Star power: Musician and her band to rock Summer Concert Series

Still not fully awake in her Seattle abode, Star Anna answers the phone as her dog barks in the background.

Star Anna has made a name for herself as a singer/guitarist. Star and her band

Still not fully awake in her Seattle abode, Star Anna answers the phone as her dog barks in the background.

It’s 11 a.m. on a recent Friday. For Star, sleeping in late is apparently part of her rock-and-roll world, one that has taken the singer/guitarist from her sleepy hometown of Ellensburg to Seattle, where she’s befriended and received glowing feedback from folks like Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and country star Brandi Carlile.

NPR named her tune “Through the Winter” its song of the day two years back.Star has made a name for herself after trading in her drum kit for a guitar nine years ago as a 16-year-old in high school.

“I picked up my grandfather’s guitar, and the strings were so far off the fret and were so thick. They killed my fingers,” said Star, who will perform with her band, The Laughing Dogs, from 7-9 p.m. July 21 at the Kirkland Summer Concert Series at Marina Park.

She’s rocking a Guild acoustic and an Epiphone hollow body electric these days and recently released her third album, “Alone in This Together.” On Sept. 3-4, Star and her band will perform at the Pearl Jam 20 Destination Weekend at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis.

“We put it all out there — we put our heart and soul into it. And when the audience goes with us, it sort of pulls everything together,” said Star, who is looking forward to the outdoor Kirkland gig because she can “wear sunglasses and look cooler.”

Star said the band plays rock and roll and proudly carries its Tom Petty influences. She noted that when recording the new album, they used Petty’s “Wildflowers” as a template (“We look to it as perfection,” she said of the 1994 hit album).

On “Alone in This Together,” Star added that the band opened up its sound and played from the gut in the studio: “I feel that every note is intentional. It’s got a live feel, a band feel — it’s not just, ‘I’m the lead singer.'”

The Laughing Dogs are: Justin Davis, lead guitar, backup vocals; Travis Yost, drums; Keith Ash, bass; and Ty Bailie, keys and organ.

Star’s voice has caught the attention of many music fans, including McCready, who contributed this quote on Star’s Web site: “She sings from a place of beauty that takes me to a higher place.”

Writing lyrics has been a cathartic experience for Star, who said she struggles with depressing and dark thoughts (like the end of the world in “Five Minutes to Midnight”) and “I get them out of me and put them into a song. It makes it easier for me to be a happy person.”

At age 25, Star is comfortable where she’s at in life, on stage, in the studio, performing with her bandmates and sharing her songs with listeners coming along for the ride.

“It’s been amazing every step of the way,” she said. “It feels good — it feels right.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Forbes Creek Park. Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland
Kirkland reopening playgrounds

The city states there’s been an increase in compliance in masking and social distancing in the city, leading to the reopening

Photos: Students give thank you cards to local health workers

The cards were delivered to home care and hospice centers and EvergreenHealth.

Dr. Adam Rothenber is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at EvergreenHealth Orthopedic & Sports Care. Courtesy photo/EvergreenHealth
The ins and outs of joint replacement

By Dr. Adam Rothenberg Special to the Reporter According to the Center… Continue reading

Terry Lentz, pictured, has won the I am AGELESS Community Builder Award. Courtesy photo/Woodlands at Forbes Lake
Kirkland volunteer to receive award for spirit and service during COVID-19 pandemic

Presented by SHAG Community Life Foundation, the award recognizes those whose service, skills and spirit defy aging’s stereotypes.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Screenshot of the stray kitten and the Rev. Aaron Burt from the July 12 liturgy video.
Stray kitten surprises local priest during virtual Sunday service

“It was one of the most difficult sermons I’ve ever had to offer, because I was trying not to step on her.”

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

Listen and Talk students playing on playground. Courtesy photo.
Specialty school coming to Kirkland

Listen and Talk is a specialized program for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Decorated statue at Marina Park in support of Black Lives Matter efforts. Reader submitted photo.
Ribbons for Black Lives Matter

The display at Marina Park coincides with statewide efforts of the local King County Black Lives Matter chapter.

Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from June 5 through September 25.
Kirkland farmers markets are ready for shoppers

Both Kirkland Wednesday Market and Juanita Friday Market are practicing social distancing during their reopenings.