Lux Land readily admits her life, her music has straddled radically different worlds.
Raised in a sheltered environment devoid of pop culture, television, or even radio, she was “mercilessly teased” as “a bit of a nerd” while attending high school in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I cut classes to be able to read a very good book,” recalls the 27-year-old singer. “I hated high school. I was weird.”
Brian Vander Ark and Lux Land
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Or: Rockford Auditorium of Fine Arts, 4100 Kroes Ave. NE, Rockford
Tickets: $ 25, 863-6317, online at rockfordschools.org/ref
To come up: The couple perform a Valentine’s Day “Celebration of Love Songs” on February 14 at the Peter Martin Wege Theater of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company.
Information: luxlandmusic.com, brianvanderark.com
Then there’s the confident and attractive woman with flowing hair who talks enthusiastically about her 3.5-year-old daughter and rock star husband, all while writing and performing when there’s time and feels good. .
There is the Lux Land who prides themselves on their original material enhanced with a punchy voice, and the one who is hypersensitive to anything that shakes up the “secret and intimate process” of songwriting.
The East Grand Rapids resident sees the benefits of digital recording technology, but admits to being a techie who only recently got her first cell phone.
On the one hand, Land’s music seems to define Acoustic Americana. On the other hand, her discontinued varieties “don’t fit” anywhere – so much so that her website mysteriously calls her music “quivering leaves and Californian soul.” Its Texas producer, Kristy Kruger, even came up with a new term for Land’s music: Ameri-tronica.
No matter how you describe his music or what side of Land emerges in his art, there is no denying the fascinating nature of his songs, the power of his voice.
“I am really my own person in my music. I sound like me,” she offers over a drink at Starbucks in East Grand Rapids. “My business is really melancholy. There is an inner sadness at work all the time.”
Oh, and an inner beauty, the kind you find in the music of artists like Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin.
Still, it’s no surprise that audiences in West Michigan don’t know much about Land as a performer or recording artist, despite her getting set to release her third album, “After the Avalanche. “, this spring.
She lived in northern California, Utah and Idaho before coming to western Michigan four years ago after marrying Brian Vander Ark, singer-songwriter and frontman of the band. rock The Verve Pipe.
Land wondered if she should dive headlong into the local music scene. Her public gigs here have been limited, partly because she won’t perform in smoky bars unsuitable for acoustic solo acts and partly because she is dedicated to raising the couple’s daughter, Evie.
His plan, once the new CD is released by Thursday Night Records of Grand Rapids, is to schedule “listening room” tours across the country.
But lately Land and Vander Ark – who met when Vander Ark’s tour stopped in Utah – have started booking shows together, though they usually perform separately (as they will do on Saturday at Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium benefiting the Rockford Education Foundation).
• Listen to the track Lux Land
“It’s not always a sure thing when we play together,” Land says, noting that some Vander Ark fans aren’t necessarily fans of his music.
And while it can be difficult working under the shadow of her most famous husband, Land insists that it doesn’t deter her from making the best records possible while cultivating a small but loyal following.
“I really love playing music. I never thought it was about fame or money,” she insists. “I just live my life and I love my family, and I travel, and the music comes from these life experiences.… I do it organically and I’m really happy.”
Email to John Sinkevics: [email protected]