Paying Homage to Her Nevada Roots — Lauren Reno’s 11-Song Album, GOLD RUSH

Donna Block
7 min readSep 16, 2022


Born in rural Nevada. Cherokee Indian descent. Father, Eddie Dimock (“Cherokee Redneck” “White Knuckle Ride”), country artist signed by Capitol Records in early 90s. Which artists most influenced your father’s music?

My father had a genuine appreciation for the sounds, recordings and stage presence of George Strait, Chris LeDoux and Elvis Presley. He saw quality, and something different in all of them. Their unique and independent performance and songwriting styles inspired him in his music career.

My dad taught me a lot about songwriting and live performance. He fueled my passion, drive and performance style. It’s a love we both share and we’re mutual believers and big fans of one another.

Working at the local gold mine, along with your family. Got your degree and taught a few years. How do you see music education best evolving to be available for all students?

I believe music education is essential and to make it available to students in any educational environment. Funding seems to be the biggest hurdle to incorporate music programs in schools; sports programs are customarily given the majority of funding. I witnessed this myself when I was in high school. While both are important as options for students, music lasts a lifetime. Having programs available for students to progress them in music should be a priority. It’s a learned art that can take individuals through life; it’s not only a creative outlet but it’s therapeutic in so many ways.

Students who attend public school learn social behaviors that simply cannot be experienced online. Attending public school helps to encourage verbal communication, interactions, debate, human behavior and understanding that other people may not think the same way you do. That’s important. Alternatively, online schooling can be extremely beneficial to many who need, or feel more comfortable in, that particular learning environment. Both are appropriate options, but, just like everything in life, there are pros and cons.

Music, a blend of outlaw country and Americana-Folk roots. Inspiration all around you, letting ideas and lyrics take form, rather than trying to force something. In 2015, 24 years old, debuted an acoustic EP. Seasons, released under maiden name Lauren Dimock, it tells the beginning of your story as an artist, with “Might Be,” all about first love and on to one with an outlaw country sound, “Crooked Smile,” which is an anthem for women who are ready to let go of a relationship gone bad and party with fellow single ladies. How is your music influenced by the artists you listened to growing up, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash?

Patsy Cline is a huge inspiration to my vocal style and songwriting; her sound was cutting edge for its time. To see a woman embrace that and become a legend is so inspiring. Patsy recorded and released songs that were honest, heartbreaking and relatable. Johnny Cash…just feels nostalgic to me. I grew up listening to that music. It brings me “home” and gives me a sense of peace when I listen to old country music. ..and his songwriting, and those in that era, was masterful.

Franklin, TN. Co-owner, Majestic Ape Studio, with musician, composer, producer & husband, Ben. As you have matured into the artist you are now, he has supported you and your vision. “God gave me 2 of the greatest gifts. My Benni and my Luke have enhanced my life in every aspect. They have made everything brighter.” How do you include music in your children’s daily lives?

Music is a constant in our home. We play instruments, dance and sing. My children write their own little songs; it’s the cutest and sweetest thing I’ve ever been a part of. They know that mommy sings, and that mommy and daddy perform together; it’s really just a part of our lives. My daughter, Benni, sings my songs with me, and when we write, the kids dance in the background. They usually come to my shows. We try to make them an essential part of all of it. Our children keep us humble.

After a difficult second pregnancy and the pandemic, you wanted to honestly share yourself through your songs. “I didn’t just do this for myself, but for my kids, because I want them to know that everyone has a story, and your story might be the one that needed to be heard that day.” Which songs did you listen to during this period of time to help you through?

I listened to a lot of Bethel; I still listen to a lot of Bethel. I also listened to “Thy Will Be Done” by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family on repeat over and over. At that time, I was in constant prayer for the delivery of a healthy baby. Each day felt like a triumph because they told us that preterm labor was the likely outcome. Thankfully, we made it full term and we have a beautiful little boy, Luke.

The 11-song project, GOLD RUSH, was produced by Ben and recorded at Pentaverit and Majestic Ape Studios. The album pays homage to your Nevada roots, the story of your small hometown, and the gold mine through nostalgic recollections that resemble romantic chapters of an old west story. Can you share some of the movies that inspired you?

The series Centennial inspired bits and pieces of GOLD RUSH. As far as gold mining stories, honestly, it was just the fact that I lived life as a gold miner’s daughter. When I worked at the mine, I had training that covered every aspect of the trade, from safety to the gold rush. I heard a lot of stories during that time and the personal experience played a big part in the inspiration of the GOLD RUSH recording project.

“Don’t Think,” your first single, a strong love that became a heartbreak.

“Sweet Marjorie,” is a tribute to your beautiful grandmother and reminds listeners of your memories with her.

“Bottle’s Worth A Dime,” you stripped back the song after fans requested an acoustic version. How does changing the production to ‘bare bones’ change the focal point of the song to your vocals?

I think changing the production to ‘bare bones’ offers the listener to hear more of the intent and emotion of the song. It’s fun and sexy, but it’s also very sweet and charming, and gives that exciting feeling of when love is in “first bloom.” When we recorded the acoustic version, I think it also gave the listeners some insight into how the song first came to be. When I write, it starts with lyrics and a guitar; so it’s just as exciting for me to hear the acoustic version too!

Filming a video in the old west town of Gold Creek Ranch, Reno, Nevada (your former home turf) to showcase a true-to-life depiction of your family’s heritage, the gold mining industry, and a livelihood that still exists today. How did you create the storyboard that was directed and filmed by Chaz Mazzota?

We really wanted to capture the entire picture of gold mining in Nevada — the desert, the loneliness, the beauty. Thankfully, Nevada has all of that and Gold Creek Ranch offered the perfect setting. As far as a personal connection to the video, the song itself is personal. I’ve witnessed people lose their parents out at the mine, I’ve seen families get torn apart by mining. It wasn’t necessarily hard for me to tap into that because it was my life. Chaz captured the realness of “Gold Rush,” and I am so grateful that we were able to do it justice.

“Don’t think I don’t think about how excited I get every time I hit the stage.” One of your personal favorite performers is Martina McBride. How has she inspired you as a performer?

Martina has kept her family close amidst the challenges of a successful music career; I admire that. I have an appreciation for an artist or entertainer who is a wife and mother first, and can be a powerhouse artist as well. My two children are young, so I’m figuring out how to balance it all. Sometimes, I’m great at it and sometimes, maybe not so great. I think Martina McBride offered me inspiration that I can do it. I can be a momma and an artist; I don’t have to choose. From an artistic standpoint, Martina McBride is simply an amazing vocalist. I grew up wanting to sing exactly like her; she influenced my vocals from a very young age.

What’s your music career/future look like for ’23?

I’m planning a few different tours in 2023 to continue promoting the GOLD RUSH project. We enjoyed putting the album together and I’m looking forward to continuing to embrace our work and the momentum of the release of this new CD. We’ve begun the process of writing some new music. Who knows, we might even begin a second album.





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