The music scene in L.A. is the “Ellis Island” of the West. Artists come here to fulfill their dreams and promises to become stars. In the mid to late 60’s and through most of the 70’s Laurel Canyon was the epicenter for so much music. The role of women songwriters became paramount from this quiet densely wooded canyon. Thus came a music revolution that would change popular culture. From a house on Lookout Mountain Road, Joni Mitchell was drawing inspiring art work for her iconic album “Ladies of the Canyon”, while boyfriend Graham Nash was immortalizing the modest abode they shared with the track “Our House”. Arguably, his most beautiful song from his tenure with Crosby, Stills & Nash (& sometimes Young). The Laurel Canyon music scene was significantly affected by the late Ma Ma Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas. On a whim, she introduced Crosby, Stills & Nash right from her backyard porch. All three were searching for something great when their respective bands broke up. There was a certain bit of divine intervention when these three legends were serendipitously brought together to make some awesome music that still stands the test of time. Cass was in love with Nash but his heart was with the true gentle spirit of Joni. Down the street the beautiful and talented singer, Linda Ronstadt was introduced to Don Henley. She needed a backup band and the result soon after became the Eagles… It wasn’t soon after that when Stevie Nicks and her boyfriend, Lindsay Buckingham moved to “the canyon” from Northern CA. and were sharing a small canyon bungalow when they met Mick Fleetwood. He was in dire need of a new version of Fleetwood Mac. In an afterthought, he agreed to invite Nicks into the band. She successfully forged one of the greatest legacies in the history of Los Angeles rock and roll.
Clockwise.. Joni Mitchell, Mama Cass Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Linda Ronstadt
Ms. Lucy LaForge whose band, Lucy & La Mer, stands as one of L.A.’s most prolific songwriters…Not just for her music but her keen eye in being in the foreground of some fantastic charities. Earlier the year Ms. LaForge sponsored the “Locks of Love Foundation” where people were asked to donate their hair for financially needy kids who lost their hair due to medical illness…. She even cut some of her own luscious locks in support of the cause.
Her appeal lays equally in her empowering acrobatic voice; her earnest, “folkie: Lilith Fair” sound—the antidote to cynical grunge, synth and psyche pablum that permeates the streets of L.A..—and her interesting backstory about living in Echo Park. Her 2015 E.P. release, “Lucy & La Mer” meanders slightly about relationship but to be utterly honest, she’s razor sharp in grappling with human flaws and emotions. I connected to her open-heart and unrelenting gaze into her psyche through music. She has just released a new track that epitomizes Ms. LaForge’s songwriting prowess, “Honey, Put Your Weapons Down”… Its about relationships that fall into disconnect because of technological distractions… In a previous interview Ms. LaForge talked about her new track…
The new single “Honey, Put Your Weapons Down” is a folk pop ballad. We wanted to take our acoustic sound to a producer that could add a modern edge. We chose Grammy winning producer Jared Lee Gosselin at The Fab Factory because of his unique style and enthusiasm for the project (he’s worked with India Arie, Eminem, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keyshia Cole). I played the song acoustic for him and studio resident Dave Pensado (Pink, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé) and they both had ideas for where it could go. The track began with just me and my baritone ukulele, then we built the track with live upright bass, guitar, and cello before exploring percussion. The Fab Factory had just officially so the studio was getting new equipment all the time and the energy was just really positive and motivating.
We at Rock Bands of L.A.com had the chance to ask Ms. LaForge about living in L.A. and her music…
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
Are you from L.A.? What music did your family listen to? You said you live in Echo Park.. what is the music scene there like for you?