It seems to be human nature that many of us are afraid of change yet for others, change is the catalyst for helping discover new passions in life.
Take for instance Nova Scotia musician Laura Merrimen. Widely acclaimed for her 2010 album Love Letters For Lonely Hunters, her debut effort sported a sound that was rooted in Americana and roots. These days however, Merrimen is currently putting the finishing touches on a still untitled album that sees her moving in more of a rock n’ roll direction.
Despite the change in musical direction, Merrimen has not disavowed her association with roots music by any means.
“I come from a very musical family,” she says. “My love of roots and country music could go right back to my grandparents with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Music has always been a part of my daily routine. I’ve been singing since I could talk plus both of my parents are musicians as well. Our family get-togethers would often turn into people sitting around playing guitars and singing along.”
Acknowledging that there is a shift in musical direction on her upcoming album that might surprise some, Merrimen hints that her purpose has always been to serve her songs the best they can, genres and categorizations aside. Stating that she is rather proud of the end result, there is no denying that Merrimen is comfortable with the way that her upcoming record has turned out.
“I really like to test myself and change is a big part of that. I love all styles of music and can pull them off so it makes sense in the bigger picture. It is nothing against the genre by any means but I don’t write only country songs so I don’t want to be solely known as a country or folk artist. I see the movement into rock and blues as a natural progression in my career. I am not closing the door on any possibilities, to be honest. My next record could end up being a full-on country album for all I know.”
With a projected release date of May for her new album, Merrimen anticipates that her schedule will be getting a tad busier in the months to come. She anticipates launching the record with a tour of the Maritimes before looking west to the rest of the country to promote the record.
“I am very fortunate to be able to play both solo as well as with a band,” she says. “I love playing in both formats and believe that these days, it is more of a necessity than anything, to be able to wear a number of different hats and expose people to your music any way you can.”
Article published in February 17. 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript