Megan McLaughlin is a songwriter known for her innovative guitar playing, strong compelling voice, and high-energy stage presence.
As a kid growing up in Pennsylvania, Megan traded riding lessons for guitar lessons. Forays into Southern rock, new wave, and busking in the Paris subways honed her performance skills as she found her way to her true calling: songwriting. She is at home in many genres from rootsy blues to poignant ballads. The same energetic personality that holds the attention of her five-year-old kindergarten students captivates audiences in Northern California, where she has been awarded Best Song three times in 2016, and three times in 2015. She has also won Best Performer many times, and Best Lyrics from West Coast Songwriters twice in 2015. She has appeared at the Sleeping Lady, Freight and Salvage, Auburn House Concert, Strings Acoustic Music, the Loft Concerts, Bazaar Café, and Ruth McGowan’s, and has taught songwriting workshops.
Her 2013 release, My Next Life, shows McLaughlin’s influences, such as Bruce Cockburn and Patty Larkin, from the foot-stomping title track, to thoughtful ballads (In My Own Skin, Nothing is Better), and catchy folk rock (Eden’s Daughter, Back to the Valley). Recent musical detours into Irish traditional music are evident, too (Corner Café). Her deft guitar playing in DADGAD tuning and soulful vocals are the centerpiece of these primarily acoustic arrangements. She is joined by Patty Espeseth on cello and backing vocals, Pete Grant on pedal steel, Kyle Alden on mandolin and octave mandolin, and Rolfe Wyer on bass /drums. Recorded during the Summer of 2013 in Berkeley at Artscape Studio by James Boblak, this is her third independently-produced recording on the Blahblahwoofwoof Label. Previous releases are: Earth & Sky (2001) and Noisy World (1997).
“Great musicianship, delivery, phrasing, wonderful orchestration using just a guitar. Great blend of guitar licks and a super dynamic vocal range.” West Coast Songwriters, Palo Alto Chapter
“Megan is one of my favorite songwriters. She is insightful as well as passionate. The natural energy she brings to her work knocks me out every time.” Joyce Woodson, Songwriter, San Juan Capistrano
“Megan writes, sings, and plays guitar like Joni Mitchell and David Crosby’s love child. She lights up the stage, and is beautiful to boot!” Bob Hahn, The Loft, Berkeley CA