Photo by Gary Box
She began playing keyboards as a small child, her grandmother noticing she was playing “These Boots are Made for Walking'” the Nancy Sinatra hit, on her toy Magnus Chord Organ. Later sought out by shopping malls and department stores as a young girl, she started writing her own songs and designing her own ‘album covers.’ This led and inspired her for her future careers, which also include graphic design.
Not only a fan of progressive music such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, and others, the hometown boys Kansas played a big part in her influential years, as well.
Before setting out for her initial record contract, she collaborated with Gilli Smyth of “Gong” on a self-released ‘tape’ titled “Dreamscapes.” “Dreamscapes” was released by the U.S.- arm of Voiceprint, and soon after, she began label shopping for a longer-lasting deal.
A composer and keyboardist, LaRue became the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records label (SOAR) Natural Visions sublabel. Her debut release was titled “Beloved Tribal Women,” produced by Will Alexander (keyboard tech to Geoff Downes, Herbie Hancock, and many other great keyboard players). The CD also received accolades for being a first in combining art with music. The CD booklet featured 14 paintings by the most awarded female Native American artist in the world, Joan Hill. The idea was, “A picture paints a thousand words,” so naturally, the music was instrumental, letting the art inspire the listener. Since, she has released “Children’s Songs in the Cherokee Language,” “That Ol’ Sofkee Spoon,” “Ama,” “Transformation 2012,” “World Class” released as Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, “Fast and Blue”, “Sussuration” with 2KX, “Beautiful Life” and “Sonic Landscapes” with Federico Fantacone.
“World Class” became known as one of the first projects recorded long distance via internet-transfer. The title was inspired by the fact that the participants in the project were located all around the world, including Belgium and the UK. The project, known as Lisa LaRue Project 2K9 became the basis for a permanent band, Lisa LaRue 2KX which included extensive work with co-producer, vocalist and guest bassist John Payne (Asia featuring John Payne, GPS, Dukes of the Orient), and guest appearances by Saga vocalist Michael Sadler.
Lisa has also appeared on recordings by others, including Oliver Wakeman Band guitarist, David Mark Pearce (“Strange Ang3ls” album), Head Transfer Process (Stargazer), Esquire with Nikki Squire (“Stay Low”), Don Schiff, Ryo Okumoto, Oliver Wakeman, Steve Gresswell, Quester and Beyond the Labyrinth.
LaRue was nominated for a Hollywood Music Award in 2008, and was also awarded the Oklahoma Music Awards “Native American Artist of the Year.” Her band 2KX was nominated as Instrumental Band of the Year in 2011 by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
She is married to singer/songwriter/producer and engineer John Baker, who is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Life After Mars, and lead vocalist for LA-based progressive rock band Forever Twelve, formerly with The Little Girls, Christian Love (The Beach Boys), Harvey Sid Fisher and Mars Hollow.
Origins – Lisa LaRue (TBA 2018)
Origins Digital Booklet and Liner Notes ( Download )
Sussuration – 2KX (2014)
Sonic Landscapes with Federico Fantacone (2014)
Beautiful Life Fingerwoven (2011)
Fast and Blue – Lisa LaRue 2KX (2011)
World Class – Lisa LaRue Project 2K9 (Fingerwoven and MALS, Ltd.) (2009)
Transformation 2012 )Fingerwoven) (2008)
Ama (Voices of the Shuka) (Fingerwoven) (2008)
That Ol’ Sofkee Spoon with John “Yafke” Timothy (Fingerwoven and Oyate Music) (2003)
Children’s Songs in the Cherokee Language (Cherokee Nation CRC) (2001)
Beloved Tribal Women (Sound of America / Natural Visions) (1994)
Dreamscapes (Voiceprint US)
No Spare Planet – Esquire (Nikki Squire) (2016)
Stargazer – Head Transfer Process (2012)
Strange Ang3ls – David Mark Pearce (2011)