Homeward Bound

For the first time in her life, musician Lauren Shera did some co-writing in Nashville, which is something she’s always feared, but it ended up going very well.

After spending most of her life in Monterey, singer-songwriter Lauren Shera moved to Nashville two years ago.

“I was ready for a change, and I was ready to embrace a new place,” she says. “I thought I knew what we were getting into, but you don’t fully realize it till you’re there.”

In Monterey, Shera was one of the area’s best, brightest and most talented. In Nashville, there’s a bit more competition, being that it has one of the densest populations of singer-songwriters in the world. But Shera looks at it in a more positive light.

“I went to Nashville with an open mind and it’s been inspiring,” she says. “It pushes you to be the best and challenge yourself.”

Surprisingly, music wasn’t Shera’s main focus during her first year in Tennessee.

“I spent a lot of time digging roots, nesting and finding my way around the area,” she says. “I did shows sporadically, but I needed to spread my creative energy.”

Wholesome Cooking by Lauren is where a lot of that “creative energy” ended up. Shera’s been making some extra cash with healthy, organic catering. Her specialty is “hand pies,” as in pie that fits in the palm of your hand. But as innovative as she’s gotten with flavors like lavender peach and blackberry bourbon, the multi-talented songstress went back to music full-time this past year and signed with the indie label DigSin in January.

After releasing two records independently, her DigSin debut Gold and Rust arrives this September. Its 10 tracks, written and recorded before Shera left California, pay homage to her home state and were inspired in large part by the coastal air. Musically, Gold and Rust takes cues from bands like First Aid Kit, who embody the whole folk throwback thing while simultaneously bringing a vibe that’s more today.

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“I wanted a more modern sound, something not as traditional as the [previous records],” Shera explains. “I wanted drums, bass, electric guitar – something a little edgier.”

Shera’s opening two shows for Pegi Young in Santa Cruz after Saturday, when she’s playing Pierce Ranch. It’s been a year since she’s returned to her old stomping grounds. Breakfast at Deetjen’s in Big Sur is at the top of her to-do list, right next to treating her legion local fans to her upgraded game.

LAUREN SHERA 8:30pm Saturday, July 19, at Pierce Ranch, 499 Wave St., Monterey. $8. 372-8900.

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