Sing Out! Magazine writes, "Laura Orshaw is that rare player who certainly has the chops, but also plays with great emotion and drive...Aside from her obvious ability as a player it quickly becomes apparent what a fine accompanist her father is. His drive matches hers for an exciting listening experience...Besides her talented fiddling, Laura is also a fine singer...Laura Orshaw is certainly a player to watch."
Dirty Linen's review of Laura's last recording stated, "this is a fiddler of seemingly boundless energy. With finesse, style and a contagious joy, Orshaw attacks each piece."
Bluegrass North Magazine adds, "From the first bow of "North Carolina Breakdown" to the last note of "Soppin' the Gravy", Laura Orshaw's second CD of old time fiddle tunes is joyfull energy....Her own tunes capture the essence of old time and stand well beside chestnuts such as "The Star of Munster" and "Flying Indian".... Laura sings "The House Carpenter" in a rich, strong voice as pleasing as her fiddling and well suited to the old time themes....Laura Orshaw serves up an excellent feast of old time and old sounding tunes with energetic but tasteful playing."
At age 8, Laura learned to play the mandolin and guitar from paternal grandmother and regional old time musician, Betty Orshaw. Laura started playing the fiddle at age 10 and by age 13 had recorded the highly acclaimed release, The Grizzly Bear Chair, featuring 18 cuts of Celtic, Bluegrass, Old Time and original fiddle music. Her influences are many and varied including; Hazel Dickens, Alice Gerrard, The Blue Sky Boys, Molly O'Day, Rose Maddox, The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Peter Rowan, Norman and Nancy Blake, The Del McCoury Band and The Freighthoppers to name only a few.
Laura can be heard and seen at festivals, dances and coffee houses throughout the North East with the four piece retro Bluegrass band, The Lonesome Road Ramblers or as a duet with her father, Mark Orshaw on guitar. Playing over 150 shows in 2003/2004, Laura balances performing with school work and teaching fiddle.
Grandad's Flying Squirrels was recorded by Will Russell at Wilburland, Newfield, NY. Artwork for the project was provided by Tim Tryon of Cortland, NY with studio photography by Jim Smith, Smith Photography, Sayre, PA.
Musicians include: Laura Orshaw, fiddle; Mark Orshaw, guitar and mandolin; Ron Markell, frailing banjo.
Instruments used for this recording:
Sofia Violin by Pencho Penev
1941 Martin D-18 guitar
Alvarez Denver Belle banjo
Wooldridge F Style mandolin
The gracious liner notes for Grandad's Flying Squirrels were written by Ithaca, NY fiddler, Judy Hyman....
I first heard of Laura through her first solo album,
The Grizzly Bear Chair, which she recorded at age 13
after four years of playing the fiddle. Will
Russell, who engineered it, gave me a copy and said,
"Check this out. She can really play". So when she
started to come to my house after that for fiddle
lessons, I had an inkling of her abilities, but I
wasn't prepared for how much fun she would be to work
with and how easily she would absorb new tunes. Her
passion for fiddling and natural musicianship are what
you're always looking for in players of a new
generation. She is developing her repertoire at a
ferocious pace, inhaling new tunes whole. Then, after
living with them a bit, she makes them her own.
On this second album, she's chosen tunes from several
different traditions-old-time, bluegrass, Irish --
plus a few originals. Her sources are varied - from
Doc Watson to the Bing Brothers to John Hartford to
fiddling friends to her own creativity. And while
Laura may see herself as mostly a fiddler at this
point, her singing and songwriting on New Deal Train
are impressive and her abilities as a tunesmith are
exciting. Laura's technical ability has grown
enormously since that last album. Sometimes she plays
with the blazing speed of youth and sometimes she
plays a relaxed tempo with an easy confidence that
transcends her age.
Always, she makes you eager to follow the story that
will be hers.
Judy Hyman is internationally recognized for her rhythmic fiddling which transcends old-time, rock and pop. Judy was recently featured on the cover of Fiddler Magazine and is well known along with husband, Jeff, for her work with the Ithaca NY based, Horseflies. Judy also tours with Natalie Merchant. Visit her website www.judyhyman.com.
What other folks are saying about Laura.........
"this is a fiddler of seemingly boundless energy. With finesse, style and a contagious joy, Orshaw attacks each piece"
--Dirty Linen Magazine
"Laura Orshaw is that rare player who certainly has the chops, but also plays with great emotion and drive".
"an extremely talented musician with unlimited potential"
"Laura also has a very beautiful singing voice and when asked to sing, enthralls any audience she is performing for.....she is a very accomplished young lady and could stand beside such fiddlers as Bonnie Rideout or the Scottish fiddler Ally Bain, to mention but two."
--Stuart Garratt, Trance-Media2000, UK Radio Promotions
Check out the artist's website:
1. North Carolina Breakdown (Trad.)
2. Masons Apron/Star of Munster (Trad.)
3. New Deal Train (L. Orshaw)
4. Grandad's Flying Squirrels (L. Orshaw) DDAD
5. Quince Dillion's High D (Trad.) ADAE
6. Wednesday Night Waltz (Clark Kessinger)
7. Bonaparte's Retreat (Trad.) DDAD
8. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again (Cox)
9. Rock the Cradle Joe/Julia Delaney (Trad.)
10. Bigler on the Gallows (L. Orshaw)
11. Blackest Crow (Trad.) AEAE
12. Jillian's Chair (L. Orshaw)
13. The House Carpenter (Trad.) AEAE
14. The Flying Indian (Trad.)
15. The Girl I Left Behind Me/The Gal I Left Behind (Trad.)
16. Soppin' The Gravy (Trad.)