"Laurie is a true artist. She opens hearts and sings from a place of depth and love. She held my tough NYC audience with her masterful storytelling, strong lyrics and vulnerable voice, moving them to tears and laughter.  If she is performing anywhere near you, run to see her. You will not be disappointed; you will be transformed.” - KATHRYN

— KATHRYN'S HOUSE CONCERT SERIES, NYC

Would you like to take a first class trip into the mind of a very talented, very sensitive and truly sweet girl? Well, get your hands on a copy of ASCEND, the new CD by Laurie McClain. It's like a breath of the proverbial fresh air and will very much touch your emotions in a most valuable way (if you're up for that sort of thing). Track four, "Some Forgotten Dare", is worth the price of "a ticket" many times over!  Other favorites: "Rosy Glasses" and ""Ask My Soul".Sincerely, Steve” - -STEVE FORBERT
Laurie McClain has got to be from another planet. I've never met anyone -- except maybe Richie Havens -- who is so open-hearted & full of love for humanity, yet who appears to experience life on a different plane than everybody else. The world is a harsh place for souls like these, and music seems to be their tool for making sense of it. Laurie's music is as innocent as it is informed by experience, as playful as it is rooted, and as detail-oriented as it is grand in scope. Lucky for the rest of us, she's translated her Earthly experience onto record, and called it Ascend. ” - DEVON SPROULE, Americana singer/songwriter
By the time I finished listening to Ascend for the first time I knew it would be on my top 10 list for the year. Laurie's songs just reach in and grab you. This collection in particular takes you on a the kind of emotional ride worth standing in line for. The presentation and performance of these well crafted songs makes you feel as if you have a front row seat to a private concert with a performer you have known your whole life. I love this record!” - Matt Watroba

— Sing Out! Radio Magazine

Laurie McClain has always had a goal. Her long term plan was never sidelined but there were other pieces to take care of first. Life came a-calling. Laurie spent most of her time in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving to Nashville in 1997. Though not a full time touring machine, she made a name for herself in the Americana and Folk markets. While raising her three daughters, Laurie fine tuned her chops, building on her natural abilities for songwriting and performing. The time has come for the world to get Laurie’s undivided attention. Her daughters are raised and a full time music career is now in complete focus.           Vocally, there is a fragility to her voice even as she tackles tough topics and injects venom with a gentle touch on lines like “my boyfriends have ranged from bland to abusive once the initial excitement became elusive” a situation that leads to “black-eye lies” (‘Too Soon to Tell’). The instrumentation moves between country tinged fiddle and banjo (‘Somewhere in Kentucky’) and rolling riffed, harmonica infused blues (‘Angry Ways’). Her most recent release, ‘Ascend’, collects and offers styles as currency and the till is full. The album contains honest stories, earnestly delivered and confidently played. The result is that it makes you wonder, was it Laurie who was waiting to move into full time music or was it the world that was waiting to get a chance to experience Laurie.”

Alternate Root Magazine

Laurie McClain "Ascend," 2009 In "Ascend," Laurie McClain's inner "Pollyanna" -- see the cover's doe-eyed waif -- faces off with the inner cynic whose "boyfriends have ranged from bland to abusive." This dichotomy makes for ambitious, honest ("I've told those little black eye lies"), compelling, lovely listening. It is the album's strength. But some listeners may consider it a weakness, seeing candor as politics they disagree with and sincerity delivered in a voice on the Nancy Griffith side as preciousness. I found every trill and grace note in McClain's delivery chill-inducing. And check out the calliope run she sings in "Some Forgotten Dare." That's not easy to do. "He Smiled Like an Angel" tells a story you've heard before. In McClain's hands, it was a track I put on repeat after the first hearing. But where every listener should turn first is the revelatory and very pretty title track. The lyrical conceit alone is worth the price of admission: "I don't want to fall in love... I want to ascend in love." Wow! © David Kleiner” - David Kleiner

Minor 7th

Laurie's voice feels like my favorite moisturizer. It sinks in quickly and starts to heal. Her songs go deep and they stay with you.”

— SUZY BOGGUSS

Ascend Into Love Laurie McClain used to watch the Johnny Cash Show as child and delighted in listening to the eclectic mix of guest stars that would perform. It fueled her interest in music - and folk music in particular. While her high school contemporaries were listening to Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, McClain preferred Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. So perhaps it was inevitable that she would make her way from Los Angeles to Nashville with a stopover in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her latest CD, Ascend, is full of songs about love, hope, and a higher power. There is no touch of naiveté in McClain's songs, however. Her move to Nashville was accompanied by all the responsibilities that devolve for a single mother with three daughters in tow. Though she recorded and toured when possible, her daughters came first. So her songs, while optimistic in tone, are laced with a healthy dose of realism. In the title song, "Ascend," McClain tells us she has "been down in some darker places, but I've got nothing to hide." So rather than fall in love, she would rather ascend in love." Not everyone who has been in the depths that accompany those dark places would view love as a salvation, let alone something to ascend to. He Smiled Like An Angel" is a touching song, fraught with emotion. It is the story of her brother who had died not long before the song was written. He came to her in a vision, and "he smiled like an angel," then told her he was fine. It is difficult not to like a collection of songs that are written and performed with such honesty and sincerity. Laurie McClain's Ascend has been nominated for Just Plain Folks Best New Folk Album of the Year. Two of her songs from the CD, "He Smiled Like An Angel" and "Pollyanna," were nominated for New Folk Song of the Year; and another, "Somewhere in Kentucky" was nominated for Traditional Folk Song of the Year. Bill Graham is a contributing editor to FolkWax. Bill can be reached at folkwax@visnat.com” - Bill Graham

FOLKWAX Ezine

Laurie turns each venue into her own living room, and each listener into a new friend with her disarming humor and passionate performance. Laurie's songs explore the themes of identity, growth, friendship and love in a way that always honors the fundamental mysteries of the human journey. In this Mecca of songwriters, she is a gem of uniqueness and authenticity.”

— MICHAEL KEARNS

What good folk music should be: earthy, truthful, heartfelt . . . Laurie shows listeners her naturally sweetened voice and delightful sense of humor . . . Some songs lament the world's hassles and heartaches; others long for a kinder world where everyone is happy, healthy and free . . . idealistic without becoming preachy.” - Rainbow Rowell

— DAILY NEBRASKAN, Lincoln, NE

Her music cannot be thrown into one single category. It's predominately folk, but under the influence of alternative, country and a touch of blues. Her songs seem to sing themselves with uplifting energy and positive vibrations.” - Maggie Pleskac

— DIG MAGAZINE