Laura Benitez and the Heartache use the three chord tools of country music to tell the simple, unvarnished truth about love, too much whiskey, and the call of the road. Their songs range from honky-tonk shuffles to rock ‘n’ roll numbers to sweet old time waltzes, and cover everything from unwed motherhood (“Me or the Baby”) to mean drunks (“Don’t Wake the Devil”), with a whole lot of heartbreak in between. Their twangy honesty shines through in straightforward arrangements, crystalline harmonies, and spare instrumentation. Beware their catchy hooks and sweet melodies – these stray puppy tunes will follow you home and become your most steadfast companions.
Laura Benitez, songwriter, lead singer and founder of Laura Benitez and the Heartache, has been making her mark on stage and screen since 2000. She spent several years appearing in soap operas and commercials in Los Angeles before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004. Diving into the region’s rich Americana and Roots music scenes, she first started honing her country music chops when she joined the newly formed Cottonpickers in 2005. Taking her musical cues from the heavily rock influenced Bakersfield sound, and her lyric inspiration from her favorite songwriters Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, Laura began writing songs in 2008. She released her first album, “For Duty or for Love” on her own Copperhead Records label in 2010.
In 2012 she recruited the multi-talented singer, songwriter, and drummer Michele Kappel-Stone (Kirby Grips/Tippy Canoe/Heartache Sisters) into the band, and was lucky enough to secure the talents of Bob Spector (The Spectones) and Ted O’Connell (The GoldDiggers, Moonshine Maybelline) on twang guitar and bass. These four joined together with Ian Taylor Sutton (The Walcotts, Misisipi Mike, Secret Town) on pedal steel to record their critically acclaimed full length album, “Heartless Woman,” which was released in 2014.
2015 saw the band touring to festivals in Southern California and Nashville, but also saw some changes in personnel, with Michele Kappel-Stone and Ted O’Connell turning their full-time attention to other projects. New members of The Heartache include Steve Pearson (Secret Town), Mike Anderson (77 El Deora), Jim Goodkind (Whiskey Pass), Patti Maxine (Island Breeze, Henhouse), and Chris Weinress (Mojo Mix).
Benitez won an honorable mention for her as yet unpublished song, “Our Remember Whens” in American Songwriter Magazine’s lyric contest for January of 2016. LB&H are hard at work on new music, and look forward to many new musical adventures!
Laura Benitez & the Heartache