“What You Ain’t Gonna Get”) on the radio, and a couple of months later she was nominated for the Cover Girl Fresh Faces award at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “I had a pretty fairy-tale go at it,” she acknowledges. Well, up to a point. A shakeup in the label’s power structure led her to part ways with Warner Bros. in 2006, before her completed debut album could make it to stores. “I didn’t know what to do,” she remembers. “I had to reinvent myself.”

That’s just what she did. She set about developing her writing skills further and working to define herself as an artist. “I know who I want to be much more now than I did when I got off the label,” she says. “It’s been a huge growing period. I want to be as me as I can possibly be, and I have a clearer vision of who that is now.”

lauren1-300 Her growth could be heard on the five-song EP If I Was Your Girl, released in early 2007. Word-of-mouth buzz, admiring reviews and Internet exposure helped her to build a steadily growing grassroots fan base. “Making the EP was an invaluable experience,” she says. “I’ve learned that people will rally around you if they like what you do, and that’s so amazing to me.”

More and more people are rallying around Lauren Lucas every day, and she’s ready to repay their loyalty with a lifetime of making great music. The artistic journey she began as a 3-year-old stepping onstage for the first time is still only just beginning—and her sights are firmly fixed on the future.

“My role models are artists like James Taylor—he’ll always put out amazing records, and people are always going to buy tickets to go see him,” she says. “That’s the dream for me, and I’m going to shoot for it.”

Instrumentation
This can vary.  Lauren can play solo with just her acoustic guitar and powerful vocals, or bring anything from a groovy bass and drums trio to an in-your-face, rockin’ 6 piece band.

Discography

  • What You Ain’t Gonna Get (single, Warner Bros. 2005) Lauren Lucas - What You Ain't Gonna Get - Single - What You Ain't Gonna Get
  • The Carolina Kind (single, Warner Bros. 2005) Lauren Lucas
  • If I Was Your Girl (2007 self-released indie EP) Lauren Lucas
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Images: All images from LaurenLucas.com (promotional/fair use)
Mandy Richburg Rivers

Mandy Richburg Rivers

Mandy lives in Lexington, South Carolina, is a contributing writer for the Food & Drink section and is currently working on her first cookbook. Mandy is an award winning recipe writer and judges regional cook-offs and other culinary contests.

“I'm just a gal that likes food. Of course I like to eat, but what I've discovered about myself over the years is that there are more ways for me to enjoy food than just eating it. I like to shop for it, read about it, cook it, entertain with it and write about it. And when it's really good, sometimes I'm tempted to throw it on the floor and roll in it."