Riffs Acoustic Music will present Lash LaRue on Thursday
Park City’s Americana-rock and folk band Lash LaRue is no stranger to Riffs Acoustic Music.
The band — fiddle player Karri Dell Hays, vocalist Elaine Berns, guitarist/vocalist Jack Walzer, lead guitarist/vocalist Cole Hobbs and upright bassist Mark Viar — has performed for the venue’s Full Moon concert series twice.
Well, the third time will be a charm when Lash LaRue returns to Riffs on Thursday, Hays said.
"We’re excited to perform at Riffs," Hays told The Park Record during an interview. "It’s special and kind of like the ASCAP Music Café at Sundance. It’s intimate and people don’t sit and chat while the music is playing.
It’s not like a bar or a wedding when the music becomes a background soundtrack to people’s conversations or dining.
"At Riffs, people buy tickets to be there and they are there to hear musicians play," Hays said. "The audience is there to see them specifically."
During these types of performances, Lash LaRue tends to up its game.
"We also play songs that we don’t normally get to play because when we play parties and bars, we have to keep the energy up and play upbeat songs and not the ballads or slower songs so much," Hays explained. "This way we get to focus a little more on Elaine’s voice, which is really nice."
The band is looking forward to playing its two-hour set.
"Jack is mainly our songwriter in the band and he has written several new ones," Hays said. "As a group, we have also trying to write more songs as a band and that has been our main focus in the past six months."
The set will also feature some cover tunes.
"Our signature as Lash LaRue has been to mine little nuggets of songs that we find all over the place from classic artists that no one hears anymore or artists that we find through our travels," Hays said. "Jack and I go to New Orleans almost every year and there is a wellspring of musicians there that no one knows about or seen but us."
The two attend concerts to find these artists and purchase their music.
"We learn the songs and bring the artists, in a sense, to Park City by playing these tunes," Hays said. "It’s a great way to get their music out. We tell people who they are and what they’ve done."
In addition to originals and the obscure selections, Lash LaRue is planning to play some familiar covers as well.
"We do a lot of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, too," Hays said. "That’s who we have been and we’ve been moving more into our new work."
When the band plays covers, each song, in a sense, becomes a Lash LaRue song.
"It’s because when we play them, it’s impossible for us to copy them the way the originals sound," Hays said. "Sometimes it’s because you don’t have the same instruments or voices. I mean, the girls in Lash LaRue sing songs that were originally sung by men. That, alone, gives a different feel and flavor to these tunes."
During the Riffs show, the band members will focus more on their musicality and vocal abilities.
"This will be fun because it presents an opportunity to play songs we really love," Hays said. "We are still the same band as we were years ago and we all get along well and love playing with each other. That’s why we’re still together."
Lash LaRue’s next big project will be recording an album.
"We haven’t produced an album and that’s been like a thorn in our sides because we have wanted to for the longest time, but we want to be able to make it with all original music," Hays said. "Now, we’re thinking about making an album that will be a mix of originals and covers. We may record this show to be included on a new release."
Now is the time for that, she said.
"Since we have spent all of these years together, we have discovered our sound," Hays said. "When Jack writes a song, he is aware of our musicality and when we bring our instruments in to play those songs, we feel that’s what makes these songs Lash LaRue songs. It’s our collective interpretations of playing, singing, electric and acoustic instruments and a washboard."
Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr., will present Lash LaRue on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. The performance is part of Riffs Full Moon Concert Series. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 435-647-1940.
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