Lauren's Blog

Lionsgate, ABC, NBC, Oh My! Podcast

Okay, I know... cheesy title. Whatever.

Most successful Music Row songwriters have made their money from radio singles and, at least until recent history, album sales. Artist/writers from L.A. and New York have long ago tapped into the film and TV industries for song placements. Alas, Nashville always seems just a little bit behind almost every musical curve, but we’re catching up. Some amazing Nashville artists like Gabe Dixon, Erin McCarly, and Amy Stroup, have had major song placements. Nashville has slowly crept into the fabric of film scores and our writers have been heard at the pinnacle moments of Sandra Bullock movies, as theme songs, and on episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and the like.

A few weeks ago, Michael Logen, Jon Randall (“Whiskey Lullaby”), Claire Gueresso, and I had the wonderful opportunity to hop on a plane to L.A. with a bunch of patchouli-fragranced Bonnarroo patrons, Reese Witherspoon and her kids (yes, Reese Witherspoon was on our flight!), and our publishers, to play for some of the top film and TV supervisors at ABC, NBC, Lionsgate, and BMI Los Angeles. We performed a writers round at each office and met some absolutely wonderful folks. These supervisors are true music lovers and welcomed us with open arms. I even met a fellow South Carolina native at Lionsgate who was super cool, despite our differences about college football. Ha.

The pictures that lined the walls of these offices were unbelievable. ABC showed us a reel of what’s to come for next season’s line up so that we could get an exclusive look at what kind of music they’ll be needing. And at NBC, we played right in front of the wall that Train, Guster, Karmin, and other huge acts have signed. It was all pretty incredible!  

We packed our days with several meetings, but of course, took time to soak in some of that west coast sunshine in Santa Monica. I was bummed to miss the closing night festivities with the crew at Nobu, but who the heck is complaining?! I missed it so that I could play more music and catch a redeye to Detroit to do gig with Kidbilly Music for the following day.  

Now, back to reality. I have been writing up a storm and I have a few new shows coming up that are FINALLY in Nashville before I hit the road for the southeast again in September. It’s been a while since I’ve had any Nashville shows, so I hope if you’re in the area, you’ll check one out:

Saturday, July 20th: 6:00pm - House Concert w/ Danny Myrick. If you’d like to attend, please send an email to Terry.Seay@itsallaboutZmusic.com for event details and to RSVP.

Tuesday, August 6th: 6:00pm - Bluebird Cafe - w/ Jim McBride, Peter McCann, Lauren Lucas, & Roxie Dean. Hosted by Doug Johnson. Proceeds will go to the Miller Harris Foundation.

Thursday, August 15th: 9:00pm - Bluebird Cafe - w/ Brett James, Lee Miller, Lauren Lucas, & Steve Bogard.  This show is for the NSAI Legislative Fund and special guest, former Congressman, Mary Bono.

Details and additional fall tour dates can be found on my tour page.

Please check out the new song below when you get a chance and have a great summer! Hope to see you at a show soon.

Lauren
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  1. Without You

Spring! 

Hello friends!

I can't believe how time flies. This spring has been jam packed with travel, meeting new friends, and playing some amazing gigs. And there's more to come!

The only reason my family found out I could carry a tune is because of my older sister, Becky. I watched her audition for a community theater production in our hometown when I was three years old, and I ended up getting bitten by the bug. It's all her fault, really. Of course, she decided to do something smart and grown-up with her life and majored in architecture, while I became a wandering musician. But I'm so glad she has returned to the stage in her adulthood and is having a blast! Now she has two daughters who are also musical and perform, as well. I got a chance to go back home in early March to see my niece star in a children's theater performance and I went back to Town Theatre, where my musical journey started, and saw Becky perform in the local production of 9 to 5. It was so much fun and I'm so proud of them.

Danny Myrick ("Truck Yeah," "She's Country"), Tim James ("Love Like Crazy," "All I Ask For Anymore," "Give It All We Got Tonight"), Tiffany Goss ("Like We Never Said Goodbye"), and I went back to Jackson, MS to play two incredible shows, and even better, we made some lasting new friendships...

... so we piled back into the car about a month later and headed back down I-65 to an Ole Miss baseball game just to hang out with our new friends! It was also a great excuse to stop back by the original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, and rest assured, we dropped by on every leg of the trip.

My parents came to Music City to celebrate Easter with me and got a chance to stay for the Tin Pan South show I played at the Bluebird Cafe with Danielle Peck, Megan Conner, and Jesse Lee. Tin Pan has always been one of my favorite music festivals in Nashville because you can see dozens of hit writers share their stories behind the song in a span of just a few days. The festival is also a fundraiser for NSAI to help support advocacy for songwriter's rights, and that is very dear to my heart.

I made my way to Lexington, KY for my first Keeneland experience (thankfully, I didn't lose much money, but met some more amazing people -- and horses -- and had an absolute blast), and I recently returned from New York where I played and wrote songs with the North American headquarters of L'Oreal. That was one of the coolest experiences!  To get a peek behind the curtain of one of the largest and most successful cosmetic companies in the world was amazing. They are a truly exceptional company who seem to put people first. One of their top VP's, Vince Serpico, is retiring and I was asked to write a song with a group of L'Oreal execs as a tribute to him. What an honor! After we performed the song, Mr. Serpico made such a heartwarming speech. The biggest takeaway I got was when he said, "It's not what you do in life, but how you do it. It's not the business perspective, it's the people perspective." Amen.

Next up: I'm heading to August, GA to play a new venue called M.A.D. Studios this Friday, May 24 and playing my hometown of Columbia, SC on Saturday, May 25th. Check out details on my tour page if you're in the area and still need tickets!

In other news, my iPod is giving me dirty looks because the only thing I've allowed it to play in the last month are the new JT and Kacey Musgraves records. I'm totally obsessed with Justin Timberlake. He nailed it... totally worth the seven year wait. "Pusher Love" is maybe my favorite track. And have y'all heard Kacey's "Dandelion" and "It Is What It Is?" No? Well, go buy the record. I'm also currently crushing over two visual artists. Check 'em out if you're in the market for new artwork on your walls: Peyton Hutchinson and Steven Whetstone.

Hope everybody is enjoying their spring. More tales from the road soon!

Peace,
Lauren

Headin' To Charlotte 

Hey y'all,

Quick update on a few fun things in the works:  

I was asked to film a Words & Music segment for Channel 5 last week with my friend and co-writer, Damien Horne.  Damien's been touring with John Legend and is currently on radio tour with his country band, The Farm.  We played a few songs and interviewed with the always lovely, Harry Chapman.  It was such a blast!  The segment should air throughout March, so keep your eyes peeled if you're in the Nashville area.

NSAI presented their World's Largest #1 Party today for Nashville songwriters who've had #1 hits on the radio during the last quarter.  We celebrated 10 songs and their writers.  Natalie Hemby, Kip Moore, Eric Paslay, and my South Carolina brother, Jesse Rice, who wrote the Florida Georgia Line smash, "Cruise," were among the few honored this afternoon.  

Speaking of the Carolina's, I'll be heading down to Charlotte in a few weeks to open for my friend Patrick Davis on Friday, March 8th at The Evening Muse.  I've heard from some of you already who are planning on coming to the show.  Here's just a friendly reminder to go ahead and get your tickets ahead of time because Patrick's shows usually sell out fast!   This will be my first time at The Evening Muse and I can't wait, plus it's always fun to play music with Patrick.  

Looks like I'll be heading back to Jackson and Tunica, MS, Columbia, SC, and New York City this Spring.  Details to come... I'll keep you posted.  

Hope everybody has a great week.

Cheers,

Lauren

Song Cuts and Lost Scottie Dogs Podcast

Hey y'all,

Don't ya hate it when you find a product you absolutely love and then they discontinue it?!  I love Trader Joe's... a lot.  But, TJ, you're letting me down!   The two things that I make a special trip for -- and never waiver on -- are their coffee and little black Scottie dog licorice candy.  They seem to no longer carry my Scottie dogs.  Grrrrr.   I've been on a new vegetarian (okay... truthfully, more of a pescetarian) kick since late fall, and this candy was my only dietary cheat (okay, okay... other than a little some red wine).  I know, I know... white girl problems.  But, seriously, if y'all find those Scottie dogs in your local TJ, give me a shout!

In other news, I found out that the beautiful, talented, and lovely Danielle Peck cut a song of mine for her upcoming album.  It's a song I wrote with my friends Chuck Jones and Derek George called, "Kiss Me Like You Miss Me."  I am psyched that Danielle cut it  because we have known each other for years and I think she is a doll!  I'm also super excited that she has the brilliant Lari White at the production helm. 

And if you're in the Charlotte area, I'm coming your way on March 8th, opening for my friend and hit songwriter, Patrick Davis, at the Evening Muse. You can get tickets here in advance -- which I recommend, because Patrick's shows sell out.  Other upcoming dates are listed on my tour page.  I'm looking to fill a few dates in May around Memorial Day Weekend, if anyone is in the SC, NC, GA, or TN areas and wants to book a house concert.  Hit me up!

Welp, I thought it would be fun to let y'all hear something new I've been working on and include a worktape of a song I recently wrote with a great artist and writer named Ann Marie Boskovich.  Many thanks to Park Chisolm for his production and letting us take over his studio.  Ann Marie is recording a new project right now and just finished shooting her first music video.  She's been touring with Kip Moore, Chris Young, and other great artists, so be on the lookout and catch a show.  She's awesome.

Cheers and Happy Presidents Day!

LL
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  1. Thank You

The Night I Met the Red Headed Stranger 

I remember getting picked up after elementary school most days by my grandmother. She took care of me a lot and she was the one who first introduced me to country music at an early age. My first recollection of the radio was Alabama's "Roll On 18 Wheeler" and Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again."  

About a year and a half ago, I got a call from Bart Herbison at NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), and he told me that I was being asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the organization. For over 40 years, NSAI has been protecting the rights and serving the American songwriter in all genres of music, and I had been a part of several trips to D.C. in the past, so being asked to serve on the board felt like a huge honor. Near the end of last year, the all-songwriter board envisioned introducing a new lifetime achievement award for songwriters named after one of NSAI's founding members: Kris Kristofferson. It became a reality last week. Kristofferson chose to give the inaugural "Kris Kristofferson Award" to one of his fellow Highway Men, and one of my musical heroes, Willie Nelson. The amount of hits both of these men have penned for themselves and other artists boggles the mind. I mean, let's face it, there isn't a chick singer on this planet that hasn't sung "Me and Bobby McGee" or "Crazy" on a cover gig. She just doesn't exist.  

I've been in town 14 years now, and last Monday night was probably the best night I've ever had in Nashville. I was at the Bluebird Cafe with board members and close family friends of the heroes, and maybe 15 feet away from Willie Nelson playing "Crazy" on that same beautiful, beat up, ol' guitar I always see in pictures. My heart felt like it was going to burst wide open. Kristofferson played "Sunday Morning Coming Down," introduced Willie Nelson, and spoke of his incredible talent, wisdom, and unique style. One of my favorite quotes of the night is when he said, "Sometimes I try to envision what God might look like, and he always comes out lookin' like Willie!"

I got a chance to shake Willie's hand and we all got quick pictures with Kris Kristofferson, but they have yet to arrive, so for now, my crappy iPhone pictures will have to do. I want to leave y'all with one of my favorite lyrics from Kristofferson's "Beat the Devil," because they ring so true, not just for songwriters and singers, but for everyone who has ever had the courage to create something out of nothing -- a song, a picture, an invention, a great business idea -- and believe in it come hell or high water:


"And you still can hear me singin' to the people who don't listen,
To the things that I am sayin', prayin' someone's gonna hear.
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about,
Are things they could be changin', hopin' someone's gonna care.

I was born a lonely singer, and I'm bound to die the same,
But I've got to feed the hunger in my soul.
And if I never have a nickel, I won't ever die ashamed.
'Cause I don't believe that no one wants to know."

Amen.

LL

P.S. I think it would be awesome if God turns out to have a face (and long braids?!) and looks like Willie Nelson.

P.P.S. Go 49ers!

Life Of A Songwriter 

Often times, independent musicians find it prudent to expand their resumes and dabble in several areas of the creative process.  Producers begin to write.  Writers begin to produce.  Studio musicians become label heads.   Writers become publishers, and so on.  I feel fortunate to have found my way to a pretty unique gig, thanks to Billy Kirsch and his company, KidBilly Music.  Billy has written major hits like, "Holes In the Floor of Heaven"  (Steve Wariner), "Stay Gone" (Jimmy Wayne), and "Is It Over Yet" (Wynonna), and in the past several years decided to expand by starting a company that provides teambuilding through songwriting.  Sometimes he asks his writer friends (like me!) to help.  And sometimes, the team building jobs find their way to a Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, CA.  One of my favorite west coast songwriting buds, Shevy Smith, was on the gig as well, so we got a chance to girl talk, eat amazing food, and play music and write with the fine folks of Altour.  (By the way, you'll want to make Shevy's new album, Ad Astra, a staple on your iPod.)  

On the flight back, Billy and I sat in front of three screen writers for the new ABC show, Nashville, and tried our best to eavesdrop to get the lowdown on the upcoming season's plot development.  I am loving watching that show every week and seeing our great city so well represented!  

So, today was my first day back to the "day job," and I had a co-write with the immensely talented Damien Horne.  Some of you know Damien as a founding member of the Muzik Mafia, and most of you probably know him as one third of the new Warner Brothers Records trio, The Farm, who's single is currently on the charts.  It looks like an older song Damien and I wrote together might get placed in an upcoming movie, but I'll fill you in once I have more details.

Until then, take care of each other.

LL

Happy New Year! 

Hello all!

Happy 2013!   Just wanted to drop by and say a quick hello.  It just felt right, being the start of  new year and all.  I'm cozy by the fire on a super chilly night in Nashville feeling nostalgic and grateful, reflecting on the amazing people and experiences that enriched my life this past year.   I rang in the new year last night with some great friends, and stuffed myself with collard greens and black eyed peas this afternoon while watching the Gamecocks dominate in the Outback Bowl, (please don't tell my sister and brother-in-law, who are devoted Clemson Tigers!).

You have probably noticed the site got a facelift recently.  It seemed fitting starting off the new year.  I signed a new deal at the beginning of last year as a staff writer with a fantastic new music publishing company called Eleven Eleven Music.  I'm working with veteran publishers Jewel Coburn and Jason Morris, and writing with some of my favorite co-writers from years gone by, as well as some brand new collaborators.  We took a company trip to Sundance last year where we were technically "working," although I managed to squeeze in a few days of down time to snowmobile and learn to ski.  :)  This seemed justified since a girl from South Carolina rarely gets the opportunity to play in the snow... so I took it!  I spent a week writing in L.A. over the summer, and Jewel, Jason, and I went back down to the Key West Songwriters Festival, which is always a blast  to play and great place to connect with old friends and writers without the stresses of Music Row.  Can't wait to see what adventures we get into this year!  

I was also really busy out on the road this past year.  I had the opportunity to do a great deal of touring with one of my dearest friends and collaborators, Sara Beck.  She and I have found a really fun niche playing house concerts.  If you love acoustic, singer/songwriter/storytelling music or the Bluebird Cafe and aren't familiar with house concerts, check out the info on my booking page.  They might be right up your alley.  I was also flying all over the country playing gigs with a Grammy nominated hit songwriter named Billy Kirsch and his amazing company, KidBilly Music.  I'm heading back out to the west coast with those folks next week... first trip of the new year.  We've decided we need to buy a journal to use as a "quote book," because when you're out on the road with the same folks as much as we are, some hilarious hi-jinks ensue.  We have some great quotes for the book.  I gotta remember to do that...

I've been in the studio some this fall with Park Chisolm recording new songs.  I would love to get new music out to you guys this year!  I'll keep you posted on that and adventures from the road.  Until then...

Cheers!
Lauren



Columbia show Friday, Nov. 4th 

Hello friends!

I am really excited to be returning to Columbia and The White Mule this Friday, Nov. 4th! The White Mule is one of my favorite venues to play and this time I'm bringing a really great friend and supremely talented singer/songwriter, Sara Beck, to share the evening with me.

Sara has been touring internationally over the past year & a half with Kevin Costner & Modern West as a guest vocalist and support act. Sara is originally from Maryland, and has released four independent records over the past ten years. In addition, she has had songs recorded by major label and indie artists and appeared onstage with Stevie Wonder as a guest on his live weekly radio show. You can hear more at www.sarabeck.net.

You can also check out some live video performances here:
Sara Beck: Man Enough

Lauren Lucas: If I Was Your Girl

The White Mule
(1530 Main St., Columbia, SC)
November 4th, 2011
Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 8pm
Tickets are $8.00 in advance/ $10.00 at the door

We can't wait to see you there!
Lauren

On With the Show 

NEW ALBUM

Hey guys!  It's been a little while since I've written, but a LOT has been going on.  First and foremost, I'm excited to announce that my new album is here!  :)  I am jumping for joy!  And you can go right now to download it and/or purchase a physical copy at my online store or from iTunes.  Right now!  Go on... I'll wait.  

Do do-do do-dooooo...

Okay!  So, I also want to make sure you know that the cover artwork was illustrated by the genius and immensely talented comic book legend, Jim Starlin.  Any Captain Marvel fans out there?  Jim was kind enough to lend his talents to this project and make me a cartoon.  

You'll also want to check out the album credits.  I was honored to have some of the best writers and musicians on the planet contributing to this project.  

TOUR
I have also been busy booking tour dates to promote the new record!  St. Louis, Atlanta, Columbia, Camden, SC, and Nashville are all on the list.  Check out my tour page for complete details.  :)  

HOUSE CONCERTS
House concerts are all the rage these days.  If you're interested in having me in your living room, just visit my tour page for details on how to contact me!   By hosting a house concert, you will really be helping to support indie artists like me.  It helps us fill out our tour schedule and get us from city to city.  Win/win.  :)  

THANKS!
I seriously can't explain to you how excited I am to have new music.  Thank you so much for your ongoing support.  I gotta run to a co-write session, but I'll be back soon with more tales from the road.  

Cheers,
*Lauren*


Just A Little Update... 

Hey y'all!

I am blog-challenged!  The best of intentions... right?  Well, no gold pavement for me.  I have been a very absent blogger.  I have been up to some fun stuff, though!  And I have some more fun stuff coming up that I want to tell you about.

First of all, a re-cap of the summer:  I feel like I was out of town for almost all of it.  There were a lot of firsts for me this summer.

I went camping for the first time in my entire life.  That was interesting.  I really want to be an outdoor-sy kind of girl, but alas, I just don't think it suits me.  The weather was beautiful, though.  We were on top of Balsam Mountain in NC.  We hiked a really nice nature trail and ate wild blackberries right off the vine, and I loved the after-dinner fire/stars/smore's combo.  But the pack of coyotes killing and fighting over their dinner in the distance at 3am was not particularly comforting when you're in a piece of plastic out in the middle of nowhere.  #partyfowl

I also took my first trip to Santa Fe.  I have not spent much time out west, but boy I want to!  It was beautiful!  We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday, and visited a family friend.  Hiking through the Anastasi Indian ruins was incredible.  I also had the best Mexican food of my life!  I highly recommend Maria's.   :)

Oh yeah... and I got poison ivy for the first time working out in my yard, once again providing evidence of my love-hate relationship with nature.   

I also went home to Columbia to play a show at The White Mule with my friend Mike Willis earlier in the summer, and then sat in on a really fun set with him at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA.  Those are two of the best venues in the southeast, if you ask me. 

So... that brings me to some new show updates.  You have probably seen on Facebook and my website that I won the regional round of the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest thanks to YOUR votes!  I am going to New York on Oct. 22nd to play the finals.  By the way, it's FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, if you wanna come.  :)  The finals are being held at the Arts World Financial Center's Winter Garden (long name for one building). 

When I get back home to Nashville, I'll be a part of a really special charity event called, "Best Buddies," raising money for Down Syndrome.  Danny Myrick is heading up the shindig at The Listening Room on October 27th.  Kate & Kacey, Ann Marie Boskovich, Derek George, Alice Peacock, yours truly, and many others will be performing to help raise money.  Come on out!

Then, I'll be heading back north the next weekend to Harrisburg, PA to do an unplugged set opening for Terri Clark (who will also be unplugged, I think) at the beautiful Sunoco Performance Theater on Friday, Oct. 29th.

New York, and PA are new places for me to play, so I'm really excited to be expanding my touring circuit!  Come out and catch a show if you're in those areas.  

I just got done singing vocals on a few songwriter demos I've been working on this morning, and now I'm off to write a new one.   I'm absolutely loving this fall weather.  I've been lighting every fall-scented candle I can find, and keeping my windows open to let the inspiration in.  :)  I hope this little note finds you well.  Enjoy the season and come see a show when you get the chance!

Cheers,
*Lauren*

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