The year 2016 was one of unexpected change for Tampa Bay area blues and soul vocalist Lauren Mitchell. Her romantic and professional life was in turmoil, with the dissolution of a marriage and a parting of ways with her band. But Mitchell is a student of the blues, a music that's all about finding catharsis in difficult experiences. She had an album to make.
That album, Desire, is her most fully realized musical statement yet. Through a bold mix of her own original material, songs hand-picked from the repertoires of her friends, and covers of tunes performed by Etta James, Bettye Lavette, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Betty Davis, Mitchell tells a blues story that's been a lifetime in the making. It's a stylistically varied set of 13 songs recorded by Grammy-winning producer Tony Braunagel, whose work with Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Robert Cray have made him one of today's most in-demand blues professionals.
Recorded during a ten-day trip to Los Angeles, Braunagel brought out the best in Mitchell, highlighting every nuance in her powerful vocals and helping her craft an emotionally resonant album that's destined to go down as one of the year's highlights. Besides Braunagel, the band features guitarists Johnny Lee Schell, Josh Sklair and Jose Ramirez, keyboardist Jim Pugh, bassist Reggie McBride, sax player Joe Sublett, trumpet player Darrell Leonard, and percussionist Lenny Castro. "The blues is a song of victory," Mitchell says. "It's a way to say, 'I'm over it,' and now I'm turning it into this beautiful thing that can help someone else heal. That's what this record is for me."
"A mesmerizing performer with a voice for the ages!"
- Jack Sullivan, Blues Music Magazine "Lauren prowls the stage like a cat waiting to strike. Her powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence will captivate you."
- Larry Lisk, WMNF Radio "I credit the buzz of energy to The Lauren Mitchell Band, with their lead singer looking sassy in denim and red high heels, purring and roaring into the microphone and tossing her curly mop about with true rock star abandon."
- The Scenestress, Sarasota Herald-Tribune "She can deliver a fully sensual version of “I Just Want to Make Love to You” ... then go right into a gospel number without giving her audience whiplash"
-Paul Wilborn, Executive Director, The Palladium
Booking@laurenmitchellband.com (941) 237-0142