FIVE FIRSTS: Laurel Premo of Red Tail Ring

Red Tail Ring

NAME: Laurel Premo
INSTRUMENT: Banjo, fiddle, vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … On my own dime, I remember getting Zap Mama and Alanis Morrisette albums pretty early on. I’m grateful for the presence in my life of one influential uncle who took it upon himself to pepper me with a bag of tapes and CDs pretty often in my young adult life, introducing me some nutrition for my young musical mind. An affinity for prog-rock was one of his greatest gifts to me.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Jahmés Tony Finlayson – an Afro/world music percussionist from Wisconsin.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A cardboard box. My parents bought me some brushes, and I used to play “jazz snare” along to the tunes of my older brother as he was learning standards on the double bass. I was pretty small, and I wanted to do that all day long. Also, we lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so it was a Sorel brand boot box.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Most likely a very simple classical piece for a children’s violin recital. When I was young I studied piano and violin using the Suzuki method, and throughout that time I never sank too deeply into reading music. I was greatly aided by having an older sibling work on the material before me, and getting to have the tunes in my head before I tried to “read” the notes. It was always half reading / half sounding out, and it’s served me alright as a method in my musical life.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … I actually played in a family band as a child and throughout high school. My two parents, my brother and I played folk music together, and kept a pretty busy schedule. It was my first outlet for writing instrumental fiddle tunes and flat picking guitar tunes, and it definitely was my first schooling on running live sound and managing gigs in general. I’ve been wrapping xlr cables for a lot of my life!

The Michigan-based neo-trad folk duo Red Tail Ring – featuring Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp – will share the stage at the newly renovated Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs with the like-minded Evie Ladin Band at 8pm on Friday (January 6). Tickets are $18 in advance; $20 at the door.

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