press

thegathering

The Gathering: A Winter’s Tale in Six Songs
After a critically-acclaimed world premier with the North Carolina Symphony November, 2011, the Gathering string band is coming to a city near you.

For more information on the project, visit the Web site, at gatheringsongs.com

“It’s what the holidays were before shopping and Irving Berlin.”
Wall Street Journal

“They bring a breath of fresh, pine-scented air to an intensely crowded field.”
3 stars
Los Angeles Times

“A goosebump inducing ‘O Holy Night,’ stripped down to just standup bass and voice, is alone worth the price, but this classy offering is a much needed alternative to the typically overwrought fare that clogs the season’s racks.”
4 stars
American Songwriter Magazine

Are you a reporter or writer looking for photos? Look here.

Honest Talent
by Jeri Rowe, Our State
October 2010
laurelyndossett After raising three daughters Laurelyn Dossett lets her musical ambition loose, writing authentic and sincere songs that come from down deep.

Laurelyn Dossett spots them in her backyard near the purple hydrangeas.

It’s a weekday morning. Laurelyn would love more sleep. She’s curled up in a big chair, her bare feet tucked beneath her, when she looks outside her music-room window, past her guitar, banjo, and upright bass, and just sighs.

Weeds.

She’d like nothing better than to get dirty and pull them. But she can’t. She’s too busy. … read the full article on ourstate.com

Leaving Eden
Emerging Musical Theatre
Posted Monday August 30, 2010

I knew I had fallen in love with Laurelyn Dossett’s music the first time I listened to the recording of Beautiful Star. The music was rousing, intricate, and Laurelyn’s voice itself created a hauntingly beautiful aura around it. When she offered to answer some questions for the blog, I was full of nerdy theatre excitement for many reasons. read the full article on Emerging Musical Theatre

The Week: Editor’s Letter: The upside to creative destruction
by Francis Wilkinson
posted April 22, 2010 at 2:41 PM

For music fans, there is an upside to creative destruction. On a Woodstock stage recently, I watched a friend stretch her lungs in some of the open space left by the industry’s retreat.

Digital music sales unexpectedly declined in the first quarter of 2010. This was bad news for an industry that saw $11 billion in annual revenue evaporate between 2000 and 2008, and that had begun to view digital music downloads as a kind of panic room, a refuge from the slasher trends making mincemeat of business models and bottom lines.

But for music fans, there is an upside to creative destruction. On a Woodstock stage recently, I watched a friend stretch her lungs in some of the open space left by the industry’s retreat. Laurelyn Dossett stopped singing after college, got married, went to grad school, and raised three daughters on a quiet, tree-lined street. In her late 30s, having settled in North Carolina, she began inviting friends to her house to make music drawn from Appalachia and the Piedmont. Laurelyn formed a band, Polecat Creek, and resumed singing in public, building a base of fans and earning critical acclaim. Her recording career—enabled by the same inexpensive digital production and distribution that’s brutalized record companies—began in her 40s. Her friend Diana Jones, a Nashville singer-songwriter, also hit her stride in her own time. She won a Folk Alliance nomination three years ago as Emerging Artist of the Year—at age 41. The music biz thrives on teen spirit, not late blooms; artists who spend their youth raising kids or who “emerge” on a generational downbeat are consigned to work off the grid. But the grid itself is crumbling, and in the cracks exposed, older, idiosyncratic musicians are finding sustenance. Like Laurelyn and Diana, they give “Top 40” a whole new meaning.

Songs in the Key of Life
by Mike Harris, UNCG Alumni Magazine
Summer 2008

She’s out of her comfort zone. Those earlier plays had an Appalachian and gospel feel. She grew up with those sounds. Not this one. She’s had to research and explore, to “hunt and peck” as she says, soaking up Caribbean music and Celtic reels and sea chanties. “I need to get it in a pirate language.”

What had she known about Blackbeard? “I didn’t even know he was real. I thought it was like Paul Bunyan.”

She soon came to know more than most about the pirate who inspired terror from the Caribbean to the North Carolina coast. Ocracoke and Bath, where he knew the royal governor, were two of his old haunts. read the full article at UNCG Alumni Magazine.


The Swashbuckling Adventures of Preston and Laurelyn

by Bill Cissna, Greensboro Monthly Magazine
Summer 2008

Bloody Blackbeard is the largest production Preston Lane and Laurelyn Dossett have conceived to date. In addition to musicians, the show puts 20 actors on stage, set in the period of Blackbeard’s life, which was roughly 1680 to 1718.

When Lane studied the history of Blackbeard the pirate, he says he felt that the story of the man and the legend could make a good play — “but not without music.” Lane turned to Dossett to not only create the tunes, but to manage how the music would be played during the performances.

“It was a funny thing as a songwriter,” Dossett says. “Many North Carolina musicians have written Blackbeard songs, but I wanted to avoid a specific ballad about Blackbeard. The songs I have been creating needed to be appropriate for pirates, and the lyrics are more about telling the story than relating his history.”

Read the full story.


Playing Around with Music

by Grant Britt, special to Go Triad
March 16, 2006
There’s no hint of the mountains in Laurelyn Dossett’s speaking voice. And until you look down at her boot-shod feet, there’s no hill country vibe in her dress either.

She looks like your Hollywood ideal of the average suburban housewife – petite, blond and pleasant.

But people who live in the Triad know Dossett best for her musical talents. Dossett is a mountain-top troubadour, a vibrant soprano who sounds like a blend of Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch. She makes music from on high.

Harmonic Progression

by Ed Bumgardner, Relish staff writer
July 8, 2004

“I’m trying not to have a lot of expectations,” Laurelyn Dossett said, talking from her home in Greensboro [about Polecat Creek]. “Besides, all that stuff is secondary to me. I just like to sing, particularly with Kari. Something happens when we sing. When we sing, the two voices are indistinguishable. We certainly have things we want to accomplish as a band, but at the same time, we are pretty content where we are.”

Still …

Riley Baugus, the group’s fiddle and banjo player, performed on the soundtrack for the film Cold Mountain. He was also a high-profile performer on the recent Great High Mountain tour, headlined by Alison Krauss and Ralph Stanley.

And in April, Dossett’s song “Come By Here” won first place for best gospel song at the Chris Austin Songwriter’s Contest at MerleFest, the annual four-day roots-music festival held at Wilkes Community College.

Another of her songs placed fourth in the category for best country song.

More …

Playing in the band