Personnel includes: Laura Love (vocals, bass); Jen Todd (vocals, acoustic guitar, djembe, celeste piano); Rod Cook (acoustic & electric guitar); Barbara Lamb (fiddle); Chris Leighton (drums, percussion).
Recorded at David Lange Studios, Puyallup, Washington.
Welcome to Pagan Place may be Laura Love's most consistent and successful recording to date, with a seamless weaving of folk, pop, jazz, a tad of rock and blues, and some shimmering reggae here and there. Compositionally Love is always engaging and often even remarkable. She doesn't pretend to be anybody other than what she is, a singer and songwriter. In her genre, she is peerless as a composer. Her deep understanding of rhythm, textures, and instrumental phrasing is singular in the "folk" world. And surrounding herself with musicians such as violinist Barbara Lamb and guitarist Rod Cook doesn't hurt either. A highlight of Welcome to Pagan Place is the gorgeous country ballad "Gonna Rain Hard." The simplicity of the lyric with the earthy sensibility of the acoustic guitars and single-note bassline is perfect, and Love's voice is sublime on the track. The layered vocals on the stomping bluegrass is super, so much so the words just go by until the funky break at the end of the refrain. The fusion of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" and the Beatles "Come Together" is clever, and the bass groove is tremendous. "I Want You Gone" feels like something Wendy & Lisa would do and has the same sexy funkiness that is oh so greasy but squeaky clean at the same time. Love's vocals are again lovely, and there's no doubt that she's a smokin' bass player and a talented musician. ~ Thom Jurek
Dirty Linen (12/03, p.51) - "...WELCOME TO PAGAN PLACE offers a banquet of ideas and music to feed the soul and spirit that engages listeners. The combination is as powerful as it is entertaining. Highly recommended..."