Laura Mann was born in Syracuse, NY. She grew up in a musical family and her interest in music was cultivated at a young age. Her grandfather played mandolin and drums and had a great voice, and the two would play and sing together. At age 8 she asked her parents for a guitar and she soon began taking guitar lessons and learned how to read music.
Laura’s family moved to Medford, NJ and she began performing in grade school concerts, where she often had solos. She continued performing in high school in choir and in musicals. Her musical interests were varied; in addition to singer-songwriters including James Taylor she was a fan of the bands Chic, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Chaka Khan, Supertramp, and Stevie Wonder and jazz guitarists George Benson, Earl Klugh and Pat Metheny.
When Laura was 16 she started singing professionally. She saw an ad in the paper to audition for the band Elysian Fields. Though she passed the audition her mom didn’t want her to join the band because she was so young; the other musicians were in their 20s. But her persistence paid off and she joined the band. They did a mix of originals and covers with 3-part harmonies by artists including Crosby Stills and Nash, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd and others. Laura performed with the band for 3 years and it was the perfect launching pad for her musical career.
Laura knew that she wanted to write, perform and record songs as a career. She began to do solo shows. One day at an outdoor concert she was approached by drummer Mike Vesper, who said he was putting together a band with Robert Hazard (Cyndi Lauper’s hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”), who was also living in Medford, and he invited Laura to join the band. Laura and the Lifeboys, a rock ’n roll band, was born, and Robert also became Laura’s manager. Laura moved to Philadelphia and the band garnered a following in the city and had the opportunity to open for The Ramones, as well as tour and record.
After the band broke up Robert encouraged Laura to audition for Star Search (the precursor to “The Voice” and “American Idol”) in New York City. She passed the audition and was flown to Los Angeles to compete there with host Ed McMahon. She performed a song written by Robert called “You're the Reason I” and won the first round; it was later released on the “Bow Tie and Rose Tattoo” (2010) album. Laura and Robert then formed the Laura Mann Band, which lasted for a couple of years.
Laura took a break and began writing with friend Steve Junker and in 1994 she produced and released her first album, “Like a Lamb Among the Lions.” It was around this time that she met and began collaborating with Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro (Pat Benatar’s hit “We Belong”). And after performing at the legendary Bitter End in New York City, owner Ken Gorka introduced her to multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Charlton Pettus (Tears for Fears, Sinéad O’Connor), and the two began to collaborate. She released the album “I Got You” in 2002.
Despite Laura’s continued passion for music, she was tired of the typical pitfalls of the music business and no longer wanted to supplement her musical career by waitressing. She decided to make a change and became a licensed therapeutic and medical massage therapist in 2002. In 2005 she opened her own practice, Relax. Therapeutic and Corrective Massage Studio, and she continues to practice massage.
Yet Laura never gave up on music and she also began to work with Charlton again. She released her third album, “Bow Tie and Rose Tattoo” in 2010. She also released the singles “The Child’s Got Wings” and “This Time” in 2016.
Never one to sit still, in March 2018 Laura opened The Living Room at 35 East, a boutique 40-seat listening room in Ardmore, PA. The venue has featured notable regional and national touring artists including Jim Boggia, Jeffrey Gaines, Freedy Johnston and Vernon Reid, among others. The Living Room won the coveted Best of Philly award for Best Small Music Venue – 2019 from Philadelphia magazine and the award for Best Music Venue from Ardmore Award Program for 2019. For more information about the venue visit www.thelivingroomat35east.com.
Somehow, while running The Living Room and maintaining her massage business, Laura found time to record her latest album “Plain As Day” (2019). It was once again recorded with Charlton, who co-produced the album with Laura and played most of the instruments. It includes a new take on the song “Eyes Without a Face,” the Billy Idol hit from 1984, as a duet with renowned singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston (“Bad Reputation”). In addition, one song was recorded by Phil Nicolo (Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, etc.) at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA.
Laura’s music is available for digital download from iTunes, Amazon and numerous streaming services everywhere.