Thursday, August 19 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Lauren Anderson isn’t shy about sharing her influences. Indeed, there have been any number of classic and contemporary artists that have left an indelible impression on the musical mantra she’s pursued over the course of her career — Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and the Pointer Sisters, among them. Yet, at the same time, Anderson isn’t bound to any particular parameters. Instead she’s managed to incorporate those influences into a pursuit of her own passion. It’s a musical journey that has yielded three EPs — Do & Hope, The Game and Won’t Stay Down — and her first full-length album, 2015’s Truly Me. Named the 2015 Female Vocalist of the Year by the Midwest Music Awards, she also took a first-place finish in the 2018 Wing Dang Doodle Competition and watched with pride as The Game became entrenched in the Top 50 of the Billboard Blues chart five weeks in a row.
Not surprisingly then, her upcoming album Love On the Rocks ought to be considered her most fully realized effort to date. Self-produced and due for independent release this summer, it finds her expounding on the soulful, seductive style that allows her to break down the boundaries between rock, blues and classic R&B.
The many highlights include the riveting first single “Stand Still”; the subtle yet sensual “Holdin’ Me Down”; “Love On the Rocks,” an emotive co-write with Sandy Ramos and Laureen Smith; “Back to Chicago,” a performance that combines Anderson’s robust vocals and a sassy, soulful strut with some ripping fretwork from special guest and guitar great Mike Zito. “I’m Done” and “Just F***ing Begun” are propulsive rockers that allow the energy to soar into the stratosphere. On the other hand, the easy sway of “The Way I Want” and the resilient resolve implied by “Your Turn” help provide a decided shift in tone and tempo. “This album is very true to me,” Anderson reflects. “I was trying to consciously choose songs for this album that worked well together. I definitely feel like I pulled from some of my seminal influences and was able to find them a fit on each of these tunes.”