laura lee

Khruangbin, from left to right: guitarist Mark Speer, bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson Jr.

Photo by David Black

On the eclectic instrumental band’s newest, A LA SALA, the bassist pledges to “just play what sounds good and what feels good.”

“Bass playing is like humming to me,” says Khruangbin’s Laura Lee Ochoa. “I hum to myself all the time. It’s very in-your-body. It’s also one note, it can be as melodic as I want it to be, and it’s simple. It was something that just resonated with me.”

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Touré holds his Godin LGXSA, which he says has an even response across all 6 strings, which is perfect for his fingerstyle technique. “I have to have the acoustic sound and the electric sound together,” he says. “It’s a very cool guitar. It gives me my sound.”

Photo by Kiss Diouara

On a transcendent pair of albums, the preeminent Malian guitarist takes on his country’s musical tradition and teams up with the bewigged psychedelic Texans to pay tribute to his father, Ali Farka Touré.

“You know what’s happening in Mali, right?” Vieux Farka Touré casually asked a sweaty crowd at Philadelphia’s World Café Live this spring. It was a brief aside in a propulsive set that had little downtime. Rather than elaborate, he quickly led his trio into the next pulsating song. It was a short interruption tossed out in the same low-key style as his other more routine between-song banter, but an indicator that Touré wasn’t there just to entertain. He was on a mission.

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Rig Rundown - Khruangbin's Mark Speer and Laura Lee

Witness how the Texas trio spawns their brand of atmospheric Thai-funk rock with an expansive use of ’verb and a pair of road-trodden, vintage-styled instruments.

Reverb addict Mark Speer and badass bassist Laura Lee (above left) met with Premier Guitar's John Bohlinger before their ultra-hip, sold-out show at Nashville's Basement East. Speer and Lee took the crew through their non-conventional approach to nuevo-vintage tones.

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