> About Laura Mann

Laura Mann is an entrepreneur and musician who’s admired for her talent as well as for the enthusiasm and initiative that’s propelled her throughout her career.

Born in Syracuse, NY, Laura Mann grew up in a musical family, and began taking guitar lessons and learning how to read music at age 8. When Laura’s family moved to Medford, New Jersey, she began performing in grade school concerts, and continued performing in high school choir and musicals. In addition to singer-songwriters such as James Taylor, she was a fan of Chic, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Chaka Khan, Supertramp and Stevie Wonder, along with jazz guitarists such as George Benson, Earl Klugh and Pat Metheny.

Laura was just 16 when she started singing professionally with the band Elysian Fields (whose members were in their 20s, which alarmed her mother), performing a mix of originals and covers with them for the next three years. Knowing that she wanted to build a career writing, performing and recording songs, she began to do solo shows.

After being approached by drummer Mike Vesper, who was putting together a band with Robert Hazard, writer and composer of the Cyndi Lauper hit, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Laura joined them, and they became the popular, Philadelphia-based rock band Laura and the Lifeboys. (Robert Hazard also became Laura’s manager.)

After the band broke up, Robert encouraged Laura to audition for the talent search TV show Star Search in New York City. She passed the audition and was flown to Los Angeles to compete, where she performed his song, “You're the Reason I” and won the first round. Laura and Robert then formed the Laura Mann Band, which lasted for a couple of years.

In 1994, working with Steve Junker, Laura produced and released her first album, “Like a Lamb Among the Lions.” She later began collaborating with Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro, who wrote Pat Benatar’s hit “We Belong” and performed and recorded in the ‘80s and ‘90s as Lowen & Navarro. (Laura still occasionally performs with Dan Navarro.)

After Laura performed at NYC’s legendary Bitter End nightclub, owner Ken Gorka introduced her to Los Angeles-based songwriter and producer Charlton Pettus (Tears for Fears, Sinéad O’Connor), and following their collaboration, she released her album “I Got You” in 2002. She later worked again with Pettus on her third album, “Bow Tie and Rose Tattoo” in 2010, and the singles “The Child’s Got Wings” and “This Time” in 2016.

Despite Laura’s continuing passion for music, she also became a licensed therapeutic and medical massage therapist. She opened her own practice, Relax Therapeutic and Corrective Massage Studio in 2005, and continues to practice massage.

Never one to sit still, Laura became focused on creating an intimate listening room to showcase singer-songwriters, and in March 2018 she opened The Living Room at 35 East (located at 35 East Lancaster Avenue) in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. The cozy, BYOB venue featured such notable regional and national artists as Jim Boggia, Jeffrey Gaines, Freedy Johnston and Vernon Reid. It was awarded Philadelphia magazine’s “Best of Philly” award for Best Small Music Venue in 2019, and Main Line Today magazine’s “Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs” award for Unique Live Music Venue in 2020.

Somehow, while running The Living Room and maintaining her massage business, Laura found time to record her album “Plain As Day” (2019), working again with Charlton Pettus, who co-produced the album with Laura and played most of the instruments. It features her novel take on the 1984 Billy Idol hit “Eyes Without a Face” as a duet with Freedy Johnston.

In 2021, around the same time that Laura released a new version of the Nik Kershaw hit, “Wouldn't It Be Good,” she moved The Living Room to a larger location at 35 East Ardmore Avenue, where it could accommodate many more music lovers. But soon afterward, a better Ardmore location became available at 104 Cricket Avenue, which allowed her to create and add an all-day bistro immediately adjacent to the music venue. The Living Room & Cricket Cafe are scheduled to open in November 2022, with the concept, design and menus all created by Laura (who also bakes the desserts).

Laura’s music is available for digital download from iTunes, Amazon and numerous streaming services.