2006. As Frank Sinatra once sang "It was a very good year". We had a bunch of records from bands we know and love for years and as usual they were awesome (Big Sandy, Cari Lee), the youngest ones confirmed the good things we were thinking of them (Did you listen to the latest Two Timin' Three? Fine!) and some new faces appeared. For me the best of them was Miss Lauren Marie. Her debut album "Introducing..." knocked me out. Really. So it was logical and essential to interview her. Here it is...

by Fred "Virgil" Turgis

You now live in Austin, but I think you come from Cape Cod ? Is this where you grew up?
I was born on Cape Cod and lived there untill I went to college. My family still lives on the Cape. I went to Art School in Beverly MA (thirty minutes north of Boston) for two years then I transfered to UMASS Boston and lived in Cambridge and Somerville for three years. Then I moved here.

Was this a good place to see live bands and find good music?
The Cape doesn't have too much in the way of Rockabilly and Rock & Roll the way we know it. Certainly no Western Swing or any sort of Roots music. It's a weird isolated place.

What kind of stuff were you listening to in your childhood?
Growing up I listened to what my Dad listened to. He's kind of like me in the way he'll like anything as long as it's good. But all sorts of stuff from Blues to
Rock & Roll and later some Country. Then I got into the Punk Rock music when I got a little older. About the same time, I started listening to Elvis and Johnny
Burnette when I was in middle school and all through high school. But I still listened to punk music.
Boston had a whole lot more for Rockabilly music. When I was younger, I'd go to the punk rock shows in Boston and when I went to college it seemed as if a lot of the punk crowd had turned toward rockabilly and psychobilly.

What are your earlier memories concerning music?
Well my first concert at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod was the Beach Boys. It was a really good show.

I can read in your bio that you listen to Johnny Burnette “since you’re 14”. As this is not the kind of music you can easily hear on the radio, how did you find about him?
A lot of punk rock music I bought was on vinyl. I accidentally came across the Elvis Presley record first and I really liked it. So the next week I went back to that section in the record store and found a Johnny Burnette Trio record. Accidental destiny I guess. ha ha

Having experienced that situation, I suppose your schoolmates didn’t listen to that music…
Not really but I hung out with the punk rock kids. A few of which liked Elvis and and bands like the Cramps and the Stray Cats.

Does any of your relatives had any influence on you to sing rockabilly and country?
Nope. That was an accident too. But since I've started singing, my Grandma has told me she wishes she could have been a singer. And my Dad always sings the way that I used to, around the house, to himself, whatever. My older brother sang in school growing up. I never did but I sang while I did the dishes and laundry, and to myself around the house.

I believe you started singing with The Two Timin’ Three, how did you meet them?
When I met Eric Laufer of the Two Timin' Three a little over two years ago. I was at a bar and I knew who he was because I had seen him play. I started dating a friend of his. Later that summer I was at a party and he heard me sing. I was kidding around because I had had too much to drink. A week or so later he came over for dinner with Shane Kiel. Long story short, once they got me liquored up enough to sing... They said I should come sing with thier band sometime. They called me to practice and I started sitting in on thier gigs more and more. I stopped being nervous after a while. Then I got the bug and came to love singing.

Why did you move to Austin?
I moved with the Two Timin' Three. I needed a change and I wanted to be with them.

Let’s talk about your debut album. It has that late 50’s sound that gives a very distinctive sound from most of the current rockabilly albums. Is this something you worked with Billy Horton?
Billy is awesome. But don't tell him I said that! Kidding! That guy really knows what he's doing. I gave him my input and just kinda let him do what he does. I knew I was in good hands.

How was it to work at Fort Horton, with all those talented musicians : Dave Biller, Buck Johnson, T Bonta…?
Friggin Amazing! I still get a smile on my face thinking about how great they all are. I feel very lucky to work with such incredible musicians.

How did you choose the covers you play?
Some times people give me suggestions, and make my cds of stuff to listen to. I come across a lot of them just listening to different things. I always have an ear out. If I find myself singing a song, I'll usually bring it to Bobby Horton or Eric to help me work it up.

Bobby Horton and Eric Laufer (Two Timin’ Three) wrote some originals. What about you? Do you plan on writing your own songs? Did you make some attemps?
I try but I'm not very good at it yet. I realize it takes practice so I'm not discouraged. I'm learning to play guitar so that helps a whole lot. Hopefully on my next album, I'll be able to do more than sing. ha ha

As a fan of Janis Martin, have you ever met her or played with her?
I met her in Green Bay last year but I was so star struck I could hardly breath or talk. I cried I was so happy. Eric dragged me by the arm and said, "Janis Martin! This girl loves you!" It was really funny. I have my picture with her. I haven't played with her yet but I sure would love to. (As long as I could talk and breath.)

Have you been contacted to play big festivals like Viva Las Vegas or The Rockabilly Rave in Europe?
I played Viva this year and it was a lot of fun. I'm going to be at the next Green Bay Rockin' 50's Fest. I played The 'Shack the Shack' Rockabilly Ball in Seattle last year. I always hope to do more. If you want me, call me, I love to go anywhere and play.

Do you already have ideas/plans for the next release?
I got a few tricks up my sleeve. Like I said, I'm learning guitar, and a little bit of ukulele too. Maybe a guest vocal or two. We'll see. I got more than enough songs and people keep sending them to me. But I love it because it gives me so many ideas.

Could you tell us more about “Roots Tuesday”?
It's a lot of fun. The Horton Brothers play and backup a lot of singers that they usually play with aroundtown. Shaun Young, Bear, Nick Curran, T Jarrod, Mike
Barfield, Jim Stringer, on and on and on... All come sit in at Ginny's Little Longhorn. It's really a good time.

Do you want to add something?
I'm happy that people have really seemed to like what I'm trying to do and and I'm so thankful for it.
Did I say thanks? Well, THANKS ;-)

Thanks to you...

Miss Lauren Marie on Myspace :


  Miss Lauren Marie - Introducing
Texas Jamboree TexJam 0061
Short version : Perfect & essential !
Extended version : Not only Billy Horton is a great producer and knows how to record music, but he and his brother Bobby have gathered some of the finest musicians around to build what could be called the “Fort Horton team”. With Billy on bass, Bobby on guitar and lap steel, you find Dave Biller, probably one of the most inventive guitar player in town, Buck Johnson on drums and T Bonta on piano. Together they made some masterpieces like The Horton Brothers albums and Shaun Young's “Wiggle Walk”. That’s the same band that plays on this great platter, Miss Lauren Marie’s debut album. Imagine something like a cross between Kay Starr and Patsy Cline recording at Owen Bradley’s studio in the early 60’s. The album opens on a great version of Wynonie Harris’ "Just Like Two Drops Of Water" which is followed by Roy Orbison’s Sun period song : Sweet And Easy To Love. The arrangement is not that far from the original except for the backing vocals arrangement, a good idea in my opinion as I think it's a low point on the original. Next comes "A Heart That Isn't True" one of the three Bobby Horton’s own, first heard on “Bobby Horton vs Derek Peterson”. “As My Heart Breaks” is another nice tune written by Horton and shows some reminiscences of the Biller & Horton album with vibes and an exotic beat. His third effort, “Everytime” is a pure Horton song and is my new “I-feel-blue-what-song-could-I-play-to-feel-better” tune. An old theme given a fresh treatment. The Two Timin’ Three appear on two songs : the jazzy “Three Little Words” with a nice guitar more in the Chet Atkins vein rather than Les Paul and the Ricky Nelson / Burnette smooth rockabilly “Believe What You Say”, the perfect song to end this album which shows her ability to rock. Before that you’ll find some honky tonk with Don Gibson’s “Who Cares” and Willie Nelson’s “How Long Is Forever”, and a beautiful waltz written by Eric Laufer. Don’t forget her version of “Moody River” where Miss Lauren Marie is perfectly supplied by Buck Johnson’ drums rolls. I could go on with the musicians skill or try to describe her voice both subtle or warm but I’m afraid that short or extended, you’ll always come to the same conclusion : a perfect album with no filler. One last note : another essential element of this team is photographer George Brainard. Check his
website to see his beautiful photographies.