I was first introduced to the music of Laura Cantrell by way of Elvis Costello. Costello was so taken by the pure country charm of her 2000 debut record, Not the Tremblin’ Kind, that he chose her to be the support act for his 2002 U.S. tour. After seeing several shows on that tour, I, too, became a fan of hers.
Cantrell was born in Nashville but never returned from New York City after attending Columbia University. Her time there led to successful careers in both the business world and as a radio disk jockey. She does manage to get back to Music City often, and it was here where she recorded her latest LP, No Where There From Here. Before doing a full show the following night at The Basement, Cantrell and her band celebrated the record’s release with a brief in-store set upstairs at the record store.
For a friend unfamiliar to her music, I likened it to that of Patti Griffin. However, after hearing the set, he compared her to Nanci Griffith which she later took as a compliment. To me, Cantrell is among the select few current artists who keep the torch of pure country music alive.
Cantrell played three songs from her new release and three from her previous record. That record was a tribute to an artist who helped light the torch back in the day, Miss Kitty Wells. Starting with her self-penned ode to the Queen of Country Music, “Kitty Wells Dresses,” Cantrell followed with two songs of Kitty’s from the tribute record. She also took joy in sharing the news about Nashville’s new Two Boots Pizzeria naming their featured slice after the Queen. It’s called “The Kitty” and features local Hattie B’s hot chicken.
It was a nice solid refreshing set from a warm friendly artist and her great backing band. Special kudos go out to Mark Spencer and his fine work on the mock Weissenborn guitar.
- Can’t Wait
- No Way There From Here
- Kitty Wells Dresses
- I Don’t Claim to Be An Angel (Kitty Wells cover)
- Making Believe (Kitty Wells cover)
- Starry Skies
Laura Cantrell—Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Mark Spencer—Acoustic Guitar and Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar