about laura

“She is a great band member and a truly beautiful person in all respects,” writes Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms of Laura Cupit in the American Blues News. “She is a gem, a great talent,” he observes, “a musician who impresses with her sincerity, goodness and diligence, never faltering at her instrument and always there with a smile and a word of encouragement.”

What’s her story?  

She is a child of the Delta, born in Talullah, a small Louisiana town on the Brushy Bayou, about twenty miles from the Mississippi River port of Vicksburg. Legend has it a railroad developer named Talullah after his former and distant sweetheart when a local widow, who had convinced him to build the line through her plantation, spurned his advances after the work was finished. Laura’s mother hails from Mississippi and her father from North Louisiana, and childhood visits to relatives often entailed shelling peas and swapping stories on the front porch. Laura’s dad was a cop and a master of Louisiana cooking. He worked nights, and as he said goodbye to his family, he would permit each of his three children to blow his whistle before he left for his shift in the darkness. Laura can never remember life without music, and her deep talents and passion were evident early, through piano and trumpet lessons and singing in the church choir. In her teen years, the family moved, ultimately settling in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Laura’s dreams would take her to Los Angeles where she learned the business side of the music business, working at an agency representing a varied group of stars, including Maria Muldaur, Laura Nyro and John Sebastian. But her heart and family were in the South. Life brought Laura and her son, Grayson, back to Arkansas. A local band promised her a job if she could learn all the bass lines for their repertoire in a few days. She shocked them by not only learning but mastering the music, and she got the gig.  

As with so many Southern musicians, she gravitated to Memphis, the legendary center of the intertwining musical currents known as Blues, Soul and Rock and Roll. She honed her craft performing on that famous musical thoroughfare, Beale Street, delighting visitors from around the world. Concert appearances throughout the Mid-South and several recordings would follow.

By the summer of 2010, Laura was on the hunt for a unique, new project. She teamed up with Darren Jay, an accomplished singer and songwriter whose fiery guitar virtuosity amazed audiences and floored his fellow musicians.  They were immediately in demand, performing regularly as the Darren Jay Band.

Darren and Laura resolved to capture the magic of their live performances in a record that would be true to their roots in the region that gave forth the music that captured the world.  They selected nine of Darren’s original songs and two compelling covers and added to the mix some of Memphis’ greatest musicians.  The result is “Drink my Wine,” by Darren Jay and the Delta Souls. There could be no higher praise of the work than the words of a truly peerless musician, Wayne Jackson of the world famous Memphis Horns and winner of the 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, who said:  “This is some of the finest music to come out of Memphis in a long time.  I was proud to play on this record and work with such fantastic musicians.” Jackson – who has recorded hundreds of hits with everyone from Otis Redding to Al Green to Robert Gray – led the horn section.  He was joined by top talents Art Edmaiston on sax (JJ Grey & Mofro, Johnny Lang) and Marc Franklin on trumpet (Cyndi Lauper, Buddy Guy).  Renowned keyboardist Tony Thomas added his wizardry on piano and Hammond B-3, and the rhythm duties were superbly handled by Hubert Crawford (James Brown, Mark Farner).  Rodd Bland, son of Bobby “Blue” Bland, made a guest appearance on drums, and Niko Lyras of Cotton Row Recording contributed his outstanding talents.  With Darren’s stunning performances on guitar and vocals and Laura’s thick, sensual bass tones and captivating background vocals, the record has garnered rave reviews and airtime around the world.  

Well, what’s next for the girl from Tallulah? More performing, touring, recording, singing and songwriting, that’s what.  But as lauracupit.com proves, Laura’s interests extend beyond music to fashion, modeling, and the visual arts.  She is also an avid fitness enthusiast, and hardly a day for her will pass without challenging exercise.  Laura also believes musicians have an obligation to give back to the broader community.  She is active in NARAS and the Blues Foundation, and she never passes an opportunity to support the work of her fellow musicians.  Her sponsors include Genz Benz amplifiers and Gibson Guitars, where she is featured as an Epiphone artist.  In all of her endeavors, Laura tries to mix a profound respect for her musical heritage with her own distinctively modern sensibilities.  The combination should go far.

And who knows, maybe someone will name a town after her.