In the Artist Spotlight series of blog posts, The Layered Onion highlights an artist in the community. We’ll get a chance to learn more about them and their work.
In this post, we are featuring Laurie Dameron. Laurie is a talented musician based in Colorado.
A Billboard Magazine award recipient, Laurie has been playing the guitar for over five decades. Between solo performances and performances with her band, Laurie D and the Blues Babes, she has performed for hundreds of venues in and out of Colorado over the past 20 years.
Laurie is extremely versatile and includes selections from all genres, allowing her to play a variety of venues. She has entertained at Boulder Creek Festival, Capital Hill People’s Fair and A Taste of Colorado and the 2008 Colorado Democratic Convention to name a few. Other performances include Denver’s popular clubs, including Dazzle Jazz Club, The D Note, Mead Street Station and the historic Stanley Hotel in Beautiful Estes Park.
Get a 60 second intro to Laurie in her own words here.
Laurie did a Q&A with The Layered Onion, talking about her music and activism:
You have a lovely voice. What first got you into music?
My mom probably got me singing shortly after birth! I learned three part harmony driving in the car with my mom and sister.
You’ve been a musician your entire career. When did you know this was what you wanted to do?
I was in love with music nearly all my life. But probably when I was about 7 years old. I wrote my first song, with three part harmony, in 4th grade and we performed it at the school talent show.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician and songwriter?
I am happiest when I’m playing music and so happy when making other people happy with my music! I LOVE entertaining – can’t even describe it – my spirit soars when playing!
What influences your musical style?
The first album I ever owned was James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” my second was Bonnie Raitt’s “Give it Up” and then Pat Metheny. So there’s your folk, blues and jazz.
What’s your favorite song you’ve written?
“Sunlight in a Snowstorm.” On my birthday, May 5th in 1978, it snowed three feet here in Boulder, Colorado. So I was stuck inside for a couple of days and wrote this instrumental. I had two old cassette decks and recorded the rhythm guitar on one deck and then added bass while playing along with the other deck, then added the lead guitar by bouncing one more time. I finally recorded it professionally in 1999.
Do you have a favorite song that you perform?
Oh gee – there are so many. But maybe “I Can’t Wait to See You Again.” It was the fastest song I wrote. My date dropped me at home and I came into the house thinking “I can’t wait to see her again!!!” and I wrote it in like 30 minutes! The song received Honorable Mention in the 2008 Billboard Magazine World Song Contest.
As an environmentalist, you have a multimedia approach to activism. What led you to creating music videos to promote sustainable habits?
I’ve always shared simple actions we can all do every day to be more healthy and sustainable when performing but in 2012 I created Spaceship Earth: What Can I Do? I believe by combining art, music and science, it uses both sides of the brain making an even stronger impact. I’ve had several science teachers agree with that.
We’ve had an eventful last couple of years in terms of the climate – seeing an increase in fires, tornados, and more. What worries you the most when you think about the future? What gives you the most hope?
What worries me the most is that so many folks are apathetic, not paying attention and not taking action. Of course this has a lot to do with our economy. Folks are working two and three jobs to barely get by! So they don’t have the time to learn and understand. But I’m hopeful as Mr Rogers said in his 60 second YouTube video “Look for the Helpers” and there are a lot of helpers out there!
You make it a point to actively engage children in thinking about the future. Have you had any memorable interactions that have excited you?
I was very excited to share Spaceship Earth: What Can I Do? with around 60 5th graders and afterwards they said they were going to get their school to stop using Styrofoam in the cafeteria! One other time kids were asking for my autograph! That was so very cute and exciting!
Anything else you would want to share with the community?
As Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org said in 2016: “We’re under attack from climate change — and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.” I implore EVERYONE to practice simple actions every day. And if you need a list of simple actions please write to me or watch “Spaceship Earth: What Can I Do” on YouTube for free.