Laurelyn Dossett


Laurelyn Dossett lives and writes in the piedmont of North Carolina, and her songs tend to reflect the stories of the region, both traditional and contemporary. One of the most sought-after voices in creative collaborations, she has toured with Rhiannon Giddens, folk legend Alice Gerrard, composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer Kenneth Frazelle's and the North Carolina Symphony. Since 2006 Laurelyn has partnered with Triad Stage's Preston Lane on six plays featuring regional folklore and original music: Brother Wolf (2006), Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity (2006), Bloody Blackbeard (2008) Providence Gap (2010,) Snow Queen (2013) and Radiunt Abundunt (2016).

A song from Brother Wolf, "Anna Lee," was featured on Levon Helm's Grammy-winning record, Dirt Farmer, is included in the documentary film about Helm's life, Ain't in it for my Health, and is featured on the 2011 Grammy-winning cd Levon Helm's Ramble at the Ryman. Her song "Leaving Eden" is the title track of the Carolina Chocolate Drops Grammy-nominated release. Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre has received an NEA grant to develop “Leaving Eden” in a play, set to premiere in 2017-18.

2014 brought her television debut as a songwriter in the popular AMC series, Hell on Wheels, Rick Clark, Music Supervisor. She co-wrote “Safe in the Hands of God” for episode 401, and wrote and performed “That I May See Your Face” in episode 410. Commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony, Dossett and the symphony premiered her song cycle, The Gathering: A Winter's Tale in Six Songs, in November 2011. The accompanying cd, "The Gathering," was released to critical acclaim, including top holiday picks from the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, and USA Today.

In recent years Laurelyn has written songs for various protest movements in North Carolina including “My Beloved Enemy,” “Vote Against Amendment One” and she remains an active protest voice for equality in North Carolina. “The River’s Lament” is her testament to the devastation of the Dan River coal ash spill. Laurelyn has taught songwriting and singing at the Augusta Heritage Center, as well as at many universities, workshops and festivals. She is the 2012 recipient of the Betty Cone Medal of Arts, the 2010 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for songwriting, 2004 winner of the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and a 2010 fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Greensboro, NC.


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