The third Beatle

Dear Reader,

This Monday Zachary and I auditioned a bass player by the name of Noah for our Summer tour. Things went very well, and we ended up playing an impromptu jam of Rockin In The Free World, which totally sealed the deal for me. Zachary delegated drums to Noah at the end of a new song we’ve been working on, which he pulled off with grace and skill. That totally sealed the deal for Zachary because now he has two songs where he can play ambient guitar just like The Edge. It was a really fun afternoon and we’re looking forward to Noah joining the LKBand for our longest and most extensive tour yet.

I had the chance to sit down with Noah and talk afterward, and I thought I’d share a little bit of our conversation so you can get to know him as well, because we’re all going to be best friends by the end of this so you may as well get a head start.

LKB: Okay, first things first. What is your favorite border sauce?

NDK: Well it was always fire but then I tasted hot one day and I think it might be hotter than Fire. The answer is whichever is the hottest.

LKB: Gotcha. What’s your favorite Taco Bell menu item?

NDK: Historically the Chalupa, Baja, Steak. Lately I’ve been getting the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Volcano Tacos are always good too.

LKB: How do you feel about the Doritos Locos Taco?

NDK: I think it’s a good way for them to sell hard shell tacos to the public, but I think that the shell would be better employed as the inner layer of a Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

LKB: As one of the founders of Ratzfest, I’m sure this year will be a little bit different since you’ll be performing in addition to partying. What has been your favorite thing about the fest?

NDK: Probably the people, then the introduction of alcohol in to that group of people, and of course the jovial atmosphere that’s created by all of the music.

(Ratz, the originator of Ratzfest now joins us on the patio)

LKB: I’m interviewing Noah.

RATZ: Oh, do you want me to be filming this?

LKB: No, I’ve been using the voice memos on my phone.


LKB: No, this is great, My fan base LOVES taco bell.

RATZ: You realize now that you have a bassist you’ve become the punk rock band on the fest, and Humans have become the singer/songwriter. You’re going to have to play a lot faster.

LKB: I’ll see what we can do about that. Okay Noah, what’s your favorite band?

NDK: My favorite band is U2, the Irish rock group. Bono, a.k.a. Paul Hewson, The Edge, who is Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, who is their bassist, and Larry Mullin Jr., who is their drummer. They started out in Dublin Ireland at Mount Temple high school, and they weren’t very good at first. Some people would argue that they never got any better, but I would disagree. Their first of many albums was released in 1980.

LKB: Do you think that Zack is kind of like the Edge when he plays ambient guitar?

NDK: I don’t think Zack’s anywhere close to the Edge.

LKB: Do you mean that metaphorically or do you mean that he’s not like U2’s The Edge? Or he’s not edgy?

NDK: There’s speculation as to why Edge was even nicknamed Edge. And there’s no real answer to that, so I can’t describe the Edginess quality when I don’t even know why Edge is called Edge.

LKB: So you don’t think Zack is like the Edge at all.

NDK: No.

LKB: Moving right along then. If you were doing Laura K. Balke karaoke, singing the song “Two Ships”, would you sing the words “two ships” or “two shits?”

NDK: If I was singing karaoke I would say “two ships” because it would be a performance I wouldn’t want to goof it. If I was singing along in the car I’d say “two shih tzus.”

LKB: How do you deal with smelly shoes?

NDK: I don’t really have any plan of action. I’d probably take them off and put them in a bag or something.

LKB: How do you deal with other people’s smelly shoes?

NDK: I wouldn’t call them out, I’d just move. It’s not that complex. And then when they figure out that everyone is leaving they’ll get the hint.

RATZ: What about when you’re trapped in a car with them?

LKB: Zack’s kinda got a problem. This is me trying to warn you about it.

NDK: You could probably put some sort of powder in his shoes when he’s not looking.

LKB: Excellent. Very constructive. Now just for the record, how do you feel about Taylor Swift?

NDK: She’s just way too cute. You know?

LKB: Oh, I don’t know. I could never get enough of anything that has to do with her, including cuteness.

NDK: But you understand what I mean, some people are just-

LKB: Well she’s not like Zooey Deschanel cute, she’s way more badass.

NDK: Zooey Deschanel cute is just stupid, it’s a girl pretending to be stupid and maybe she really is stupid.

LKB: Thank you. So back to Taylor- so she’s too cute for you to get in to as a musician or as a person. Even as a songwriter?

NDK: Well, I haven’t listened to much of her music, so I can’t say.

LKB: The reason that I ask is because sometimes when I get really tired on a long drive I listen to Taylor Swift really loud to keep myself awake… And I sing along, really loudly.

NDK: Well, Taylor Swift to you is like U2 to me. We’re going to be listening to both.

LKB: Now that I’m outnumbered by U2 fans in my own band, I suppose we can probably find a happy medium.

NDK: I’m going to be showing you all the best songs. These are not the songs you’ve heard on the radio.

RATZ: It’s your car. Remember, it’s YOUR CAR.

LKB: Okay, in closing we have a couple of questions from the fans out there on the Internet who’d like to get to know more about you.

First, Ryan asked “Why does U2 suck so bad?”

NDK: That’s a leading question. You’re trying to trick me in to answering it and if I did I’d be affirming that they suck. I’m not going to answer it.

LKB: Fair enough.

Second, April asked “Does Noah have any skills if he was stranded on a desert island?”

NDK: Well, I know how to distill salt water into drinking water. I’d need plastic wrap and a pan or something like that, but I could do it.


That’s it for now, friends. I’ve got a good feeling about this tour.


Portland Wears It’s Heart On It’s Streets

Dear Reader,

Today I write from a Panera Bread in Concord, NH. I’m not sure how I feel about this place because a woman at the table behind me said “have you heard about this new taco that they put inside of a Doritos shell? That sounds disgusting.” Good thing we’re headed out of here in a few hours to play at the Hole In The Fence Cafe in neighboring New London.

So far New England has been beautiful, amiable, and kind. It will also hold the memory of one of the strangest, most disturbing things I’ve seen in my travels. It all started when the bartender at our Saturday show in Portland, Maine said “You want to see something really disgusting?” Of course we did, and upon following her across the street found it to be an impaled heart on a stake that was a part of a gate surrounding a tree. It had been there since Thursday, and the police would not remove it as they speculated that it was not human and it smelled badly by the time they checked on it. We bonded with a few of the locals over the happening, and though Portland is a memorable city in it’s own right, the impaled heart will always be the first thing that comes to my mind regarding that beautiful coastal town.

Below are a few notable sights we’ve beheld, including the heart. You’ve been warned!

Sally ho and tally forth, LKB

This gentleman performed a few impromptu songs after we played at The News Cafe.

Maine Moose

My rehearsal space in Ellsworth, Maine

This is what touring does to my purse. Also, I like collecting condiments.

My rehearsal space in Portland, Maine

Jon's rehearsal space

Tour life tooth brushing

We happened upon this slice of heaven.

Too bad this place was closed. I wanted to know about Talking Machines.

Jon's setup at The Maine Grind

Portland is the heartest

This is our new friend Andrew. We met him because he was lured from his apartment by tales of the heart.

Mini Midwest Tour + Fest

Dear Reader,

Greetings from International LKB headquarters. I’ve been busy as ever booking my heart out and working on new music, but before I get ahead of myself (New England Tour! New Single!) I’d like to announce a mini Midwestern tour surrounding the highly anticipated Midwest Fest. For this stretch I’ll be out with Fort Wayne’s own Grey Gordon, who just released a finished song off of his upcoming record. Below is where you can find us over the next five days:


Thursday, April 26: Indianapolis, IN / The Sneaky Bandit’s Halfway to Halloween Show

Friday, April 27: Chicago, IL / House Show

Saturday, April 28: Fort Wayne, IN / MIDWEST FEST @ 816 Pint & Slice

Sunday, April 29: Kalamazoo, MI / House Show

Monday, April 30: South Bend, IN / The Pool


That’s right, we’re playing in a converted high school swimming pool! Check out the “LIVE” page for more details. Below are a couple of flyers I drew up while watching a marathon stretch of Breaking Bad.

I have even more exciting news to share, but I’ll save it for a later date. As always, you can keep in touch with my travels on twitter, facebook and instagram!

With love, LKB

Tour Dates and other news!

Dear Reader,

It’s been a busy week trying to get everything ready for tour. I’ve been spending some late nights watching Breaking Bad and working on restocking my merch supply. Lots of stamping has been happening.

Before Zachary and I leave tomorrow, I thought I’d post a list of our tour dates. In a few of these cities (I’m looking at you, Saginaw Michigan, Milwaukee Wisconsin, and St. Paul Minnesota!) we are relying on the kindness of strangers I’ve met on the Internet. If you have friends in these places, you should send them our way!

Tour Dates are as follows:

March 10: Celina, OH- The Nest
March 12: Port Huron, MI- House Show
March 14: Saginaw, MI- The Hamilton St. Pub
March 15: Chicago, IL- House Show
March 16: Milwaukee, WI- Y-not III
March 17: Lake Villa, IL- Swing State
March 19: St. Paul, MN- The 108
March 22: Columbia, MO- Candyland
March 23- Kansas City, MO- Czar Bar
March 24: Warrensburg, MO- Neptune on Pine

Hope to see you on the road! Keep up with all of the shenanigans on facebook, twitter, and/or instagram (laurakbalke). And for my dear Indiana, I’ll have several dates inside of you this April/May.

This week I finally got around to getting my profile up at the beautiful thing that is Musical Family Tree. Go take a look, have a listen, and leave your comments!

And lastly, yesterday I launched my new reality cooking series, the LKBs of Cooking. I’ll leave you with the pilot episode.

White Rabbit!

Dear Reader,

As anticipated, the show Saturday evening at the White Rabbit Cabaret with The Bonesetters and She Does Is Magic was an absolute blast. It was an honor to be a part of such a stacked bill, and a real treat to watch SDIM for the first time and see The Bonesetters rock ‘n roll. And I must bless our audience, who was certainly the most attentive bar crowd I’ve played to.

But don’t take my word for it! I was finally able to meet the writers behind Thought On Tracks, who have been so gracious as to cover my recent releases, and they wrote a lovely review of the evening. Indy Rock live also covered the show on their website! What a night!

While we’re talking blogosphere, Nicole over at Hipster Spinster wrote some really nice things about the Old Friend video/single/photo album. Go read it and let her convince you to watch/download/purchase.

Though the show was several days before Zachary and I leave on our Spring tour, I have a feeling that these high spirits will follow us for awhile on the road. Thanks, Indianapolis.

All my love, LKB

Mark of She Does Is Magic performing at Indy CD and Vinyl

Waiting to soundcheck

She Does Is Magic!

The Bonesetters!