Laura Cantrell: No Way There From Here (Thrift Shop/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Laura Cantrell: Letter She Sent
Laura Cantrell: No Way There From Here (Thrift Shop/Southbound)

Cantrell is emblematic of what “country” can mean today.

Nashville-born (where she hosted an oldtime music radio show), she studied law and accountancy in New York which is now her home, and she's a sometime contributor to the New York Times. At 46 she's recorded half a dozen albums, was a darling of influential DJ John Peel in the UK, yet hasn't lost a connection to roots music, notably when she did tribute album to innovative and daring women in country music.

She's smart, educated, attractive (nice photo-shoots) but still “authentic”.

Here she sings of lying in the cool green grass, highways and hard times, Tennessee, life's disappointments (Letter She Sent with Jim Lauderdale on harmony vocals), love's yearning with expectation (the banjo-embellished but inconclusive Driving Down Your Street) and dreary broke-relationship domesticity (the moving Washday Blues).

Cantrell isn't alt.country – Taylor Swift could grow into this thoughtful pop-country – so this is considered Nashville music (the imagery on Glass Armour) which connects to deep roots.

But – in a same-same voice which can pall over 40 minutes – this tells of those ordinary but special emotions of love, helplessness and neediness which link us all.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

Like Jonathan Richman and Weezer, New York's They Might Be Giants had nerdy charm when they emerged some 15 albums ago and it was fun to hear them on the theme to Malcolm in the Middle and... > Read more

Frazey Ford: Obadiah (Nettwerk/Shock)

Frazey Ford: Obadiah (Nettwerk/Shock)

Ford was one of the key voices in the Be Good Tanyas, but since they have disbanded she is now out on her own with this debut solo album -- and quite some quiet piece of work it is. Things... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN PAUL McLANEY on pinning down the elusive musical dream

GUEST MUSICIAN PAUL McLANEY on pinning down the elusive musical dream

In the majority of recording situations I have been in, either by accident or design, the initial idea or inspiration for a piece of music is necessarily altered by the filter of musicians and... > Read more

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Given the stealthy return of concept albums in rock, we welcome this entry from world music where -- if the title suggests people bellowing in your ear, taxi horns honking incessantly and smiling... > Read more