Reader Profile. Laura Rogers, singer.
The Secret Sisters.

Cuddles Update

Fever down by 1 degree.
Weight: 5.7 lbs
Still active. STILL not eating her regular food.
Today Cuddles dined on Romaine lettuce leaves, heirloom tomatoes, oregano, and her regular gruel smoothie.
Positives: Pecked the smaller chicks on the head, Roosted tonight squished in with the other chickens again, instead of off in the corner by herself.
Negatives: Not eating her layer pellets. Still seems a bit “off”.

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Reader Profile:
Laura Rogers, Singer.

Laura Rogers has been reading my blog for a long time now. Reading and commenting.

She’s one of us. You know how I’m pretend country, living on Green Fakers? Well she’s honest to God’s country. An Alabama girl living not only her dream life but the dream life of a lot of people.

Read on to learn about The Art of Doing Stuff reader, Laura Rogers and make sure you read to the very end.

 

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1.  What is your name and age?  You don’t have to tell your age if you don’t wanna.  No big whoop.

My name is Laura Rogers, and I am a 28 years old (but I have the habits of a 75 year old).

2.  Where do you live?  

I live outside of Muscle Shoals, Alabama (my little homestead is called Happy Valley), and on a tour bus when I’m working.

3.  What is your occupation and tell me about how you became what you are.

I am a singer, by trade, and spend most of my time either playing shows or writing and recording music.

I am one half of the alt-country music duo known as the Secret Sisters, the other half being my younger sister, Lydia.

We grew up in a big family whose favorite pastime was bluegrass and gospel music.  We spent most of our childhood attending bluegrass festivals with our dad, singing in church, or sitting around singing and playing with our extended family.  We never really planned to be professional musicians once we grew up, but in 2009, at an open audition in Nashville, we were “discovered.”

We recorded and released our first album, “The Secret Sisters,” in 2010, and hit the road touring in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe.  We then released our second album, “Put Your Needle Down,” in April of this year, and have spent the last few months touring across the country, playing shows in most of the major cities and seeing parts of the USA that we’ve never seen before.  Our music is hard to categorize; some call it Americana, others call it country, we call it Southern. It’s a diverse mix of gospel, country, roots rock and roll, and bluegrass.  We are deeply rooted in our Alabama heritage, and have found that most of our music is heavily influenced by the artists and writers who have come before us.  When you listen to our music, you can expect two part, sibling harmony…it’s kind of our “thing.”

photo 3

4.  When you’re on tour what do you do when you’re not actually performing?

Touring is fun because there is always something new to discover.  We typically spend our free time exploring whatever city we’re in for the day.  We like to do research beforehand to try to figure out what is a must-see in each city.  Trying new restaurants in those towns is also a fun adventure.  Because we spend so much time on the highway, we try to stretch our legs and get moving once we’re stationary, and throwing around a frisbee has become a good outlet for our energy.  My favorite recent experience is swimming in a freezing cold river in Missoula, Montana with our bandmates, surrounded by mountains!

5.  What do you miss the most when you’re on tour.

I’m a diehard animal lover, especially dogs.  I have a dog named Annie Ray that I adopted from a shelter last summer, and being away from her is really tough.  She’s always the first “person” I want to see when I get back, and I’m always brainstorming about how to take her on the road with me.  Aside from her, we always look forward to being back with our family.  I also love being home and getting to do “normal people things,” like buying groceries and cooking dinner, gardening, not putting on a stitch of makeup, not wearing high heels…that sort of thing.  I bought the house that belonged to my maternal grandparents a few years back, and I feel so comfortable and safe there, so it’s always nice to get some solitude in the country, just me and my furry children!

photo 4

from left to right:

 Willie Nelson,   Jojo,  Annie Ray

6.  What do you love the most about coming home?

I love getting away from hustle and bustle.  Being on the road can be so hectic, and usually when I’m home, things are calm and I can breathe and regroup.  I love reuniting with my big family and gathering around a meal together…there is NOTHING like Southern grandmother food.  It’s also so important to come back home and get a reminder of who we are as human beings.  We don’t ever want to lose sight of our values and integrity, and coming back to our little town always keeps things in perspective.   I’m dating one of my best friends since childhood, and spending time with him is always high on my to-do list.

photo 2

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7.  What do you love most about being on tour?

The very best part of touring is the performance.  That’s the moment that requires all the practice and preparation, and everything you do culminates in what happens on the stage.  We love that moment with a good crowd, when we can play our songs, tell our stories, and joke back and forth with the crowd.  We have such devoted, kindhearted fans all over the place, and hearing from them and getting their feedback about our shows and recordings means so much to us.  As long as we are making folks happy with our music, we’re doing the right thing, and the hard work is worth it.

8.  Enough about all this insignificant stuff.  How long have you been reading The Art of Doing Stuff?!

I stumbled upon the Art of Doing Stuff nearly 4 years ago!  Wow!  I remember the day I found the site…I thought it was so great to see a strong, confident woman who tackled any task or idea with enthusiasm, not to mention a very humorous delivery of her endeavors.  And so I binged on it, and read every single entry the first day.  Then it hit me that Karen only posts once a day, and since then I’ve had to take it a day at a time.  There are some nights I will hold off on going to bed because I’m waiting on that day’s post to go up.  And when Karen goes on weekend breaks, I think “Well, now what are we supposed to do?!”  🙂

9.  That’s nice of you to say.  Have you done any of the projects you found on the site?

I’ve taken bits and pieces of so many of the projects and put them to use in my everyday life.  I did tackle the cupcake Christmas ornaments a couple years ago, with my kid cousins…and it was FUN but they were a little bummed out that they couldn’t actually eat them.  I also fell in love with OxiClean because of Karen’s suggestions.  And a few weeks back, I built a window box for my dining room window out of some old boards, and that was inspired by the site as well.  The biggest thing I learned from this site is to not be afraid to tackle the things that I need and want to do.  I’m a woman, but I am fully capable of doing most everything I set my mind to.  I admire that the site is focused on attempting things that seem intimidating or challenging, and figuring it out!  Reading the posts each day gives me great ideas and confidence that I can really do whatever needs doing!

photo 1

10.  O.K., the window box looks absolutely GREAT!  Good job.  Describe your house and your sense of style in terms of decorating.

My house is a small country cottage on 5 wooded acres, with a small creek.  It was built in 1956, and to my delight, the house still contains all the character that my grandparents had in their original plans.  Several of my furniture pieces were built by my grandfather, and I love having his craftsmanship around me every day, to remind me of him.  I live on a tight budget (music isn’t always lucrative!), so much of my decor requires creativity with previously loved items, or things I find in thrift stores.  I love anything rustic, and enjoy mixing old, antique items with new pieces that I find.  Because I don’t live in my house 365 days a year, much of my home is focused on comfort…I love lots of textures and soothing colors, and things that help me relax during my time at home.

laura-rogers-house

11.  Describe a typical day when you’re on tour.

Morning: Wake up in whatever city we are playing in that evening.  COFFEE.  Throw on some clothes and start unloading our instruments and merchandise into the venue.

Mid-morning-Afternoon: Get prepared for any possible radio or TV appearances during the day.  If no promo is scheduled, we all head out to explore whatever is in walking/taxi distance of the bus.  Lunch is always a priority!

Late Afternoon: Go back to the venue to set up and do sound check, and start hair and makeup for the show.

Evening: Play a full set (typically an hour and a half) with our band, then head to the merchandise area to meet and greet fans and sign autographs.

Late Evening:  Pack everything up, load it into our trailer, crawl into our bunks on the bus, and sleep through the night as we ride to the next city to do it all again.

12.  Describe a typical day when you’re at home.

Morning: Wake up way earlier than I do on the road, COFFEE (French press is my favorite), take my dog (and any visiting dogs) out for some exercise.  Breakfast for me, my dog, and my two cats.

Mid-morning-Afternoon:  Poke around doing whatever needs doing…mowing the lawn, planting flowers, cleaning up animal hair (ugh!), taking care of emails and phonically related to our music, go to the gym.

Late Afternoon:  Whatever else needs attention around my house, or perhaps running errands with my mom, maybe a little nap!  I love naps.

Evening:  Plan dinner…I love to cook, but I also love having dinner at my parents’ house or out with my boyfriend.  Feed dogs again and take them out for a run.

Late Evening:  Perhaps a movie, usually reading and writing before bed.  The last thing I do before I shut down my phone for the night is to read the Art of Doing Stuff!  No joke!

13.  Describe your dream life and do you hope to achieve that dream life?

I am very content with my life at this point.  Sure, I could stand to have more money floating around, my car is old and needs replacing, and I’ve always got projects going on that will improve my home and my life, but I really can’t (and shouldn’t) complain.  I have a wonderful family and fantastic friends, a cool job that makes me happy, a safe and affordable home that I love dearly, and I haven’t gone hungry!  I do have aspirations… I want to see our music career become more stable, which will enable us to tour and take time off whenever we need it.  My biggest dream is to fund and operate a no-kill dog shelter in my area, as there is a serious need for one, and I believe that every dog deserves a loving home.  I also long for the day when I can have time for a few chickens, and maybe even a couple of goats!  I would also love to dedicate more time to raising and preserving my own food, the way my grandparents did.  I’m a person who loves simplicity and solitude, and I feel very grateful for the life I’ve been given so far.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I’ve listened to Laura’s music and in fact have bought both of the Secret Sister albums.  I love them.  I’m not just saying that because she’s a reader.  The band and the sister’s harmonizing is astonishing. Astonishing enough to have have been featured on The Hunger Games Soundtrack.

Think I’m just bragging?  Like a proud blogger?  Not true.  Read on …

Laura will be performing with her sister Lydia, as the Secret Sisters tonight, Friday August 22nd, on The Tonight Show with JIMMY FALLON at 11:35 on NBC.  Please support a fellow Art of Doing Stuff reader by watching.  Then … come back here to tell her how great they were. 🙂

If you want to get a taste of the Secret Sisters before hand you can watch their  latest video Rattle My Bones from their latest album, Put Your Needle Down.

secretmusicpic

You can listen to clips from their albums and buy them below!

The Secret Sisters

   Put Your Needle Down

Don’t forget to watch tonight! Good job Laura. Livin’ the dream.




70 Comments

  1. Marti says:

    Don’t you think you should have asked her if she’d tried the fro-yo female problem cure? That was one of the things that “sealed the deal” when I first binged on this site.

    Great song link. Going to bed now. Friday night Fallon? Might be able to make that one! Congrats Laura and Sis on singing on national telly!

  2. caryl hodgdon says:

    listening and really, really liking it. Will pass this on and I’ll be watching Fallon in a few! Go Cuddles-I no longer eat my layer pellets either. Been there done that. Just love me for who I am not for what I’ll make you for breakfast. xoxox

  3. Melanie says:

    Thank you –that was the perfect ending to a pretty good day! I’m going to make sure my sister knows about those sisters.

  4. Ellen says:

    LOVE Secret Sisters. I haven’t lived in Mississippi for many years, but it is still my heart’s home. My family on both sides has been in Prentiss, Lee, and Tippah Counties for generations.

    Take me down to Iuka, Mississippi!!

  5. Deb says:

    Thanks for the Cuddles update! Will be watching for the charming Secret Sisters!

  6. Andrea says:

    They are fabulous! Missed Fallon, but loved the link. Bravo on the national tv spot. Wish you much success, Laura & Lydia.

    Get better soon, Cuddles.

  7. Johanna Ouwerling says:

    Great interview. Thanks! I am sharing it on my Secret Sisters website.
    http://www.secretsistersblog.com
    Johanna

  8. Jane says:

    I think Cuddles likes you to make her special meals! Glad she is better….will be watching the Secret Sisters tomorrow night….good you cleared up it wasn’t tonight cause I thought Oh Crap, just missed them. Enjoyed the interview and love where she lives, too.

  9. Ember says:

    I saw their cd for sale in Cracker Barrel yesterday, so its ironic to read about them tonight. Will have to check them out. I cant do it right now because I will wake the slumbering child that crawled into our bed. Yay for Cuddles! Still praying for her!

  10. Hazel says:

    Love their music- I think I’ve heard them on the BBC Radio 2 country show in the UK…

  11. Auntiepatch says:

    I’m headed for bed but I’m taping the Jimmy Fallon and I’ll watch it tomorrow.

    Give Cuddles a hug from Auntie Patch!

  12. Deb says:

    Wonderful interview! And i love the music. Jimmy Fallon feaures such a mix of different artists and there isn’t one I haven’t liked. I’ll be sure to order through your Amazon link.

    And I’m so glad Cuddles is fighting and holding her own.

  13. Nancy says:

    Hey, I fell in love with Oxyclean because of your site too. Makes the sheets and towels smell so good. I
    have to look these girls up, LOVE the interview. I saw St Paul and The Broken Bones a few months ago. Alabama-Otis Redding-style-raised on gospel-with horns-and a Hammond organ-awesomeness, maybe these young women can help my constant jonesing for more Southern Blues for a while. Oh, I have been praying to St Brigid, patron saint of Chicken Farmers about Miss Cuddles. I never dreamed about what a chicken’s temperature was? I can imagine how you check this …

    • Karen says:

      O.K. You made me look that up. How in the WORLD did you know there was a patron saint of chicken farmers! I want a tee shirt with her picture on it now! ~ karen

      • Gretchen Sexton says:

        Karen–
        This just for you from St. Brigid Catholic Church in Baltimore, MD:
        St. Brigid is the patron saint for babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen; Creativity, Scholars, Poets.
        There are a number of descriptions and stories about her cloak, and I even found one site that had how to knit warming cloaks for your chickens for the winter. The chickens looked cute wearing them as they pecked in the snow…

      • Nancy says:

        I’m Catholic, there is a patron saint for every single thing! If St Brigid is patron saint of fugitives too, that works cause a lot of back yard chickens have to be clandestine/hidden/smuggled in and out.

  14. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Great interview…I loved the sound…guess I’m staying up tonight too!!

  15. Sally A says:

    Thank you for the update on Cuddles, so glad she’s hanging in there. And the Secret Sisters are terrific! Great interview. And since I’m assuming she’ll be reading thses comments, Hi Laura! Y’all are awesome. Have set my TV to record Jimmy Fallon tonight. So exciting! Y’all are going to be super famous. You’ll have a new car in no time! :o)

    PS the song will be in my head all day. Love it!

  16. Cindy Peterson says:

    Very Cool.
    I, too, have the habits of a 75 year old, so I have the DVR set to record Jimmy Fallon tonight. I triple dog dare Laura to give a “get well” shout out to Cuddles on the show 🙂

    ** Note: The infamous Triple-dog-dare is infamous for the sole reason that you cannot back down from it–without exception! An issued triple-dog-dare has no counteraction and must be implemented and/or carried out.

  17. Ruth says:

    Great harmony…. We don’t have cable/satellite TV, but I just know someone is going to upload it to YouTube soon enough. 😉

    Still no word on Cuddles’ troublesome poo? I remember you saying that it didn’t change even when she started eating again… is that still the case? If she wasn’t a chicken, I would say she’s depressed. We would need a ‘poultry psychiatrist’ to do an assessment, but I don’t think ‘chickcentric’ anti-depressants exist.

    Seriously though, I feel a lot more hopeful now than when I read your very first update…. I wouldn’t eat layer pellets either, so I’m with her on that one. One can get sick of all the ovulating madness (pardon my endo rant).

  18. Wendy says:

    Loved the video and I’m super impressed that Laura is a down to earth person at heart with simple loves in life. Nice interview…I enjoyed it all. xo wendy

  19. Su says:

    Secret Sisters sound AMAZING! will be watching them tonite on Jimmy Fallon – I’ll even stay up late for this :)…. love all things southern especially southern rock…. thanks for sharing and I’m glad to hear Cuddles seems to be improving…. Y’all are doing whatcha kin…..

  20. Chip says:

    I just learned the proper spelling of her town. I always thought that it was Mussel Shoals. Great post.

  21. Beckie says:

    thanks for new music! Really good.

  22. Jackie says:

    I love the Secret Sisters (have both albums) so I was excited to find out that Laura is a reader! Nice job on the profile, that was fun to read.

  23. Maggie V says:

    I have never heard of them but now that I have I will definitely stay in tune. Thanks for sharing Karen and glad you beloved pet is recovering.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Maggie. I wouldn’t say recovering just yet so much as not dying, but if she continues to improve I’ll be VERY happy. ~ karen!

  24. Dagmar says:

    Incredible harmony and such beautiful girls. Thanks for doing another feature Karen, and definately keep us all updated on Cuddles. Love the Sisters ! Love the adorable pic of Laura’s furry friends! And most of all love that super cute picture of Laura and her boyfriend! Sweet as honey 🙂

  25. Carol-Anne says:

    Nice to see them here! My ex-Uncle produced their last album.

  26. Jenny n NC says:

    Great harmony! Will be looking for these two……

  27. Teresa says:

    This is so cool! Beautiful voices and harmony…the kind that is only possible when someone shares the same DNA! Think Forester Sisters! Love your music!

  28. Suzan says:

    Good to read the Cuddles is hanging in! Secret Sisters have the most incredible harmony! There is nothing quite like sister harmony. My sister and I have been singing together since we were little kids and we love our harmony. Our mama still cries every time we sing together…and, yes, in a good way! Bought Laura and Lydia’s albums for a “sister” weekend at the shore. LOVE!

  29. Sandy says:

    Love their music! Great interview.

  30. Ann says:

    I don’t need to wait for the Fallon show tonight. The clip here was enough to send me scurrying to buy songs from both albums. I live fairly close to them, just across the state line in Tennessee so I am surprised to not have heard of them previously.

    Good to hear about Cuddles. My chickens are suffering something fierce in our heat wave. So I am taking out ice to dump in their water bowl 3 times a day. Making them a bowl of good yogurt with frozen berries to cool them off.

    • Karen says:

      The heat is the worst! Everyone asks me how my chickens survive the Canadian winters, but it’s the 100 degree, 100% humidity in our summer that will kill them! Good luck! ~ karen

  31. Pati Gulat says:

    Thanks for the Cuddles update… So glad to hear that it looks like she’s on the mend. Never heard of the Secret Sisters since I don’t listen to country but I really like them so I’ll be watching Jimmy Fallon just like the rest of ya’ll…I’m from Louisiana so we Southern girls gotta stick together. 😉

  32. Tigersmom says:

    Love “Rattle My Bones” and the retro sound but modern lyrics of the Secret Sisters. I googled their song from the Hunger Games soundtrack and you nailed your description of it as being haunting. Beautifully haunting. And great pictures, Laura!

    Glad to hear Cuddles is not worsening and hope she improves quickly.

  33. Glad to hear Cuddles is hanging in there!! I loved this profile. Two very talented ladies!

  34. lynne holtrust says:

    WOW….LOVED the Sisters…..thank you!!!!!
    Glad Cuddles is holding her own.
    I have a chicken problem of another sort.
    SOMETHING is stealing my eggs….not bothering the hens….just eggs disappearing without a trace!
    🙁

  35. Lynn (really spelled w/ an "e", but somebody else already has that spelling on here) says:

    Karen, thanks for the Cuddles update. Also really enjoyed the Reader Profile.
    Hey Laura, nice to meet you. Wishing you much success in the music business and in life.
    I’m looking forward to watching Jimmy Fallon tonight. Also, what Cindy Peterson said – I second the triple dog dare shout out to Cuddles! XO y’all.

    • Tracey says:

      I triple, the triple dog dare! ( but the show might be over now)
      What a fantastic profile! So glad Karen has introduced me to your beautiful voices!
      I really liked the clip and so I went to YouTube and listened to a bunch of your recordings. What lovely beautiful voices you have! Love the whole sound and retro vibe. I will be buying.
      I’m laid up in bed not feeling well, so won’t be able to watch Fallon. I’m sure you were great.

      Karen, thanks for the Cuddles update. Sounds like she had a really nice meal. Xoxocuddles

  36. Janet says:

    and that’s why we read this blog!! thanks

  37. Andi says:

    I actually saw them in DC a couple years ago, opening for Amos Lee. They were so good and definitely made a lasting impression!

  38. JeannieB says:

    Such wonderful talent! I’ll watch them tonight on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

  39. Kari says:

    I’m a big Secret Sisters fan! My friend told me to download the free new artist song My Heart Skips a Beat on iTunes because it was so different. Most of the newer mainstream country is not our thing. That was a few years ago and we’ve been hooked ever since. I especially love the song on The Hunger Games soundtrack, The Jack White remake Big River, Tennessee Me (beautiful) and I’ve Got A Feeling, which reminds me a little bit of She and Him. 🙂

  40. Kari says:

    And I’m so happy to hear Cuddles is doing a little bit better!

  41. Laura Bee says:

    My favourite reader profile so far – Hello Laura. Love your home (especially the glider & raised garden out front. And your music is wonderful – thank you!
    Music is so much a part of who I am. The last week has been very emotionally & physically exhausting. Helping my mom get the help she needs. Putting my life on hold. This morning at work Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion” came on & I sobbed all the way through it and half of the next song.
    Looking for happy right now, so listening to some excellent music is helpful. Tomorrow Will be Kinder is just what I needed at this moment. Thank you Laura & Lydia and Karen.

  42. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Hugs to Cuddles for being a tough chick and hanging in there..Just like her Mama..Laura and Lydia..I am loving your style and sound..I will be watching tonight..best of luck!

  43. Vanessa says:

    I LOVE finding new music! They were great, looking forward to Jimmy TONIGHT (This whole Friday seems a difficult concept for many)

    Cuddles reminds me of my kids after they have been sick. While sick they can have what ever they want, ice cream for breakfast, eggs for a midnight snack, jello whenever. But then when they fell better it’s tough to get them back to the routine. Heirloom tomatoes, oregano, romaine, and smoothies!! And you want her to eat pellets? She’s not sick, she’s smart!

  44. martina says:

    Maybe this will sound like a small detail but I wish she had said “I’m a woman, AND I am fully capable of doing most everything I set my mind to.” instead of “I’m a woman, but I am fully capable of doing most everything I set my mind to.” I hope that was what she meant, I’m sure it was if she’s a fan of yours!

  45. Bols says:

    That’s a really groovy music; thanks Karen for the profile. I had a tough week and I may fall asleep but if not I will watch. You go Laura!!!

    P.S. good to hear Cuddles is improving (at least it sounds to me like improvement).

  46. Kari says:

    I watched Fallon and ’twas awesome. I didn’t know about the new album until yesterday. It’s honestly amazing! Solid all the way through.

  47. you’re right. their harmonizing is amazing! quick note: the first the Secret Sisters link is not working. great article!

  48. Sandy says:

    Really enjoyed the performance, Laura. You girls are awesome!!

  49. debbie ruiz says:

    Just found their CD at Cracker Barrel here in VA 🙂

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