The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Homepage

February 1, 2014

From prom queen to troubadour: West Limestone grad’s band gaining industry buzz w/VIDEO

The Bear to perform at South by Southwest

ATHENS — Fourteen years have slipped by since Louisa “Amber” Murray’s senior classmates surprised the dimpled free spirit, bestowing her with the unsolicited and unlikely dual titles of prom queen and best sense of humor.

Since graduating from West Limestone High School, Murray, 30, has earned a visual arts degree and put her wit and spark to frequent use as a lead singer, songwriter and musician for The Bear, a rising band from Muscle Shoals.

The Owens native, who goes by her first name professionally and learned to pluck the banjo from her late uncle, Tony Lovell, named the band after a short story in William Faulkner’s novel, “Go down, Moses.”

Murray, 30, and husband Nathan Pitts, a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and a full-time research analyst at the University of North Alabama, met as college students living in Florence and started performing shows together in 2006.

The couple eventually added Muscle Shoals keyboardist Ben Tanner to play as a trio and then assembled a rotating rhythm section with Tuscumbia’s Ben Stedman, Kyle Minckler of New Hampshire and Florence native Daniel Stoddard “so we could play songs that needed a more full band sound,” Murray said.

“We still play acoustic shows occasionally with less members,” she said in email and phone interviews with The News Courier. “It’s nice to be able to change up the sound from show to show.”

The Bear is scheduled for an acoustic show at 7 p.m. March 1 at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa and a record store tour stop at Central Square Records in Seaside, Fla. Additional dates will be announced on the band’s website, http://www.thebearmusic.com.

Murray said since Minckler and Stedman are on hiatus to spend time with their young families, drummer Jon Davis of Greenhill and bassist Josh Haselton of Brattleboro, Vt., are also playing with the band.

The Bear is steadily adding fans and generating industry buzz, recently receiving an invitation to participate in a singer-songwriter showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

SXSW is both a festival and tradeshow known as a career launching pad for a variety of genres, including music, filmmaking, comedy and video game designers. The musical showcases are March 11-17, with specific concert information still pending.

Text Only
Top Local News
Today's Local Feature
State and Nation
Local Sports
Sports
Lifestyles
Calendar of Events
  • Limestone Ledger 7/31/14

    FRIDAY
    Walking Horse Show

    The third annual Sam Gibbons Walking Horse Show has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Sheriff's Rodeo Arena. More information: Sandy Thompson 256-771-7578.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church Bulletin 7/31/14
Obituaries
Business Marquee
Weather Radar
Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.