Press / radio AND TV appearances

"Laura Pursell, singer in studio, we had a blast! Her daddy, Bill Pursell's collaboration on CD, MAGIC!!"
- Mother Love Show, LA Talk Radio

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THE LOS ANGELES BEAT Live Show Review Jennifer K. Hugus - January 14, 2016

"It was a night of song, celebration, and proverbial time travel on the evening of January 10th as father-daughter duo Bill and Laura Pursell took the stage at Studio City’s swanky Vitello’s restaurant and nightclub, all the while taking us back to the swing era and beyond!...

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The Los Angeles Beat
Bill and Laura Pursell’s Victorious Performance at Vitello’s: A Sentimental Familial Hit and Lesson in Virtual Musical Time Travel!
Posted on January 14, 2016 by Jennifer K. Hugus
Photos Courtesy of Bill Dow Photography

Laura Pursell Live at Vitello's
It was a night of song, celebration, and proverbial time travel on the evening of January 10th as father-daughter duo Bill and Laura Pursell took the stage at Studio City’s swanky Vitello’s restaurant and nightclub, all the while taking us back to the swing era and beyond! Festooned with rich red show curtains, the stage-clad scenery and a three piece orchestra thrilled to the audience’s every whim as Ms. Pursell herself played consummate hostess/emcee and lounge singer alike!

“I don’t have a list of the order…” she informed us, but not before attempting to hammer things out with her dad in a most funny familial fashion, later adding, “He’s 89 everybody. See? This is what 89 looks like,” to thunderous applause!

She commenced the set with one of their signature songs, "Last Dancehall Left in L.A", and would croon it in an rousing encore upon audience members’ (including yours truly’s) special request due to its soothing singularity. A number I could swear I’ve heard before, it just had that certain, somewhat sultry, American songbook quality centering around a celebrated but now long sealed up dance hall in Culver City.

Other scintillating standards would include: "I can’t help it if I’m still in Love with You," "I’ll be Seeing You (In all the Old Familiar Places)" —otherwise known as ‘The Goodbye Song’ as termed by Ms. Pursell about which she further confessed, “I never sang this song before, and we didn’t know what to do with it, [but we] put an incredible string arrangement behind it.” And darned if a full orchestra of unmistakable cellos and violins didn’t sound out of the keyboardist’s fingertips! – "Route 66," "The Lady is a Tramp," and "Almost like Being in Love" (a duet with Donny Most) to name a few…

The three piece orchestra was just top notch and performs with Ms. Pursell every Thursday night at Mixology 101 at The Grove. Upon Ms. Pursell’s disclosure that the keyboardist played with Barry Manilow, the child-of-the-70s in me couldn’t help but geek out over it for a split second!

To top off the former, the bassist looked just a trifle bit like Tom Cruise, particularly when smiling; (well Tom Cruise and the lead singer from Better than Ezra if you took into consideration his lighter brown, slightly wavy hair.) But once called to my attention by my date for the evening, I simply could not unsee the apt comparison! Moreover, said resemblance and the erstwhile reference to the keyboardist’s dealings with Mr. Manilow, merely enhanced the cross generational texture and intrigue of the night as an added bonus!

Laura Pursell Live at Vitello's
In keeping with the above:

“Karen Carpenter is my favorite singer… I still figure skate to Karen Carptenter,” A multi-talented Laura Pursell admitted before gracefully sliding right into the opening chords of “Love look at the two of us; strangers in many ways…” aka The Carpenters’ "For all we Know."

Moving even further along…

Pursell would eventually introduce Donny (Don) Most (aka Ralph Malph from the hit 70’s sitcom Happy Days) as “my new best friend,” thusly making best friends with the audience in kind as his smile was positively infectious and his sound, breathtakingly swing-style authentic – on this night in particular! The mood would only escalate in giddiness from there as the two produced a buoyant duet in the form of "You Can’t Take that Away from Me!": One of my most favorite and exultant swing songs on par with Neil Sedaka’s "Laughter in the Rain" and 10cc’s (of the 70s) "The Things We do For Love"!

Laura Pursell Live at Vitello's
Thereafter we were all reminded that Donny Most has been singing since the age of 14 starting where much of it started, in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York—and it truly shows!

“I want to do something Bobby did and I loved,” Most would continue (post-duet) all the while referring to his prime idol Bobby Darin as he swung right into to a buoyant rendition of "Up a Lazy River" after which Ms. Pursell would admit, “I don’t want to follow that! I love his energy!”

But follow she would for the remainder of an evening just as sophisticated and smiling as ever, even turning around at certain points to conduct her three piece orchestra of men in most graceful and refined fashion! “Let’s bring it down a little bit. I want it funkier,” she would eventually tell her orchestra before going straight into "Peel me a Grape."

The crowd, to speak nothing of their sentiment was just as luminous as the presences and performances onstage:

“Ray Clausen my uncle and a producer is in the audience!” disclosed Pursell

“Tony Russell who works on AT & T Broadband commercials is here,” exclaimed Pursell. “Though he knows nothing of AT&T Broadband, I do all his facebook posts!”

Laura Pursell Live at Vitello's
Others in the crowd included: Kate Linder “from dance class” (the multi-faceted Pursell’s dance class that is) but otherwise known to most of the rest of us as Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless, Dee Wallace best known for her harrowing and sprightly portrayal of Elliott’s and eventually E.T.’s “mom” in E.T., Chris Trousdale best known as Austin & Ally’s Rupert, Carolyn Hennesey aka Diane Miller on General Hospital and lest we forget, Barb of Cougar Town, the multi-talented, congruently musical, Ilene Graff most widely known as Marsha Owens of Mr. Belvedere fame, Ro Brooks of The Haves and Have Nots, Lynnie Garrett, from Hidden L.A., noted Los Angeles Guitarist Adrian Galysh, Jazz guitarist Barry Zweig whom Pursell would refer to as “my guitar player” and last but not least Sharon Carz, “my figure skating coach” Pursell proudly declared!

“I’ve known Laura for a long time,” admitted a proud Kate Linder. “I’m a tap dancer and we met in a jazz [dance] class but she actually performed at a party for my parents for their sixtieth wedding anniversary so of course I will support her in anything she does. She is an amazing talent and it’s so special that she’s here. Her father is performing as well and playing for her at 89!”

“He’s a legend,” exclaimed Dee Wallace of Bill Pursell. “I just thought it was so beautiful to be able to experience watching them perform together… But man isn’t he amazing up there? This is our favorite kind of music. And she’s very down to earth. We’re really, really enjoying this…”

Laura Pursell Live at Vitello's
“Laura Pursell is just wonderful,” proclaimed an enthusiastic Ilene Graff. “And my favorite part about this show is her relationship with her dad. They have such musical respect for each other and such enormous affection and it’s just so much fun to watch their interaction… It’s such a wonderful up and buoyant evening!”

CDs were readily available just outside the entrance for $15 each. And at a certain point in the evening, it was admitted that particular tunes of theirs were remastered on Austin Powers: “Music to Shag By”.

“I think we should go on the road Dad!” Pursell would later exclaim with a flourish—and righteously so!

http://thelosangelesbeat.com
THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN, Roy Montana- July 2015

“The songs… create a timeless feeling, from the title track - a look-back at a bygone era of ballroom dancing and elegance - to reimagined covers of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline that cross musical borders effortlessly. The arrangements… are lush yet intimate, allowing Laura Pursell plenty of room for her sincere, expressive style…”

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ONLY THE MOON HOWLS / The Hollywood Fringe Festival, June 6 - July 18, 2015

From posted reviews on the Hollywood Fringe Festival website:
"A testament to the healing power of art.."
"Laura's performance is heartbreaking ..."
"...a beautiful and heart-breaking show with engaging, moving, layered performances by its actors. Laura Pursell is a revelation with her sensitivity, vulnerability and deep emotional access. I left the show deeply moved."

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L.A. JAZZ SCENE, Harvey Barkan - May 2012

“Pursell's singing was warm, welcoming and well done with personality that appealingly came through. I certainly enjoyed seeing and hearing her work...”

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A NIGHT OF JAZZ STANDARDS
Barry Zweig, Ron Anthony and Laura Pursell
by Harvey Barkan

"Hearing (Ron Anthony's and Barry Zweig's) support of Laura Pursell's spirited vocals of standards, including 'This Can't Be Love', 'Crazy Rhythm' and 'Pennies from Heaven' with both guitarists, and 'You Go to My Head' with Anthony only, brought to mind the saying that well-played guitar can be a vocalist's best friend. Pursell's singing was warm, welcoming and well done with personality that appealingly came through. I certainly enjoyed seeing and hearing her work."
VALLEY SCENE MAGAZINE - June 2010

“...With Laura's delightful renditions of jazz standards... your heart and soul will be uplifted, leaving you feeling lighter and brighter. Laura sings with such depth, the meaning of the words come to life during her cool, smooth delivery...”

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"Smooth Jazz Singer LAURA PURSELL at Quaint Italian Eatery CIAO CRISTINA in Toluca Lake: A Perfect Fit"

A secret hideaway, tucked between Burbank and Toluca Lake, is CIAO CRISTINA, a unique family run Italian eatery featuring live jazz by fabulous vocalist, Laura Pursell, accompanied by gifted guitarist/composer/teacher, Ron Anthony every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8-11pm. With Laura's delightful renditions of jazz standards and Ron's stunning solos, your heart and soul will be uplifted, leaving you feeling lighter and brighter. Laura sings with such depth, the meaning of the words come to life during her cool, smooth delivery. Effortlessly complemented by Ron's brilliant chord and line work, is Laura's terrific technique, beautiful phrasing, and soothing style.

Laura enjoys the relaxed vibe, the people, the intimate setting at Ciao Cristina. "The staff is tremendous and the food is incredible. It feels like you're home." People communicate with her all night long. One customer even brought a jazz book for her to sing from.

Ron loves the challenge of playing three nights a week with Laura because he gets to be the keyboards, bass, and drums. "Laura has great intonation, timing, and ears. She sings in tune so well that I can change keys and she intuitively follows."
Indie-Music.com: SOMEWHERE IN THIS ROOM chosen as one of the 25 Best Indie Releases of 2008

...Backed by lush instrumentation, this jazz performer pours her buttery vocals over each phrase..."

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Indie-Music.com - 2008 "Somewhere in this Room" chosen as one of the 25 Best Indie Releases of 2008.
by Indie-Music.com

Laura Pursell: Somewhere in this Room

Backed by lush instrumentation, this jazz performer pours her buttery vocals over each phrase. She wrote the lyrics too, with gorgeous melodies by Andrew Bonime. It's a beautifully designed package, from the creative and interesting liner notes to the elegant photos by Mark Robert Halper, within a warm monochrome design. It's so lovely I'd hang it on a wall. It perfectly matches the music too so if you saw it in a store or on line, you'd know that inside was jazz so smooth you could spread it on bread. (Reviewed by Jamie Anderson)

At the start is an overture with a full orchestra. Not sampled strings, mind you, but violins, violas and more. A wistful oboe provides a beautiful melody partway through. It all feels like something that would play over the opening credits of a movie. The film continues with “When You Come Down” -- a message of encouragement floating on a bed of harmonies gently holding her vocals. An acoustic guitar provides interest. She takes a more pop approach with “It Might as Well Be Magic,“ a riffy guitar gluing it together. “Skywriting Neon Lights” is about the guy who got away

Skywriting neon lights
Blazing across the night
You blinded me with beauty every day
The roses I threw away ...

In the liner notes, she says that there really were roses that were dumped in the garbage. Real life is a better inspiration than anything else, especially when you’re singing about regret.

“Not Much to Lose” is a song that ends with a whimper and not, as she says in the liner notes, broken dishes. The liner notes, by the way, are fabulous, not only including the lyrics (too often lacking in many recent releases) but her inspiration for each song. I love reading the stories behind the tunes. Before “The Maple Tree,” she laments that as a chid she was the one in clunky glasses who was picked last for sports teams. She spent much of her childhood in a favorite tree with a good book. “Me too!” I wanna shout and now look at me, scribbling away about her album. And Laura, I didn’t wear thick glasses but I wore an eye patch and wearing one of those while trying out for the pom squad did not help me get the gig. But, I digress … it’s not just my “me too” moment - lots of us spent our childhood curled up with books. Now look at us. Do you think the former cheerleaders can sing like that? (Or write CD reviews? Okay, now I’m flattering myself. Better move on.)

“My Heart Knows You Were Here” is an achingly beautiful ballad she wrote for a friend who died young. It features only her voice, a rolling piano and light strings.

My absolute favorite is “I’ll Wait.” It builds like a good gospel tune – first the piano chords played with conviction then an organ steals in and slowly it builds to a hallelujah-I-am-FEELING-it gospel choir who tears it up. Amen sister, amen.

The last song with lyrics is “He is Everywhere.” From the title I thought it might be a religious number but it’s not at all. With a dark melody, she sings of a disturbing presence who “saturates your world like amber wine.” Following it is an instrumental version that acts as a finale, just like the music that plays over the end credits of a great movie. So Laura and Andrew, you’ve got the wonderful soundtrack. When can we expect to see the movie?
SOMEWHERE IN THIS ROOM Review by Vivian Fields - June 2, 2008

"...seducing us with a fragile voice as sweet and warm as Karen Carpenter’s in her prime..."

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Laura Pursell’s ‘Somewhere in this Room’ is ‘meticulously crafted and classically arranged’ | June 2, 2008
Reviewed by Vivian Fields
Laura Pursell/Somewhere in this Room

Laura Pursell’s Somewhere in this Room is too beautiful to be categorized as Adult Contemporary. Given that the genre has embodied too much cheese the past couple of decades, laying the Adult Contemporary tag on this meticuously crafted and classically arranged project is too superficial. The first five or so minutes of Somewhere in this Room, the opening “Overture,” is a sweeping instrumental piece that’ll leave you breathless and in awe with its waves of lush violins and evocative piano. Pursell doesn’t even sing on it; it isn’t until the second track, “When You Come Down,” that Pursell is introduced, seducing us with a fragile voice as sweet and warm as Karen Carpenter’s in her prime.

From “Overture” you get the impression that Pursell will pursue chamber-pop on the rest of the CD. Not at all. Pursell veers from the bluesy regrets of “Not Much to Lose” to the bossa nova charms of “When You Smile” to the orchestral masterpiece that is the title cut. Producer Andrew Bonime does an outstanding job of keeping the record consistent even when Pursell strays from one genre to the other. The album is not meant to be sliced into pieces on an iPod; it must be experienced from beginning to end, letting its various parts melt into each other to produce a massively satisfying and hauntingly pretty whole. Somewhere in this Room is nothing less than a work of art.
LAURA PURSELL - "SOMEWHERE IN THIS ROOM" Reviewed by Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, October 11, 2007

“... a work of art put into motion with the angelic voice of Laura Pursell... What I found compelling about this album, besides Laura’s sweet and inviting vocals, was the way she used different styles of musical expressions, sometimes several within one track. At times, you will hear a stinging rock guitar run followed by a jazz infused piano; everything rolls right along to set the mood...”

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LAURA PURSELL - "SOMEWHERE IN THIS ROOM”
October 11, 2007

Somewhere In This Room is a work of art put into motion with the angelic voice of Laura Pursell. If you were to base this recording on the lengthy write up that Laura contributes in the CD booklet before you listen, there is no doubt you will perceive everything quite differently. I took the time to read the introspective outlook the artist has on her world and music, and found that the output of her work matches her philosophy. In retrospect, after listening to this CD several times, I was able to focus on the lyrics and appreciate all of the musical talent that was necessary to make this work. Pursell has a bevy of musicians contributing to her project, and obviously the diversity that was in the studio at the time that this was recorded benefited each track in an exceptional manner.

The recording begins with a lush orchestration befittingly titled “Overture.” This lays the groundwork and sets the expectation for a tasteful musical voyage. ”It Might As Well Be Magic” showcases the singer as budding pop diva with a positive message for ears that are ready to accept it. What I found compelling about this album, besides Laura’s sweet and inviting vocals, was the way she used different styles of musical expressions, sometimes several within one track. At times, you will hear a stinging rock guitar run followed by a jazz infused piano; everything rolls right along to set the mood.

My ears are most appreciative of musical diversification. If a performer’s voice maintains the same tone and level of resonance most of the time, the music behind them needs to change and evolve. If this does not happen, every song sounds the same. We have all heard albums like this; the artist is successful with a certain formula and sound, it sells, so why change and take a chance? This is why I found a love for indie artists long ago. Indies set their own pace and make the music for themselves, not a label or overpaid lawyer looking to keep the bigwigs happy. In the end, the music usually finds appreciative ears.

“Maple Tree” has a simple premise but a good message. The song sounds like something you would hear on a children’s show, and it is even complete with a child chorus. Do not be fooled by the innocence of this track, the lyrics speak of how mean kids can be in the schoolyard; however in the adult schoolyard of life, they can be just as mean and vicious. I depends what perspective you take while listening. Everyone needs a special place to go find serenity and recharge their soul with something spiritual like nature, like a big maple tree that nobody else visits. I heard the words and was able to reflect upon my own existence, the tears and laughter I experienced throughout life and the love of a quiet walk up the river into the woods to feel in touch with everything I am. Maybe this is being a bit too idealistic for some but the track really hit home after giving it a chance and thinking about the whole picture.

After 11 thought provoking tracks, you find your way to the “Finale” and the show closes out with an impressive musical roar. At times you feel this can be a pop-like syrupy excursion, but if you take the time to read the CD booklet, listen to the words, and process everything presented here, you find much more.rt.
L.A. TIMES Jazz Review By Don Heckman - March 3, 2002

"... vocals in the fashion of such big band canaries as Jo Stafford and Helen Forrest... the rarely heard verse to 'Pennies From Heaven' offered one of the set's few opportunities to hear her dark-toned voice in an unaccompanied setting..."

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Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2002
A BIG BAND TRADITION FROM LAURA PURSELL
Jazz Review
By Don Heckman

Retro was in the air Thursday night with a performance by singer Laura Pursell and her All Star Band at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Echoes of the '40s and '50s--of briskly swinging music, of vocalists whose work was an integral element of an ensemble, of jazz instrumentalists cutting loose over danceable rhythms--filled the room.

Pursell, who has three CDs in release--"It Had to Be Swing," "UnKISSed" and "That's What Christmas Used to Be"--offered her vocals in the fashion of such big band canaries as Jo Stafford and Helen Forrest. Most of the selections came straight out of the top hits chapter of the great American songbook: "Almost Like Being in Love," "Watch What Happens," "Skylark," "Pennies From Heaven."

And the arrangements, virtually all written by Rusty Higgins for a seven-piece ensemble, were reminiscent of the little big band groups that were popular in the West Coast jazz movement of the '50s. Pursell displayed an attractive sense of musical line in her rendering of "Skylark," and the rarely heard verse to "Pennies From Heaven" offered one of the set's few opportunities to hear her dark-toned voice in an unaccompanied setting. When Pursell was joined by singer Julia Holland to romp through upbeat renderings of "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" and "Undecided," the only element missing was a floor full of jitterbugging dancers.
L.A. JAZZ SCENE, Harvey Barkan - May 2012

“Singer Laura Pursell and her All-Star band performed at Spazio for a one-night engagement in December. Pursell is a very attractive singer, with a beautiful voice...”

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LA Jazz Scene, Bob Comden - January, 2002
LAURA PURSELL CD RELEASE PARTY AT SPAZIO
By Bob Comden

Singer Laura Pursell and her All-Star band performed at Spazio for a one-night engagement in December. Pursell is a very attractive singer, with a beautiful voice. She has been performing around town in such venues as The Money Tree, Monteleone's, and has worked in Santa Barbara. She has two CDs out, one with her All-Star ensemble titled, 'It Had to Be Swing' and a Christmas CD, 'What Christmas Used to Be'.

A good sized crowd out to the party on a rainy night in December. The band consisted of Rusty Higgins on sax (who also did most of the arrangments), Carl Saunders - trumpet/flugelhorn, Andy Martin - trombone, Jon Kurnick - guitar, Paul Gormley - bass, Chuck Hoover - piano, and Ray Brinker - drums. The set opened with a couple of Christmas classics done in a very swinging mood, 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Let it Snow', with great solos from Higgins, Saunders, Martin, and Hoover.

Pursell started with an uptempo 'Paper Moon'. 'It Had to Be You' had a nice, happy feel to it. Higgins' sax was featured on this one. 'When I Fall in Love' was more mellow and Pursell sang beautifully, aided by a lyrical solo from Martin. Other memorable tunes included 'Almost Like Being in Love', 'Watch What Happens', and 'I Hear Music' closed out an enjoyable evening of jazz.
Laura Pursell Acting Demo ReelLaura Pursell Singing Demo Reel



Recent radio AND TV appearances

JANUARY, 2016:
Live television interview along with her father, Bill Pursell, on
KCAL TV CHANNEL 9, LOS ANGELES, NEWS AT NOON


FEBRUARY, 2016:
Interview with
JOAN QUINN on JOAN QUINN PROFILES, Los Angeles Channel LA36

Laura Pursell interviewed by Joan Quinn


UPCOMING 2016:
Interview for
GOLDMINE - The Music Collector's Magazine


"I enjoyed your interview on Yesterdayusa.com I plan on reviewing your site and following your career. Warmest Regards."
Ray Mitchell
USA RADIO NETWORK
Richardson, TX


"I did buy your new CD and I listened to it yesterday on my drive home. The CD is pure Joy! Some of the greatest songs ever written arranged in a new and powerful way. This is wonderful medicine for my brain. I will be listening to it again and again. As well as playing it on air. Thank you. Brian and I enjoyed having you on the show. We will have you back soon."
THE LEE & BRIAN SHOW (Regional - PA/NJ/DE)
Vineland, NJ


"Laura Pursell, singer in studio, we had a blast! Her daddy, Bill Pursell's collaboration on CD, MAGIC!!"
MOTHER LOVE SHOW
LA Talk Radio


"Laura, Speaking with you was a true honor and pleasure. You have an abundance of talent with one of the most beautiful voices I've ever listened to. I wish you the best in your career, and thanks for taking the the time with me. Sincerely Ray Carr"
RAY CARR SHOW
Cleveland, OH


UPCOMING:
SELDOM SAID (New York City - NPR)
MR. MEDIA (Skype perf)
HIGHLIGHT HOLLYWOOD (Syndicated print and online column)

"A work of art put into motion with the angelic voice of Laura Pursell..."


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For appearances or interviews, please contact
Harlan Böll at B. Harlan Böll PR - Tel: 626-296-3757

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