I recently had the thrill of catching Denver artist Katey Laurel play two shows in 24 hours, and I was fascinated watching her perform in two very different environments. The first was a Friday night solo acoustic set at Solid Grounds Coffee House in Littleton, Colorado. Laurel was charming, engaging, and playfully interacting with the audience between songs. Katey was kind enough to let us come see her on a night she was debuting some new material, turning the evening into something of a songwriter’s showcase.

With honesty and humility, Laurel played some great tunes that sounded at once familiar and fresh. “Indian Summer” and the solid country/rock tune “Make Hay” were among the highlights of the evening, with the beautiful “Tree” and “Longest Day” tying the set together nicely.

Katey Laurel’s acoustic set really testifies to her abilities as a song-writer. Her songs in the raw are solid, melodic, and full. Truly, one of the most enjoyable artists in this setting I’ve seen in some time.

The next afternoon, however, I was lucky enough to catch up with Katey Laurel with her full band at a community festival in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. I must say, Katey looked right at home on a big stage with big sound, the sun beating down and crowd to win over.

With a full band I heard many of the same songs I’d heard the night before, but in fuller, richer presentations. Not to say she lacked anything solo, but the band was fantastic, and truly enjoyed the experience of playing together. Katey and company have, no doubt, worked hard in bringing these songs to life for the live stage, but by the looks of it, you’d have thought they were just having fun. Seems the good ones enjoy it in the moment, and leave the “work” aspect of it in the rehearsal room.

I am thrilled to have caught both sides of the Katey (there’s an old blues reference in there) and been able to see her on both ends of the spectrum. She’s an artist’s artist, talented songwriter and fantastic performer. To top it all off, she’s a total sweetheart with a great heart, taking time after the shows to talk with kids and adults alike (not just about music either, as I overheard a hilarious interaction with a little girl about her clothes), sign Cd’s and take pictures.

Though focused and driven, she has no rock-star mentality… and we at Nanobot love her for it. If you get the chance to see Katey in any setting, take it. I’m certain you’ll find her music – and her – witty, enjoyable, and beautiful.

Nanobot recently had the chance to chat with Katey, and a delightful conversation. Read it here.