‘Circus’ folk

Singer-songwriter Rebecca Loebe rarely feels right at home on the road as she does when she plays The Blue Door, as she will Thursday.

The Atlanta native cut her teeth in Georgia’s famed Eddie’s Attic, the club that helped foster the careers of Indigo Girls, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and The Civil Wars, among others. John Mayer worked the door as Loebe — then a bright-eyed high schooler — played open mics there.

“It spoiled me. I just assumed there was an equivalent in every city, and when I started touring full-time, I realized that was hardly the case,” Loebe said. “The Blue Door shares the spirit of Eddie’s. I think that’s why I am so comfortable there.”

That said, she is more comfortable on any stage now than she was just two years ago. Although the Berklee College of Music grad has toured for more than half a decade, it took a stint on NBC’s The Voice to shatter most of her anxieties. Then homeless (by choice), she charmed both Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera with her unexpected cover of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.”

“I have this absence of fear,” Loebe said. “It was such a judgment-based experience, it makes everything I’ve done since then just feel like fun.”

It wasn’t the exposure she values most, but the truth it revealed in herself.

“It was much more helpful internally. It gave me a peek inside the belly of the beast of the entertainment industry,” she said. “It made me realize, more than ever, that isn’t the field I want to be in. I want to be a blue-collar songwriter, a more arts-and-crafts approach to making music. I’m not striving for the approval of people, especially the people in the mainstream.”

Reinvigorated, Loebe wrote and recorded Circus Heart, her third full-length album, which hit shelves last fall and found her letting her hair down.

“[I felt] free to try a lot of new things, sonically. We dabbled in instruments I don’t usually play … and I felt a lot of freedom,” she said. “We really were able to bring out the really message behind each song in the record. I’m thrilled with how the whole album came out.”

Still touring in support of Circus Heart, her travels inspiring new songs, recording might be on the horizon.

“I’m a slow, psychotic writer. It’s a long process to me. I’m just now coming out of my shell,” Loebe said. “Two songs just came out of me this week, though. Maybe I’m in a writing kick?”

Joshua Boydston

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