Lahna Deering

Lahna was born in Surrey, British Columbia, but she mostly grew up in a farmhouse in Port Townsend, Washington, the daughter of a stewardess and mining engineer. Her father came from a family so dedicated to making music that they photocopied hundreds of folk songs, country numbers, Beatles tunes and church hymns with lyrics and chords into hand-bound books they called the Deering Family Songbook, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and more. By 14 Lahna was playing acoustic guitar and singing her own songs at the Boiler Room, the alternative coffeehouse in Port Townsend.

“’Pulp Fiction’ came out when I was 12," she says; “I was too young to see the movie, but I was allowed to get the soundtrack. It had Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ and Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’; it had surf music and country music. All my girl friends and I would go home after school and put on that Dusty song and just wear it out. It was this whole world of music that just seemed more serious than Vanilla Ice and the New Kids on the Block that our classmates were listening to.”

She ended up in a Portland, Oregon, experimental high school, an institution so alternative that Lahna was able to spend a lot of her time in the school’s rock'n'roll band, Lavish, writing and singing her own songs. Some of the songs she co-wrote with her friend Mile Thieson for Lavish later surfaced on the first Deering & Down album. After graduation, she found her way to Skagway, Alaska, where her mom had moved.

Lahna Deering