Katey Laurel

2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase

Katey Laurel

Sat, July 20, 2013

12:00 pm

Punch Bowl Social

This event is all ages

Katey Laurel
Katey Laurel
Katey Laurel’s emergence as a singer/songwriter powerfully straddling the line between Triple A and Adult Contemporary formats will make you think twice the next time you see the kid in the band carrying that seemingly cumbersome French Horn.

Laurel’s classical mastery of that instrument earned the Denver based performer a scholarship to the exclusive private Huntington University in Indiana, but her passion for expressing herself through songwriting with acoustic guitar and piano ultimately led her home to Colorado. She has since performed multiple venues (The Walnut Room, Soiled Dove Underground, Gothic Theatre) and won numerous accolades in high profile songwriting competitions.

Laurel has been a finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival, a winner and alternate in two categories of the Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Contest in Winfield, KS and a showcase artist selected for the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH. Offering the perfect blend of “catchy” and “intelligent,” the multi-talented performer’s music has been featured as part of Microsoft Windows 7 “Playlist 7” and Heineken “Ultimate Playlist” sponsored song programs and she was one of 7 national finalists in the Nine West “Voices of Vintage America” contest. Laurel also represented Colorado at the 2011 Texaco Country Showdown Southwest Regional Finals after winning the state title at Copper Country Festival.

Her fan base has broadened as she’s shared stages with Katie Herzig, Matt Morris, Bill Mallonee, Braddigan (of Dispatch), The Bittersweets, Trevor Hall, Eilen Jewell, Karla Bonoff and Nashville Star Finalist Tamika Tyler. Laurel has also been a featured guest artist on Denver’s 9 News Peacock Café, Fox 31, Channel 2, KRFC Ft. Collins Live at Lunch and Boulder’s KGNU Kabaret and Castle Rock radio shows. Her songs have been aired on Alice 105.9, 97.3 KBCO, 99.5 The Mountain and other stations.

All of this is a long way from a fascinating, vagabond-like childhood worthy of an adventure novel, but always full of love and incredible music. Up until the age of four when life circumstances landed her family in small town Colorado, Laurel lived the footloose life of a seasonal migrant’s child, climbing apple orchard ladders, digging in the dirt and playing Lincoln Logs while her parents planted trees or picked fruit everywhere from Washington State to Georgia. Her free spirit and variety of musical tastes and styles began during her childhood in the ‘80s in a Volkswagen bus, a teepee and a one-room log cabin with Fleetwood Mac, Eagles and Emmylou Harris spinning on a record player. Her parents loved classic rock and bluegrass, but during college—even while majoring in French Horn Performance—she gravitated towards alternative rock and also formed a folk-rock girl group called Alabaster.

Katey Laurel follows her well received debut studio album Upstairs, Downstairs with From Here, a compelling new eight song EP produced by renowned artist/producer Neilson Hubbard (Glen Phillips from Toad The Wet Sprocket, Kate York). Laurel’s early goal to play French Horn in an orchestra on movie soundtracks had a unique, indirect influence on her approach to the making of From Here. “My songs have always been deeply personal and introspective,” she says. “With Neilson helping me choose my best songs and liberating me to focus on the writing and singing, one of our main goals became to put together sounds that would provide the right vibe for film and TV. I have shifted gears, but my dream remains the same—to create music that helps set the tone of life both on the screen and off. On Upstairs, Downstairs, I ended up choosing from a variety of sounds and styles that I identified with as a writer, while From Here has a more cohesive, consistent flow. The album title reflects my love for this project, and the hope and potential surrounding it. I’m saying that this is what I see from where my life is at right now—and it’s a good place.”

“As enjoyable as it is to write and record in the studio, I love connecting with people in a live setting,” Laurel says. “Seeing people have a good time and hearing how my songs touch their lives makes my day. Making music is about the fun of performing but also about making that universal connection with the audience. Then there’s also the spontaneity factor because the way I perform a song is never the same twice. It’s always a little surprise to see what version comes out, and that keeps performing fresh. I also love the excitement that comes with writing new music. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to reach more people, including young kids, with every new release and performance onstage. It’s about appreciating the little moments day to day while moving forward to reach my musical goals.”

- Jonathan Widran
Venue Information:
Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
Denver, CO