Lauren Monroe’s new album, Messages from Aphrodite, explores multiple facets of love and amplifies messages of healing. The New York-born, California-based polymath conducts parallel careers as a gifted singer-songwriter and a renowned mental-health advocate; she approaches these intertwined roles with equal passion, her nuanced understanding of human behavior informing her music, which she sees as “a heart-based experience” that is “not just about listening—it’s about feeling and connecting.”
Music and healing have always been focal points in Monroe’s life. Through performance, storytelling, and art, she creates an intimate experience for her audiences, showing them how music can impact healing and growth. In 2021, Monroe staged the first Big Love Benefit Concert, which featured performances by Billy Idol, Wynonna Judd, and the Allman Betts Band, among others. Proceeds from the event, which brought financial and mental health support to music-industry professionals affected by the pandemic, were donated to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. Then, in early 2022, she was joined by her husband and frequent collaborator, Rick Allen, the legendary drummer of Def Leppard, for a run of intimate East Coast club dates. At every show, they welcomed dozens of Veterans and auctioned off some of their mixed-media art pieces to benefit Raven Drum Foundation, an organization they founded more than 20 years ago with the mission to serve, educate and empower Veterans dealing with PTSD and combat trauma, people in crisis and other at-risk individuals.
Acclaimed producer Jim Scott - who was at the helm for 2021’s Under the Wolf Moon - reunited with Monroe for Messages from Aphrodite, which she co-produced. “Lauren is a special artist,” he asserts. “She’s tuned in to the spiritual workings of the heart and the mystical nature of the universe. She’s an empath, a healer, a teacher, visual artist, producer and songwriter; I also think she’s a time-traveler. Her songs guide, direct, and uplift and are sonically beautiful.”
The songs are enlivened by Scott’s deft sonic sculpting of song-serving performances from musical luminaries such as guitarists Greg Leisz (k.d. lang, Matthew Sweet, Bill Frisell), Tyler Bryant (Larkin Poe, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown), Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Nora Jones, Keith Richards, John Mayer) and David Garza (Fiona Apple, Watkins Family Hour); bassists Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon), Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and Mai Leisz (David Crosby), keyboardist John Ginty (Neal Casal, the Allman Betts Band); and backing vocalist Tammi Brown (Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones). In addition to Allen, the Heartbreakers’ Steve Ferrone and young dynamo Beth Goodfellow (Iron and Wine, Allison Russell) anchor the proceedings from behind their drumkits.
Monroe will be touring through the fall in support of Messages from Aphrodite. As at previous shows, art will be on display, and donors will be able to sponsor Veterans to attend for free. Tickets for Veterans can be purchased at supportavet.givesmart.com and will be distributed through various Veteran service organizations in each city.
In addition, building on the success of Raven Drum’s inaugural 12 Drummers Drumming auction, held in 2021, the foundation has invited a group of drummers and other friends, select donors, Veterans, and first responders to join Allen and Monroe for a very special live event in Newport Coast, CA on September 26th. The drum circle will be a celebration of the healing benefits of music. Through a partnership with Musicians On Call, the program will be filmed, and highlights will be included in Musicians On Call's Veterans Day virtual concert that will be provided to VA hospitals across the country. The full event recording will be offered exclusively to the VA from November 12 - December 12, culminating in a live zoom Q&A call for the VA community with Allen, Monroe, and special guests. Following that, the program will be available across multiple channels and partner sites.
LISTEN TO MESSAGES FROM APHRODITE HERE
9/10 - Portland, OR - The Old Church Concert Hall (TOC Moon Series)
9/19 - Mill Valley, CA - Sweetwater Music Hall
9/22 - LaJolla, CA - Gala performance benefiting GenerateHope at Birch Aquarium
9/25 - Venice, CA - The Venice West
10/2 - Monterey, CA - Heart for Change Benefit Concert at Monterey County Fairgrounds
10/5 - Boulder, CO - Chautauqua Community House
10/6 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
11/9 - New York, NY - City Winery NYC (The Loft)
11/13 - Boston, MA - City Winery Boston (Haymarket Lounge)
Additional shows TBA