For the past several years, Lavonne McRoberts has been the songwriter and frontwoman for Peace Love & Stuff, a four-piece rockabilly outfit that put on one of the highest energy shows in town. But when you have got four people as talented as Peace Love & Stuff's lineup working together, it can be a difficult beast to hold together.
“We'd all been together for 3 to 5 years,” McRoberts said of the band. “It was just time to grow differently as musicians for all of us.”
And that is, more or less, the story of how PL&S came to an end this fall, and McRoberts started to look for her next project. She found it by looking inward.
“I started booking solo shows,” she said. “I was ready for something new and fresh, and I have this nerdy passion for comics and 80's cartoons like She-Ra and Jem & The Holograms. I'm recreating myself.”
The recreated McRoberts comes in the form of an act she is calling Lavonne & The Battlecats — a callback to the old He-Man cartoons. Though the name might make it seem like there is a full band behind it, for the time being, McRoberts is going solo. The typical set list is currently a mix of covers and PL&S originals, but McRoberts has long term plans for the show.
“Right now, it's a solo project with the end goal tailoring more towards the Comicon type of crowd,” she explained. “There's going to be a comic that tells this backstory of Lavonne & the Battlecats as a band, and songs that will be inspired by comics and cartoons.”
But wait, there's more.
“After the original songs are through, I'll take people on a more educational journey through the history of Rock n Roll,” she continued. “It's an idea that kind of perpetuated from conversations I had at the bar where I work. I wanted to show the evolution of rock n roll, and how it impacts my original songs. All the songs I choose, influenced me as an artist, and influenced the songs that I write.”
McRoberts says that the musical journey starts in the 1930's, and showcases songs from each decade, moving forward to modern pop.
“There's a lot of songs from all over,” she said. “No matter who listens, they can probably pull a song or two from the set that they really like.”
Originally appeared in Cityview February 3, 2016