Things I Choose to Do
In 1998, Laurie MacAllister left a career in psychology to pursue her dream: to be a singer. She began by playing in the parks and subway stations of New York City, and developed a following by performing in clubs, cafes, and coffeehouses in the Northeast. She independently released her debut CD These Old Clothes in 1999, and was a winner of the New Folk Competition at the 2001 New Jersey Folk Festival. While Laurie began her music career by writing and performing her own songs, she spent the summer of 2001 touring as a backup singer. This is where she discovered the joy of singing songs written by other songwriters. 'I was listening to so many songs that moved me, emotionally, musically, and intellectually. After listening to and learning this great music, I felt compelled to perform and record some of it.' Laurie has performed at numerous festivals and venues, including the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, The Bottom Line, The Tin Angel, The Turning Point, Godfrey Daniels, The Watchung Arts Center, the New Bedford Folk Festival, Outpost in the Burbs, and Music At The Mission. She has also sung for television and radio, including the soundtracks for short films aired on The Disney Channel. Laurie sings on several cuts on Cliff Eberhardt's new album on Red House Records, School For Love, as well as on several independent releases. 'Laurie MacAllister finds the simple heart of a song, embraces it, seeks a deeper understanding and then shares the song with a generous freedom, with beauty and warmth. Whether interpreting other writers, or interpreting life through her own personal lens, her performances are works of delicate grace and honest emotion.' Marilyn Rea Beyer Music Director WUMB FM 'Laurie has a voice that is rich with feeling, and there is that catch in her voice that makes your heart skip a beat when you hear it. She writes with a depth of emotion that is often lacking in the work of singers who are much better known. Her words resonate with this jaded listener. What a discovery!' Vick Mickunas Music Director WYSO FM 'Her voice is among the purest I've ever heard.' Josh Selig Emmy Award-winning songwriter THE NEW ALBUM: THE THINGS I CHOOSE TO DO Laurie's new album is a collection of songs written by some of the best songwriters of yesterday and today. She chose the songs using one criterion: they are so good that they should be heard again. The new album includes songs by John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton, Irving Berlin, Steve Goodman, Eric Andersen, Lynn Miles and several other great writers. The album was produced by Cliff Eberhardt. Cliff is best known for his successful music career as a singer, songwriter, master guitarist and consummate performer. With six albums (on Windham Hill Records, Shanachie Records, and Red House Records), Cliff has garnered mountains of praise from critics and fans. In addition to lending his production talents to Laurie's record, Eberhardt lends his wealth of musical talent, playing numerous instruments. The impressive lineup of musicians also includes Seth Farber on piano, organ and accordion. Seth, currently the conductor for Hairspray on Broadway, has produced albums for (and performed extensively with) internationally-touring artists such as Odetta and Willy DeVille. Folk superstar Dar Williams (of Razor & Tie Records) lends her talent, singing lovely backup vocals. In addition to her impressive recording and touring career as a solo artist, Dar was one-third of the group Cry Cry Cry, which released an acclaimed album of covers in 1998. Signature Sounds recording artist Mark Erelli plays harmonica and sings backup vocals. The drums on Laurie's new album are played by Keith Levreault, formerly of the Blood Oranges. These and several other gifted musicians have contributed to the making of an album that celebrates the beauty of great music. Laurie has chosen a life in music, she has chosen to sing others' songs, and she has chosen these 12 songs to share.