Laura Orshaw has just won the prestigious “Best Fiddler” award from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPGMA) in late January. She is an energetic singer and fiddle player who plays full time with Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, records with her own band of Boston-based musicians, The New Velvet Band, all the while working a full time job at Leslie College. Her work ethic and enthusiasm come through in our conversation which covers her early musical education, her decision to make her musical base in Boston, and more.
Our conversation includes some of her tunes with the New Velvet Band’s “Songs of Lost Yesterdays”. We include “Going to the West”, “The Cotton Farmer” as well as a just-released song from Alan Bibey and Grasstowne called “Gonna Rise and Shine”.
In honor of Women’s History month, we discuss her musical heroes and teachers as well as Laura’s opinion of being a women in today’s bluegrass community. I’ve included the song “Swept Away” from the First Ladies of Bluegrass (Allison Brown, Becky Buller, Missy Raines, Sierra Hull and Molly Tuttle) who’ve all won the Best in their respective instrument from the IBMA awards.
It was a pleasure getting to know Laura and I was impressed with her enthusiasm and passion for her work and art. She appears at the Parlor Room TONIGHT 3/10 as part of the Parlor Session’s series. Catch her in a rare Western Massachusetts appearance.