Amy Puryear, formerly Glicklich, studied music education at Ithaca College. She fell in love with the area, as many people do, and stayed beyond her schoolwork to invest in the music scene. The Finger Lakes region is no stranger to good music. Old Crow Medicine Show, Donna the Buffalo, and Richie Stearns all hail from the fields and hills surrounding Ithaca, NY, and have grown up playing music together and with Ward Puryear, songwriter and guitarist with Laila Belle. Amy performed solo vocals and guitar for years, including recording an album with hundreds of children in Guatemala. Amy and Ward met and fell in love amidst the music and have been notably involved with the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, a growing family affair. Although Amy's greatest passion is singing, she took several years off to raise a family with Ward, a sacrifice so many conscious musician mothers have to make.
When Amy and Ward decided it was time to focus on music again, they dove right into arranging songs and a band. Jason Shegogue, electric and lap steel guitarist, filled out the core of Laila Belle, initially called The Double EE.
Fast forward to 2015, and Amy made a decision. It was now or never. It was music or not. It was her dream, or it wasn't. The Puryears had connections to Fleetwood Shack, the Nashville studio belonging to Bill Reynolds (of Band of Horses fame). Amy launched a thoughtful and aggressive crowdfunding campaign, and with the help of that money, plus grandma watching their boy, Amy and Ward took Jason down to Nashville. Reynolds stepped in on bass and Dana Billings of Big Mean Sound Machine took to the drums. The Double EE got a new name, and the world got a new record. Laila Belle was born.
I got the wind in my sails, but it just died down.
Gotta figure out how to make it blow.
Just like where Laila Belle is going.
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