Lauren Monroe “Sparrow” – but you’re not here

Photo: Spencer Sease

Lauren Monroe is an accomplished musician, ‘Sparrow‘ comes from her third album ‘Messages From Aphrodite‘, which features an array of musicians across its tracks.  Who?  Well – Greg Leisz (k.d. lang, Matthew Sweet, Bill Frisell), Tyler Bryant (Larkin Poe), Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams) and David Garza (Fiona Apple), who also plays vibes on one track; bassists Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon), Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and Mai Leisz (David Crosby), keyboardist John Ginty (Neal Casal, the Allman Betts Band); and backing vocalist Tammi Brown (Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones). Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, the Heartbreakers’ Steve Ferrone and young dynamo Beth Goodfellow (Iron and Wine, Allison Russell) anchor the proceedings from behind their drumkits.

Lauren Monroe is also a mental-health advocate, who with her husband Rick Allen founded the Raven Drum Foundation to raise funds for veterans coping with PTSD and others living through trauma.  The two strands of mental health support and music are intimately intertwined as Lauren Monroe explains: “Most of the songs I write are empathetic, but ‘Sparrow’ specifically concerns dealing with grief.  During the pandemic, I kept hearing about families unable to be with their loved ones—husbands and wives, parents and siblings—as they spent their last days on a ventilator and died in a hospital bed, completely alone. In those horrible circumstances, the pain is overwhelming. So when I wrote this song, I cried with them—every person who had to say goodbye over the phone. Because from my experience the only way to get through the pain of loss is to experience it deeply with love and support, not run away from it. To me, music has always been a way through, a guide, a messenger from the other side.


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About Jonathan Aird 1983 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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