Lauren Wahl recalls being nervous singing harmony vocals on stage with her sister nine years ago with the band Bluetail Flies. Now, she’s not only a lot more comfortable on stage, she’s got her own band, and pushing her debut EP for her group, Lauren Wahl and Simply Put.
She started writing songs six years ago, after she took up the guitar. But for the most part, she only did a couple of open mics. She’d played in other groups, too, like the Wild Rovers and Flypaper Blues. Now she’s taking her songs that have mostly been confined to her bedroom out into the Santa Cruz scene.
“I’ve had this ambition for a long time,” Wahl says. “The songs have been around for years. I’ve been waiting to record them. So it’s been really neat to see everything take shape and come to life with everyone’s parts. I’m super excited.”
Initially, Wahl expected to record a solo album, but then she met fiddle player Mariah Roberts when both accompanied Austin Shaw at his EP release show in 2015. That initial recording time fell through. When she re-booked it for the beginning of this year, not only did she bring Roberts, but she had a full band, which included Mike Kelly on bass, Zen Perry on drums, Justin Hambly on guitar, and Dylan Short on keyboards.
“Everybody just kind of came together and wanted to play, and it just became this full band we weren’t expecting at all,” Wahl says. “The songs just come to life. They’re the same songs, but it’s different to hear them with an entire band behind them. [I’m] becoming more comfortable with myself and not feeling like I need to fit in with a certain genre or cater to a certain sound. I feel like it’s just OK whatever it is.”