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Lauren Joy

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Thursday, Aug. 24, and Monday, Aug. 28, at Rotellis Pizza Pasta, 6-8:30 p.m, free Saturday, Aug. 26, with Brendan Hannigan at Jimbos Take 2, 2427 N. Union Blvd., $5-$7.50.

Lauren Joy just played her first show outside of Colorado Springs in front of thousands at the NewWestFest music festival in Fort Collins. The music flowed freely, the masses were entertained and many CDs were sold. It's probably safe to say the 20-year-old Manitou Springs High grad was a success.

Joy's warm and slightly husky vocals, when combined with lackadaisical acoustic guitar and piano melodies on tracks like "Unfaithful Eyes" and the Latin-tinged "Quick Notes," are reminiscent of other earthy/indie artists such as India.Arie and Norah Jones. And her low-key performances have certainly won her some local attention: She's one of three finalists in the solo/duo popular music category at the upcoming Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards for Excellence.

Joy says she's "shocked" to have made the finals, especially since one of her competitors is her friend and downtown scene staple Don Dooley. The showdown will take place at the Fine Arts Center, where each musician will perform one final piece.

"I think I might do "Quitting Time,'" she says. "I wrote it when I was quitting smoking. It's a long song, and really jamming."

Kara Luger

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