“Even though my songs may sound very personal, to me most of them are fiction. It is a great way for me to be able to live a fantasy life as a writer because I get to be someone else, someplace else for three and a half minutes, just like the listener.”
— Nanci Griffith
Red Dirt Highway
Laura Melanie Collins (vocals, acoustic guitar), was playing in bars before she was old enough to drink in them. After fronting cover bands all over New York City, Laura headed west and headlong into the Denver music scene.
A move to the wilds of Northern New Mexico inspired a prolific writing period. It was also here that, in 2010, she founded “Blue Moon Prairie,” a female music trio with harmonies that had listeners calling them “a female Crosby, Stills & Nash.” They released a CD, "Stories and Lies," and played regionally.
On her own again, Laura continues to explore the human condition through song. Her heartfelt performances — a musical mélange of rock, folk, blues and country (think Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless are drinking with Melissa Etheridge over at Guy Clark’s house and Steve Earl drops by) — are also marked by an intensity born from her theater background. Laura's solo effort "An American Landscape" was released in March 2016.
After 20 years out west, Laura now finds herself in the wilds of upstate New York, with her new music project Red Dirt Highway, with strong melodies and more powerful storytelling. Red Dirt Highway also includes classic country and Americana in their set. Just another piece of the American Landscape.
Todd Garner (Bass guitar) is an Albany native and has been performing for over 25 years. Todd plays a number of instruments and is most at home with his bass guitar in hand.
Mike Petryk (Pedal steel, electric guitar, mandolin) is also an upstate native and a talented multi-instrumentalist. He is well known throughout the Captial region having played in band regionally for over 25 years.