Born to a nearly absentee father (jazz saxophonist Preston Love) and a schizophrenic mother (Wini Winston, a singer in Preston's jazz band), Laura Love grew up in and out of foster homes in Lincoln, Nebraska. She got her start as a musician with a gig at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, before moving to Seattle and joining grunge-blues outfit Boom Boom G.I. At age 25 she learned the bass, which became the staple instrument of her solo career. Developing a style that blended funk with folk, blues with bluegrass, hip-hop with riot grrrl rock, Love used her music to espouse her own feminist and leftist politics and to explore the issue of race and her own racial identity (she is part white, part Native American, and one-eighth African American). Love released three albums on her own label, Octoroon Biography, before recording five more albums on various major labels, starting with Polygram. In 2004, Hyperion published her autobiography, You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes, accompanied by an album of the same name. Love has opened for the likes of Bo Diddley and Lyle Lovett and headlines her own shows on the festival and college circuits.