How many women would go on tour and perform concerts if they were eight months pregnant? Laura Veirs did, showing up Saturday night (Feb. 28) at Schubas in Chicago, looking very “with child,” as they say. She didn’t act the least bit uncomfortable, however, seeming completely at ease as she performed songs from her excellent new record, July Flame, as well as a good number of older tunes. And despite the fact that she’s about to become a mother, Veirs vowed to be back soon, baby in tow.
It’s been a mystery to me why Veirs hasn’t gained more popularity over the years. She’s made several albums of wonderful folk-rock songs, writing smart lyrics and singing insinuating melodies in an appealingly open, honest voice. She deserves a spot in the top tier of today’s singer-songwriters, but she still doesn’t have a lot of name recognition. She used to be on the prestigious Nonesuch label, but now (like a good number of other artists abandoned by the majors) she is releasing her records on her own label, Raven Marching Band. More power to her.
Veirs’ songs rang out strong and clear Saturday night. And in case anyone wants to try playing those songs, she was selling a July Flame songbook with lyrics, chords and guitar tabs. That’s something I’d like to see more often at merch tables. (I bought one and got Veirs’ autograph. You can buy a copy at Veirs’ Web site.