Musicfest NW, Day 1: Laura Veirs

photos by Kyle Johnson

Laura Veirs looks more like a poet than a musician, and though one could argue this is true, her music is far more substantial and textured than the simple acoustic guitar playing and singing you might expect from someone that wears glasses and looks like they work in a library. Veirs, though not from a musical background and gaining interest relatively late in life, has been playing and recording music for over ten years now, and July Flame, which was released earlier this year, is her 7th album. Her music is lyrically rich, but her songs are versatile, often decidedly electrified, often featuring strings, often featuring driving drum lines, all contributing to the fact that her and her band’s instrumental songwriting is just as strong as her words. Live at the Doug Fir, with accompaniment by Annalisa Tornfelt on violin, Laura played a stripped down set of songs mostly from her latest album, plus a great cover of Mississippi John Hurt’s “Spike Driver Blues”.

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