Roots musician plays Saturday

By The Curry Coastal Pilot February 12, 2013 11:59 pm

PISTOL RIVER — The Pistol River Concert Association presents the appearance of American roots artist Lauren Sheehan in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Pistol River Friendship Hall, 24252 Carpenterville Road. 

Sheehan interprets songs learned from some of America’s folk and blues artists, according to a news release. Her performances range from unaccompanied ballads to Memphis blues, old-time banjo tunes, and country songs to eclectic modern folk. 

“Like the old songsters, I seem to have a simple destiny with song,” Sheehan said. “I just collect, interpret and play the music that strikes my heart. It’s the power of the strike that pulls me into a particular song.”

Sheehan grew up in New England where she studied classical guitar as a child and became interested in fiddle music at contra dances in Western Massachusetts. She wrote her thesis on American folk music at Reed College before spending a number of years playing in small ensembles touring in New England, Ireland and the Pacific Northwest. 

She retired from teaching in 2003 and dedicated herself to full-time performing and recording.

In 2010, Sheehan was accepted into the Library of Congress with 80 other female roots instrumentalists as part of the MusicBox Project titled “American Women.”

“It’s unbelievable … I am only a little drop in the bucket of oral tradition, but I am a drop in the bucket and wonderful players have passed stuff on to me who have now died,” Sheehan said.  “All this being in the Library of Congress is so cool because other people can hear that.”

Sheehan has been featured on Oregon Public Television’s “Art Beat” and has frequently been heard on NPR; most recently in 2012 during a recording session for an album to accompany the book, “Kalamazoo Gals: the Story of the Extraordinary Women (and a Few Men) Who Built Gibson’s WWII ‘Banner Guitars.’”  

Tickets are $15 and available at Wright’s Custom Framing in Brookings and at Gold Beach Books in Gold Beach. Tickets may also be reserved online at or by calling 541-247-2848.