1. Halie Loren HalieLoren.com.
2. Calysta Cheyenne Fortune’s Folly. FortunesFollyBand.com.
3. Bettreena Jaeger BaroqueBetty.com.
At this point it’s pretty clear: Eugene loves Halie Loren, winner of this year’s Eugene Weekly’s Best of Eugene best singer-songwriter category. Lucky for us, Halie loves us right back. “There are many things that I love about playing for my hometown crowd,” she tells me from Montreal, Canada, where she’s rehearsing for a short run of dates in support of her latest release, From the Wild Sky.
“A fair number of people who have been coming to my shows have been coming from the very beginning. We share stories. I feel bonded to audiences in my hometown,” Loren says. With her latest release, Loren wanted to get back in touch with her singer-songwriter side after building a reputation all over the world as an interpreter of jazz and pop standards.
“I identify as a songwriter and as a singer,” Loren says. “I always include original music with whatever project that I’m doing. This new album features my singer-songwriter side very heavily. It’s an inescapable part of who I am as an artist. I like letting it fly free, having something out there that’s purely mine.”
“I go through seasons of writing nothing and then all of the sudden I’m writing 12 songs over the course of a week or two or three,” she goes on. No matter what, Loren loves playing new material in front of Eugene audiences.
“There’s intimacy,” she says. “Sharing new work especially. Another thing about Eugene that I dig so much is people are willing to move their bodies to your music,” she says. “It creates an energetic feedback loop.” — Will Kennedy