I took Star Anna away from her dinner at the Crocodile Café in Seattle, where she was performing later in the evening. She said it was no problem and we hustled off to a tiny lounge backstage.
She is sincere and engaging, down to earth, beautiful in an all-American way. She smiles frequently, especially when she talks about her music.
Star Anna admits to the music, much of which she writes, being rather dark and very personal. Fellow songwriter and guitarist and backup vocalist Justin Davis also added tracks.
“That’s what makes it so easy for me to sing the songs… Justin and I have experienced the same things, feel the same way. It’s easy to transfer from him to me and keep the essence of the song. We’re all pretty happy people though, and playing the music helps us process and maintain.”
The new CD (their third) features a richer sound than the previous two, due in part to the addition of two new members (Travis Yost and Keith Ash) and the band as a whole recently made the permanent move from Ellensburg (east of the Cascade Mountains) to Seattle.
“The influences for the music is more of a feeling than a genre. We have dedicated fans, because they can relate to the lyrics more than the sound.”
The Crocodile was at capacity for the CityArts festival. It’s a great venue for experiencing artists up close. Soulful and bluesy, solid rock and rockabilly, StarAnna’s powerful voice can be husky and emotional on one song, but clean and wistful on the next. There was something for everyone in their set: with two albums already in circulation and another one due out in the spring, The Laughing Dogs had plenty of material to draw from.
Not afraid to show her vulnerability, StarAnna pours her heart out on tunes such as “Spinning My Wheels” and “Burn”, but knocks out rockers with the sweet agony of “All Her Ghosts.”
The Laughing Dogs have obvious chemistry onstage and it was great to see that they came to the merch table to talk with the fans, despite a crush of people.
StarAnna and The Laughing Dogs play upcoming shows in Portland, OR, Seattle and Montana. Check the web site @ www.staranna.com for details