Aly Spaltro, 20
At age 20, singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro, who performs under the moniker Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, has been named one of the top 50 best new bands in America by The Phoenix newspapers, is working on her second full-length recording, and has played major cities, including Boston and New York. However, she remembers her fi rst attempt at guitar playing as not so promising.
“When I was about 6 my dad got me a kid-sized Sunburst Fender Strat knockoff,” said Spaltro. “I was determined to learn how to play, but was so stubborn about teaching myself on my own, that I became frustrated banging on it without knowing any chords, and put it away. I didn’t pick up a guitar seriously until I was 18.”
Spaltro said she eventually did learn when she decided to make her own music, and now plays banjo, ukulele, bass, and autoharp – essentially, any instrument she can fi nd. “I decided one day that I needed an 8-track recorder so I could start making my own music. When I got one, I only knew three chords, but I began writing songs on the spot and layering all the instruments to make full recordings, and learned how to play that way.”
Her songs come mostly from experience, but not always. “I keep a journal by my bed so I can document my dreams, and they tend to make it into my songs, as well (that is also how I got the moniker Lady Lamb the Beekeeper three years ago),” said Spaltro. “I write about nostalgia, unrequited love and whatever may be ailing me at the time. A song can be therapeutic or uplifting, as well as relatable to whomever may hear it.”
Six months after she began writing songs and recording music, Spaltro performed for the fi rst time. She began by playing open mics at Slainte in Portland – after she was able to work up the courage to perform.
“Before I fi nally decided to go in and play, I would drive to Portland from Brunswick, where I lived at the time, and park my car outside the venue and would coach myself to go inside,” remembered Spaltro. “I circled the block a few times and couldn’t bring myself to play a set.”
After a few weeks of almost performing, Spaltro fi nally played her fi rst set, and was so well received that she was asked to come back the following week. She then got her fi rst show at the Empire and began playing other venues in town.
“Being a part of the music scene in Portland has been more amazing than I can begin to describe. There is such a community of passionate and talented people who all support one another,” said Spaltro. “There is no competition, no climbing ladders, no stepping on one another’s toes there. Everyone in the scene just wants to see every band succeed, and everyone loves and appreciates one another.”
Spaltro’s next Portland show, however, will be her last for a while. She will be leaving town for Cambridge to work on her album and then moving to New York to be able to reach a wider audience. Before she goes, Space gallery will be hosting a “Farewell For Now, Lady Lamb” blow-out on Friday, Oct. 29, featuring some of Spaltro’s favorite musicians and a silent auction of some of Spaltro’s fi rst instruments.
“Maine is my home and I will miss it very much. I want to leave Portland with a bang, and with the knowledge that I will always come back and sing with and to my Portland family,” said Spaltro.