Twice a year, the not-so-disparate worlds of music and wine are paired together during the weekend-long Live In The Vineyard event, held in the incredibly picturesque environs of Northern California’s Napa Valley. Co-founded by music industry veterans Claire Parr and Bobbii Hach-Jacobs, the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend by bringing high wattage talent like Alanis Morrissette, Gavin DeGraw, Adam Lambert, VH1 You Oughta Know artists Delta Rae and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and more into the grape-growing capital of the United States to perform.
The weekend’s festivities kicked off in earnest last night at Bottega, the restaurant founded by celebrity chef Michael Chiarello (Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, the Food Network’s Easy Entertaining). Chiarello was celebrating the upcoming release of his new cookbook, Live Fire, and put on a cooking demonstration —pasta and clams on the grill!— with the spritely musician LP. The Brooklyn-born, ukelele-wielding LP (Laura Pergolizzi) looks a little bit like Don’t Look Back-era Bob Dylan, but sings like Tegan Quin if Tegan had a more expansive vocal range.
You might not recognize LP’s name (yet), but you’ll definitely recognize her music. She got her start writing songs for the likes of Rihanna (“Cheers”) and Rita Ora (“Shine Ya Light”), but she got a big career boost as when her song, “Into The Wild,” was featured in a Citi commercial. The spot was a ubiquitous presence on TV screens earlier this year, and is best known for its refrain “Somebody left the gate open.”
LP performed an intimate six-song set for the crowd of roughly 200 or so, most of which was culled from her new EP, Into The Wild. Her ever-so-slightly nasally tone really comes alive and gains resonance when you hear it in concert, and songs like “Levitator” and “Tokyo Sunrise” had the crowd buzzing on more than just the primo Napa Valley vino. And from where we were standing, her hauntingly passionate cover of Roy Orbison‘s “It’s Over” brought tears to more than a few people’s eyes. Oh, and did we mention her whistling? If there were an Olympic event for whistling, LP would be positively Michael Phelps-ian in her ability to dominate the category. She displays range that puts Andy Griffith to shame!
All in all, It was an incredible start to what promises to be an outstanding weekend out here in wine country. Be sure to follow VH1 Tuner on Twitter for updates and pictures all weekend long: @VH1Music.
[Photo: Getty Images]