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La Luz Rebounds After Its Tour Van Accident

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"For me, it reaffirmed my dedication to get on the road. Short of dying in that accident, it seemed like the worst possible thing happened," she says. "The fact that we were able to come back and that we had so much support from the Seattle music scene and from fans all over who donated to help us by a new van was encouraging."

La Luz -- Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl and bassist Abbey Blackwell -- cancelled a run of tour dates with of Montreal, but had already booked a spring tour and made it a goal to return. Blackwell has since left and La Luz recruited Lena Simon to join on bass.

"Sometimes as a musician it seems like it can be a selfish pursuit," Cleveland says. "Very little of the job of working on music is in front of other people. It's so much in your own head and with your band and to have so many people step forward and tell us that they hope we keep going to me ended up being a positive, encouraging experience in the end."

Help poured in from everywhere -- Japan, Australia and Europe. Somebody from the East Coast who Cleveland had never met shipped an amplifier to Seattle that she's been using on tour.

"When we had to cancel those dates with of Montreal it felt like too depressing to cancel the next tour we had planned to so we did all we could to get back on the road," Cleveland says. "It's still a little freaky being on the road after that, especially driving at night, but the more you do it the more you get comfortable again."

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Eric is a freelance writer covering music, travel, science, and food and drink.
Contact: Eric Swedlund