More about Laurie
Since surfacing with her remarkable debut, Unspoken, back in 2007, Laurie Levine has meticulously crafted a career that has turned her into a singer-songwriter of real substance. Over a trio of records and countless live performances, the South African-based artist has taken her original material to a growing fanbase, earning multiple accolades along the way.
Among these was a best producer award (for producer Dan Roberts) for the critically acclaimed album, Six Winters (2011) at the annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) in 2012. Levine's second album, Living Room (2009), was also nominated for a SAMA in 2010 and her performances at South Africa's National Arts Festival in the town of Grahamstown in July 2011 earned Levine a highly coveted Standard Bank Silver Ovation award.
Now set to release her fourth full length album, due in August 2013, Levine will once again take her blend of folk, roots and country on the road. Her national tour of South Africa will kick off at the Oppikoppi Festival in early August. She will also be returning to the UK in October as a follow up to her successful 2012 UK tour, during which she received rave reviews.
Her national tour of South Africa will kick off at the Oppikoppi Festival in early August. She will also be returning to the UK in October as a follow up to her successful 2012 UK tour, during which she received rave reviews.
It's no secret why Levine has managed to sustain a career in a home market that's dominated by Gospel, urban and pop - and is now poised for a strong international push.
As her fans know well, Levine's gift lies in her ability to draw on the deep roots of folk music, and mix it in with a myriad of other influences, including from America's Appalachia region and her native South Africa. With the acoustic guitar as her main instrument, her recordings see Levine – and a host of superb musicians – deploy an array of instruments (pedal steel, dobro, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, strings) that add the kind of atmosphere and layers that propel her songs out of simple singer-songwriter territory.
Remarkably, however, Levine manages to locate her contemporary folk stylings with a singularity that only the very best in the genre achieve with ease (the likes of Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss, Anais Mitchell and Emmylou Harris). This has led to critics in South Africa (many of whom have likened her material to Alison Krauss/Robert Plant and Ryans Adams) uniformly praising Levine's output, with all three of her albums making it onto multiple Best Of lists in their respective years.
At the heart of Levine's material is her storytelling ability. Whether tales of grief, loss, sex, betrayal or first loves, Levine's ability to open a door with her words, and let listeners into an intimate world populated by a cast of lovers, strays, strangers is immense. This has given rise to a string of fan favourites and music videos for songs like "Kites", a nostalgic waltz through an early summer love, and "Oh Brother", a sparse but potent track that could easily be an outtake from Krauss and Plant's Grammy winning Raising Sand.
Whether solo or with onstage collaborators, Levine has supported her releases with a slate of live performances that have cemented her standing as an artist of real power – and helped mark her out as a melodious, soulful singer.
Laurie Levine is a prolific songwriter with a soulful voice that breathes life into her songs and embodies the emotional core of her lyrics. Her songs touch our unspoken corners and her sounds are a contemporary interpretation of true folk.
Two South African Music Award (SAMA) nominations and 2012 SAMA winner for best producer for Dan Roberts
Toured the UK November – December 2012 after signing with UK based Bob Paterson Agency (BPA) to rave reviews with headline and key support slots.
Second album "Living Room" in the top 10 albums of 2009 in The Sunday Times
Won a Standard Bank Silver Ovation award in 2011 for her performances at South Africa's biggest festival- the Grahamstown Arts festival
Support act for Joe Jackson and Rodriguez
Performed at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and CBGB's in New York
Has performed at South Africa's leading festivals – Oppikoppi, The Joy of Jazz Festival, Splashy Fen, Levis Vintage Sundays, Mr Price Pro, Old Mutual Emmarentia Concert Series, White Mountain Folk Festival
Her single, 'Tonight' was placed in the Defy TV ad campaign- 2011-2012 while her song, 'Every little thing' was placed in the Eskom (SA's power supplier) TV ad campaign.
PRESS QUOTES & REVIEWS:
"Superior Americana ... remarkable for the quality of Levine's writing, for her delivery ... it all hangs together easily and with a touch of beauty" - UNCUT (UK)
"Her song writing insights and vocal delicacy will be warmly welcomed by those who like folk and country with an individual sparkle". - Daily Mirror (UK)
"This was Laurie Levine's first show on her first ever UK tour but on the basis of this gig she will soon find herself headlining her own tour" - The Bristol Post (UK)
"Singer-songwriter Laurie Levine's music speaks to the heart. Her style of emotive folk has been compared with that of Tori Amos, but Levine is a talent all on her own." - Mail and Guardian (South Africa)