15 episodes

Midnight Lightning with Laura Veirs is a podcast about the lives of working musicians who are also parents. Laura and her guests explore the challenges and rewards of juggling a family life with a career in music. The show features musicians from diverse backgrounds, genres and parenting experiences. Laura hopes her podcast will build community among musician parents and give hope to musicians who are considering becoming parents. The first season features interviews with 14 mothers. Episodes roll out every Wednesday.

Midnight Lightning Laura Veirs

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 114 Ratings

Midnight Lightning with Laura Veirs is a podcast about the lives of working musicians who are also parents. Laura and her guests explore the challenges and rewards of juggling a family life with a career in music. The show features musicians from diverse backgrounds, genres and parenting experiences. Laura hopes her podcast will build community among musician parents and give hope to musicians who are considering becoming parents. The first season features interviews with 14 mothers. Episodes roll out every Wednesday.

    Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses, 50FOOTWAVE)

    Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses, 50FOOTWAVE)

    Kristin Hersh was born in Atlanta and grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. Kristen began playing guitar at age 9 and by the time she was 14 she’d talked her friend Tanya Donelly into starting a band. They called themselves “Throwing Muses.” Unbeknownst to them at the time, the band would go on to enjoy a long career and international success. After the band broke up Kristin wrote many solo albums, started the rock band 50FOOTWAVE, and wrote two memoirs. Kristin is also the mother of four sons. In this episode we discuss her mental health misdiagnosis, having a baby and a new record at age 19, her son’s kidnapping and both homeschooling and unschooling her kids out on the road. I spoke with Kristin over Skype from her recording studio in Rhode Island in January of 2018.

    • 38 min
    Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy)

    Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy)

    As the daughter of touring musicians, Ruth Ungar was introduced to the musical life at a young age. Ruth is now an accomplished singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She’s best known for work with the folk band The Mammals. Ruth also has two children, Willy and Opal, and co-runs a bi-annual music festival called The Hoot. In this episode we discuss van breakdowns while touring with school-aged children, being married to her bandmate and playing shows with her babies on her back. I spoke with Ruth over Skype from her home in Woodstock, New York in December of 2017.

    • 34 min
    LaRhonda Steele (Portland Blues Legend)

    LaRhonda Steele (Portland Blues Legend)

    LaRhonda Steele’s musical journey started in Oklahoma where she sang a solo in church for the first time at age 13. LaRhonda is best known for her leadership of the Portland Oregon Interfaith Gospel Choir and for her collaborations with a variety of Portland blues, jazz and gospel groups. LaRhonda heads her own project, "The LaRhonda Steele Band,” and is also the mother of two daughters. In this episode we discuss surviving breast cancer with the support of her community, her musical beginnings in the church, and the challenges of raising two children while legally blind. I spoke to LaRhonda in my home office in Portland, OR in October of 2017.

    • 37 min
    China Forbes (Pink Martini)

    China Forbes (Pink Martini)

    When not on tour in faraway countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Japan, China Forbes lives in Portland, Oregon with her 9-year old son Cameron. Best known for her vocal work with the retro lounge band Pink Martini, China began her artistic career studying visual art at Harvard and later working as an Off-Broadway actress. She has also released two albums under her own name and is working on a third. China sings in 9 languages. In this episode we discuss her unusual upbringing in Boston, touring with Pink Martini, postpartum depression and her dreams for future projects. I spoke to China in my dining room in Portland, Oregon in December of 2017.

    • 44 min
    Tahirah Memory

    Tahirah Memory

    Singer-songwriter and Portland native Tahirah Memory developed a passion for music at a young age. With humble beginnings singing along to R&B records at home, Tahirah grew up to become a highly sought-after vocalist. She has collaborated with musical heavyweights including kd lang, Esperanza Spalding and her father, Grammy-winning trumpeter Thara Memory. Tahirah also recently released her debut album, "PRIDE". Now age 38, Tahirah artfully maintains a strong relationship with her 12 year old daughter while dividing her time between creating music in Portland and touring as a backup singer. In this episode we discuss Tahirah’s upbringing in a musical household, single motherhood, and the support she receives from family and friends while out on lengthy tours. I spoke with Tahirah in my home office in Portland, Oregon in September of 2017.

    • 31 min
    Annalisa Tornfelt

    Annalisa Tornfelt

    Raised in Alaska by orchestra teachers, Annalisa Tornfelt is a fiddler, guitar player, singer-songwriter and teacher living in Portland, OR. She’s recorded with the Portland Cello Project, spent years touring in Black Prairie and her bluegrass band Bearfoot, and has collaborated with countless NW musicians. She is also a mother to Darian, age 17, and Rose, age 1. In this episode we discuss teenage motherhood, being raised in a religious household, touring with babies, having children 17 years apart and the complexities of identity and ambition. I spoke to Annalisa in August of 2017 in my home office in Portland, OR.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

Ernest James Z ,

Not just for music lovers

As a father of two teenagers and a bandleader, this podcast is giving me a lot of insight. On my own life, on other ways to do it, but especially the unique cultural pressures that musician moms encounter. Pressures that I’ve been ignorant about.

There’s also a lot about the struggle of pursuing a career one chooses but balancing being a parent. And the guilt that comes if you work hard at your career and struggle with the balance. If your career is successful (somewhat) in music, you’ve probably sacrificed some of your parenting along the way. I think it’s harder for moms in general but I dont know.

This podcast deals with themes that exist in all aspects of the parent/ career balance. Not just the music world.

Thank you to the producers and guests. So real and honest!

anonymousjz ,

Beautiful insight

Into the lives of musicians who are moms. I am continually surprised by how deeply this podcast affects me.

RachelH829 ,

Hope there is another season

I really enjoy this show

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