Folk rocker Lady Lamb jumps from basement to clubs 

When Maine-bred Aly Spaltro was 18, she began composing folk-rock songs in earnest. Soon she had enough to record a full album. But there was just one problem. She came up with material so quickly, she hadn’t had time to come up with a title for her project. So she turned to her trusty bedside notebook, where she scribbled lyrics. “I was also writing down dreams I was having in the middle of the night, and I woke up one morning and I’d written Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, and I didn’t have any recollection of writing it,” she says. She adopted it as a persona, but recently shortened it to Lady Lamb for her exuberant, full-bodied new album, “After.”

So you’re no longer keeping bees?

No longer! It was just a fictional character, and I had the full name for about seven years. But I just recently decided that I wanted to abbreviate it. But it came along right at the time when I had 10 songs that I wanted to share anonymously, just for free at my local record store in Maine. So I just slapped that name onto those CDs, and then when I started performing, it stuck.

Did you hand out those early CDs to strangers?

No! I would never do that. I made 11 burned CDs, made a little doodle on the front, put ‘em in a plastic sleeve, and left ‘em on the counter of that record store, which was right next door to the video store where I worked. I was very shy about it and pretty secretive at the time. And I left my e-mail on the back.

Did you get any feedback?

That’s actually a really cool story. Of the 11 people who picked up those CDs up over the course of a day, I only heard from one. He’d never been to Brunswick, my town, before; he was on a drive with a friend and got lost. So he e-mailed me, and he was the first stranger to give me any feedback on my music. And it was such a nice message – I was so flattered. So we ended up meeting in person, becoming best friends, and now he’s my touring bassist.

And the DVD-store gig proved crucial, too, right?

Yeah. The store happened to be in a basement, and I had permission from my boss to be down there after hours, just to play music. And I could be really loud, so I just fell in love with making songs. So instead of going to college, I made the decision to move to Portland, Maine, and then New York. And I’ve been doing music full time ever since.


Lady Lamb

Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. April 25

Tickets: $12 to $14

Contact: (415) 861-2011,

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Tom Lanham

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