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Etta Lea is the product of a southern Methodist choir-girl upbringing. Her formative years in Old Church, Virginia exposed her to 70s country radio via her momma, while her father and his brothers regularly played bluegrass during family gatherings. Lea began writing poetry at a young age, presenting one of her poems to the Virginia governor at the age of 9. She began setting her poems to music during her teenage years, but her songwriting really took off when she moved to North Carolina and began singing with her sister Eva Gael; she's been performing live shows ever since. Currently a member of critical darlings The Near Misses, Lea has fronted and written with several area bands including Ishi, Boaliri and Terra Firma. In 2000, she was selected as Best Local Female Singer in the Creative Loafing Best of Charlotte Awards: "Subtlety when it's called for, impressive full-tilt growl when needed..." The Near Misses won the “Best New Band” Award in the Arts & Entertainment category of the Creative Loafing Readers’ Choice Awards, and in 2006, Creative Loafing named the group the “Best Band” (Readers’ Choice) in its “Best of Charlotte: International Edition.” As a solo artist, Etta Lea writes and performs music that features lush vocals augmented by acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin. Her arrangements vary from minimalist ambient rock to rollicking americana, with an undeniable pop sensibility woven throughout. Songwriting influences include Sarah Harmer, Patty Griffin, U2 and Natalie Merchant. Creative Loafing music writer Tim Davis selected Etta Lea for the Singer-Songwriter category of "Rock & Roll Call: The Best of Charlotte's Original Music Scene." Davis described Etta Lea as "the honey-voiced alter ego of Lea Pritchard." Lea has recorded two EPs, It's True in 2005, followed by Canvas in 2006.