She began playing keyboards as a small child, her grandmother noticing she was playing "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" the Nancy Sinatra hit, on her toy Magnus Chord organ. Later sought out by shopping malls and department stores as a young girl, she started writing her own songs and designing her own 'album covers.' This led and inspired her for her future careers, which also include graphic design.
Not only a fan of progressive music such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis, and others, the hometown boys Kansas played a big part in her influential years, as well.
Before setting out for a record contract, she collaborated with Gilli Smyth of "Gong" on a self-released 'tape' titled "Dreamscapes." "Dreamscapes" was released by the U.S.-arm of Voiceprint, and soon after, she began label shopping for a longer-lasting deal.
A composer and keyboardist, LaRue became the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records label (SOAR) Natural Visions sublabel. Her debut release was titled "Beloved Tribal Women," produced by Will Alexander (keyboard tech to Keith Emerson, Herbie Hancock, and many other great keyboard players). The CD also received accolades for being a first in combining art with music. The CD booklet featured 14 paintings by the most awarded female Native American artist in the world, Joan Hill. The idea was, "A picture paints a thousand words," so naturally, the music was instrumental, letting the art inspire the listener. Since, she has released "Children's Songs in the Cherokee Language," "That Ol' Sofkee Spoon," "Ama," "Transformation 2012," "World Class" released as Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, "Fast and Blue" and “Sussuration” with 2KX, and “Sonic Landscapes” with Federico Fantacone. She has also appeared on recordings by others, including Oliver Wakeman Band guitarist, David Mark Pearce ("Strange Ang3ls" album), Head Transfer Process (Stargazer), and Esquire with Nikki Squire ("Stay Low").
She was nominated for a Hollywood Music Award in 2008, and was also awarded the Oklahoma Music Awards "Native American Artist of the Year." Her band 2KX was nominated as Instrumental Band of the Year in 2011 by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
She is married to singer/songwriter/producer and engineer John Baker, who is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Life After Mars, and lead vocalist for LA-based progressive rock band Forever Twelve.
2KX was a progressive rock band formed by Lisa LaRue as a spin-off of her Project 2K9. The band recorded actively from 2010 through 2014.
Steve Adams • Mike Alvarez • John Baker • Merrill Hale • Lisa LaRue • Don Schiff
Special guests: John Payne, Michael Sadler, Ryo Okumoto
Steve Adams - guitars
Mike Alvarez - cello
John Baker - vocals, additional guitars
Merrill Hale - drums
Don Schiff - NS Stickbass
And our special guests ....
John Payne (Asia) - lead and backing vocals, mixing, co-production
Michael Sadler (Saga) - vocals
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards (on Prometheus)