Real life, real music |

Real life, real music

Jill Beathard
Vail CO Colorado
Special to the DailyDenver musician Katey Laurel will perform at Loaded Joe's in Avon on Saturday. The Westword Singer/Songwriter of the Year nominee has performed at the coffeehouse lounge on several occasions.

AVON, Colorado – Singer/songwriter Katey Laurel returns to Loaded Joe’s in Avon on Saturday, sharing the stage this time with fellow Denver artist Stephanie Mabey.

Laurel released her second studio album “From Here” in January. While she mixed a lot of sounds and styles in her debut album, she went for a more cohesive flow in her second, she said.

“We tried to choose songs that would be most suited for film and television,” she said. “We definitely chose some more moody, dramatic songs in hopes that we could pitch them to some prime time dramas. And then there’s also some light and quirky songs. I think they all flow together.”

Laurel aims to write songs that suit television and film soundtracks. Her song “Begin Again” is featured in the movie “Driving by Braille,” which will appear at the Breckenridge Film Festival.

“The movie itself is sort of a coming-of-age drama about a girl that thinks back on her childhood. From my understanding, because I haven’t seen the movie, she almost ruins her current relationship because she has a flashback about her childhood,” Laurel said. “Where the song is played is where she realizes she needs to reconcile the relationship and begin again.”

Laurel will perform songs from “From Here” Saturday in Avon.

“I love Loaded Joe’s, I grew up in the mountains so any time I get to come back and visit is great. I grew up south of Steamboat,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of support for music and the arts in small towns.”

Laurel has been nominated for Westword Singer/Songwriter of the Year 2011 and will perform at the Denver Westword Music Showcase June 20. She will also perform at the Texaco Country Showdown in Greeley and the Colorado State Fair.

‘The thing he really loves’

Laurel said she and Mabey might play some songs together Saturday.

“She is phenomenal. I really could not say enough good things about her artistry and her music,” Laurel said.

Mabey played at Laurel’s CD release party. She said she knows Laurel well through the music community and conferences they’ve both attended.

Mabey is recording songs of her own right now. The album has taken a turn, she said, in part because she hasn’t settled on a producer.

“What I am going to do is an EP at the end of this month of sort of like stripped-down versions of the songs,” Mabey said. “It just kind of was a fun, organic way to express the songs. I think the songs have something … that can get overshadowed by too much production.”

One song she will include on the EP is “Wake Up Dreaming,” about an Office Max employee who works on sketches during his breaks.

“After seeing ‘Inception,’ that scene where the city looks like it’s folding over, I sat down at the piano. I wanted to capture that feeling of feeling like your reality isn’t really your reality,” she said. “This idea of this guy working at Office Max came to me … working his day job and then on his break working on his passion, the thing he really loves.”

Mabey said her songs are imaginative and often take the perspective of a character. She really relates to the Office Max character.

“Doing my music and then dealing with real life; my music is my thing I get to pour my imagination into and sort of create these characters and this other life,” she said. “But I’m not working at Office Max.”

Mabey also has a song from the perspective of a villain, and another from the perspective of the bearded lady called “The Main Attraction.”

Mabey said she will perform her new songs at Loaded Joe’s on Saturday and bring demos of what she’s recorded so far.

Jill Beathard is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments about this story to

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