Lauren is a charismatic 'songster', an interpreter of songs learned from some of America's greatest folk and blues artists. She is known for her voice, which slides through old lyrics like clear water through unaccompanied ballads, to boozy Memphis blues, to old-time banjo tunes, to old country songs and eclectic modern folk. She is a musical shape shifter, in one song making the willow weep and in another making the werewolf howl.
"She is a true entertainer, weaving the stories and history of the music into her performance and connecting with her audience on a personal level." (Gray Eubank, Director, Portland Christmas Revels). "Like the old songsters, I seem to have a simple destiny with song," says Sheehan. "I just collect, interpret and play the music that strikes my heart. It's the power of the strike that pulls me into a particular song."
Lauren grew up in New England where she studied classical guitar as a child and became infected by the spirit of fiddle music at contra dances in western Massachusetts. She wrote her thesis on American folk music at Reed College before spending a number of years playing in small ensembles while founding, administering, and teaching in independent schools.
During this time, she toured in New England, Ireland and the Pacific Northwest. She retired from teaching in 2003 and dedicated herself to full-time performing and recording. One look at her website shows the variety of club, concert, and festival dates she performs in solo, duo, and trio configurations and with the old blues band Eagle Ridin' Papas.
Lauren teaches primarily through ear training, supplementing with tablature and notation. Listening to primary sources is often part of learning a song or developing a style. Lauren starts where a student is and uses student's goals to development lesson program. Developing strong musicality tends to be a distinguishing quality in Lauren's teaching. Most students develop both ear training and reading skills, (tab, music and /or charts). Jamming/playing the music together is often a part of the lessons.
Teacher's Web Site: