Folks, how did it get to be the cusp of summer so soon? Hope you’re all doing great – here’s our current news. First up, States of Country makes its return to Sid Gold’s Request Room this month, celebrating the great state of Massachusetts next week and New York in June. Tickets available here.
I hope many of you have been watching the History Channel series The American Farm, a moving portrait of several farm families across this country. I was so proud that they used a performance of mine for the finale of their series, which airs Thursday, May 23. To check out the whole show, see here.
For the last year, I’ve really been enjoying hosing “Dark Horse Radio" on SiriusXM’s The Beatles Channel, so much so that I decided to take on a new program as curator host of a slot at Gimme Country the country music arm of Gimme Radio’s online radio platform. Next show airs on Wednesday, May 29, see you on the radio!
Folks, the ides of March have come and gone, while we’ve gone to the woodshed to prepare for the next installment of States of Country – Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 27th at Sid Gold’s Request Room, when we’ll celebrate the great state of Pennsylvania with our guests Lianne Smith, and Michael McMahon of Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
Tickets available here!
Watch this space for info on upcoming shows, including our States of Country
programs in May and June.
Here’s the video for my latest song "AWM - Bless", made before the mid-term elections last year with the help of several fine musicians and visual artist Tomoka Murakami. Enjoy!
|Home from the UK: Folks, we had an amazing trip to the UK in May. Our journey began with a stop in London to tape a performance for BBC One's Andrew Marr show, which aired just this weekend. I am sure I won't again be featured in a program with Tony Blair AND Lady Grantham, here's a link to our performance of "Two Seconds," from my debut album Not The Tremblin' Kind, which we're celebrating the "sweet 16" anniversary of with a new vinyl and cd release. It was great fun to play shows from Glasgow to London to Manchester, here are two clips, the first from the lovely Union Chapel in London with our friend Sid Griffin; the second clip is from Manchester's Ruby Lounge, our last show, with the terrific Liam McClair, where we played a version of New Order's "Love Vigilantes". What fun! We also enjoyed playing songs from my new release "Laura Cantrell at the BBC", a collection of live performances on BBC radio.
"Laura Cantrell at the BBC" features many of my favorite live performances from Broadcasting House, Maida Vale, and Peel Acres. It was humbling to listen back to what a great opportunity I received on the UK airwaves back in the early 2000s, and to realize how much that radio hospitality meant to my growth as an artist. Stay tuned for information on the US release of this collection and upcoming shows, including visits to Spain, Ireland and the UK later this year.
From earlier this year, check out the intimate performance we did at Paste Studio at the very end of 2015, have a look here!
With 2015 in the rear view, I'm remembering it as the "year of the video" with a whopping three video releases this year:
The video for All The Girls Are Complicated made its debut at Paste Magazine's blog in late January. Also the lovely work for my collaboration with The Charlatans and Sinkane for the song "Emanuel," featured on a Record Store Day UK single available here! Finally, the video for Can't Wait debuted at Rolling Stone Country in November, made by artist Hugh Hales-Tooke.
Stay tuned for more details on our 2016 plans. In the meantime, I hope you're all set for lovely holidays. Take care, Laura
November 22, 2015 Thanks to all of you who came out to our shows in November, we had great audiences at our Boston residency and shows in New York and Philadelphia. It was exciting also, in the midst of the shows, to have the new video for my song Can't Wait debut at Rolling Stone Country. Made by artist Hugh Hales-Tooke, the look of the video was inspired by the 1960s tv show Bewitched with a retro shirt dress designed by Meg Cohen. You can find the article and video right here!
We'll be taking a little break around the holidays, but I'm so thrilled to be singing a song this weekend with Michael Cerveris' band Loose Cattle at Hill Country NYC in Manhattan. We'll be back at it in early 2016 at the new Monty Hall venue at WFMU in Jersey City with Michael Shelley and Jay Sherman-Godfrey's Wiretroop. Tickets available already right here!.
I had the good fortune earlier this year release two other videos videos, the first also a collaboration with photographer Hugh Hales-Tooke for the song "All The Girls Are Complicated," see it here. Also the lovely video for my collaboration with The Charlatans and Sinkane for the song "Emanuel," available here!
We had a great trip to Spain earlier this summer, you can read some about it from this article in El Pais right here.
Back in the Spring, we had some really nice press come around our shows this May, including this New Yorker online piece called The Big City Is Good For Country Music.
RECORD STORE DAY - FINALLY!: Our Record Store Day collaboration between The Charlatans and Sinkane is available for purchase, please check out the artfully made videos for "Emilie" and "Emanuel" by Toni Das. Full story of the collaboration reported by Q Magazine here.
NEW VIDEO: Hey did you see my first-ever music video for "All The Girls Are Complicated," made with my friend Hugh Hales-Tooke? We're making another one now for my song "Can't Wait" and will have some footage to show soon. "All The Girls" was made with great assistance from my daughter Isabella and the good folks at the Jersey City Public Library - I wrote "All The Girls" with fondness for the women in my life, and we tried to make a video with humor and a spirit of fun. The Paste Magazine blog debuted it here! See what you think!
We had some really cool shout outs for "No Way There From Here" at the end of 2014, like All Music's 2014 List of Favorite Americana albums, full review here and this from Michael Bialas at the Huffington Post, and one more from Robert Christgau's column at Medium.
Hey, No Way There From Here is available on Itunes and Amazon.
Thanks all you folks for coming out to see us on tour in September at AMA or in July with Camera Obscura, we had such great fun, thanks so much to the CO folks and crew, top notch!
Some nice reviews and things are up at our FB page and posted on twitter. Come see us there!
Our friend Hugh Hales-Tooke turned up with a video camera at the WFMU Record Fair and shot this video of the Kitty Wells tune"I Don't Claim To Be An Angel". Get your country music on people!
If you missed us on CBS SATURDAY MORNING a few weeks ago, here's a clip for your viewing pleasure of "Starry Skies".
Whew! Here are some kind reviews from Rolling Stone, NPR Music and the London Telegraph.
Watch this space or come find us on Facebook or follow on Twitter for more news! See you soon!
|Folks, hope you're all enjoying a happy and safe holiday season – we're sleeping late and eating well! I've not taken my eye off the calendar though, as in just a couple weeks, we're playing the Rubin Museum of Art's Naked Soul series, an all-acoustic concert incorporating themes of the museum's Himalayan art collection. The Rubin Museum, is an incredibly special place, and I'm honored to be among the first artists of 2019 to explore the series theme of "power" and bridge it to some of the music in our set. Certainly not my ordinary assignment as a country music artist! I really hope that many of you can join us for this special event. Tickets are available here.
Also, in the spirit of the season and anticipation of the new year, I asked Mark Spencer and Danhy Clermont to join me for a bit of unplugged woodshedding on a new song, Bide My Time.
Watch this space for more details of our upcoming concerts in 2019, we hope to see you down the road!
Still loving this collaboration with Davis Kathriner, for a song/video from their album "Losing Habits" called Breakfast Table. I really enjoyed writing this song with Danny Kathriner and Ben Davis, who'd both appeared on Radio Thrift Shop years ago as members of the band Wagon.
Also still enjoying Dark Horse Radio, the program devoted to the music of George Harrison, as we celebrate his 75th birthday this season. Check it all out on SiriusXM's Beatles Channel, I've been obsessed this year with this outtake from All Things Must Pass with its Pete Drake steel guitar, "I Live for You".
Thanks to everyone for the great response to our States of Country fundraisers this fall for flood and storm relief at Sid Gold's Request Room. I’m very happy to report we raised over $1000 for two organizations – Houston Habitat for Humanity and Heart to Heart International. It felt good to help, thank you for joining us.
Had a ton of fun at Chickfactor 25: A Series of Fortunate Events last week.
Thanks to all of you who came out earlier this year to our shows in Spain, Ireland and England. We had a ball - here's a little taste from our show in Belfast at the Errigle Inn -- watch out for that sing along!
Did you know June 20th is West Virginia day? I was very proud last summer to take part in Take Me Home: A Benefit Concert for West Virginia, organized by Michael Cerveris and including performances by Suzzy and Lucy Wainright Roche, Nellie McKay, Anders Parker, the Carpenter Ants and many more. Michael has now released a full length concert album of the show, proceeds of which go to the West Virginia Red Cross. Information on how to purchase is here.
Folks, I was so pleased to travel to West Virginia back in January to tape an show for Mountain Stage's new season. The program airs this weekend, here's a list of stations and air times here. Also, within the week, the whole program will be available as a podcast, you can sign up to receive it at the NPR website.
We had an amazing time on the Outlaw Country Cruise last week. Would love to see you there next year, sailing from New Orleans in late January!
Don't forget we've got some nice releases available to fit your vinyl, cd or mp3 shaped needs - Laura Cantrell at the BBC and Not The Tremblin' Kind.
Take Me Home Benefit: Big thanks to those of you who joined us on Sunday, August 21, at Joe's Pub for the Take Me Home benefit for West Virginia Flood Relief. Michael Cerveris and his country band Loose Cattle threw a great party featuring all kinds of great musicians from West Virginia and parts East. If you'd like to take a look, both sets are streaming at the Joe's Pub page on Youtube. If you are still in interested in donating, here's a link to information on West Virginia flood relief at the Red Cross.
Stay tuned for information regarding upcoming shows for the rest of 2016.
|Radio Free Song Club: Things are still cooking at the
Radio Free Song Club's monthly podcasts featuring new songs from myself and Freedy Johnston, Peter Holsapple, Victoria Williams, and founder Kate Jacobs. Bandleader Dave Schramm has been joined in recent shows by the amazing David Mansfield, and the proceedings are ably hosted by Nicholas Hill who's introduced outstanding guest performers such as Beth Orton and Robin Holcomb. Check out my page here! Expect new "song casts" on a monthly basis!
|Anniversary of Farewell to the Queen:
Folks, on the anniversary of Kitty Well's passing one year ago this month, I repost a remembrance of Kitty I wrote for www.TheDailyBeast.com here.
An interview with The Daily Beast with short performance here.
As I digest the news of Kitty Wells' passing this week, a lot of folks have been in touch with remembrances of her music and accomplishments. Kitty's place in the industry can't be understated: her commercial success proved that female country music artists could be as successful as their male counterparts, a fact we take for granted today but was far from certain in her time. Her songs proved that country music made from an explicitly female point of view would resonate with all listeners. Personally the thing that always grabbed me was her voice, high and plaintive, something ancient and visceral but well suited to cut through the hard edges of 1950s honky tonk. And I've tried to emulate how she sang it straight, put the heart in her songs, and made really affecting music without a lot of extra drama or frills.
The times I met her, Kitty was delightfully no nonsense and unassuming but also poised and slightly opaque. She had been called the "Queen of Country Music" for decades, and she could carry that title with an easy grace, though her realm seemed an older world where music business was done between individuals and independent operators, venues were modest, the fans were paramount, the bus got parked in the driveway, and having a cook book to sell on the merch table was a good thing. I remember loving her speech accepting the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, she was so modest and sweet, saying that the Grammy's were acknowledging something she "loved to do: to sing and perform" as if all that breaking down of gender bias against female artists was just a footnote. To paraphrase Cliffie Stone, the great LA based country music impresario, maybe she and Johnnie Wright weren't trying to make history, just a living. Whatever their intent, I'm glad that Nashville girl and her Tennessee Mountain Boy made all that music, and I am honored that I got to share a couple of musical moments with them, right at the end of their time together.
Remembering Vic Chesnutt: Folks, it is with heavy heart that I pass along the following obituaries of my friend Vic Chesnutt. I met Vic when he was a guest of the Radio Thrift Shop on WFMU in 1995, and over the years I was always amazed at his humor, grace and the power of his music. The first obituary was written by Rene Spencer Saller for Ted Barron's blog Boogie Woogie Flu. It references two songs Vic performed live on the Radio Thrift Shop in 1995, when Nicholas Hill and I were broadcasting live from the Musuem of Television and Radio. I believe Vic appeared that day with his wife, Tina, Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, and Alex McManus of Lambchop. We had had a tense day, arguing with the museum over moving some furniture to allow Vic's wheelchair passage through to our broadcast studio. In the end, Vic prevailed and I remember, after all the hustle of getting a remote broadcast on the air, settling into the wonder of Vic's performance. Read on about Vic and his music here and the circumstances of his death here. He will be missed.
|20 Years of Merge! Our friends at Merge Records
are celebrating their 20th year. Laura proudly
participated in two anniversary projects:
Score: Twenty Years of Merge Records, The Covers, to which she contributed "Cowboy On The Moon" by fellow Nashvillians Lambchop.She was also included
in an oral history of Merge called Our Noise: The Book. Check it all out at here!
|Recently on the web: Folks, I really enjoyed the Million Dollar Quartet show on Broadway and wrote a piece about it for VanityFair.com. Read it here.
Also, some of our 2003 visit to Mountain Stage with the Schramms popped up at this blog, sounds pretty good!
|Remembering John Peel: Laura's reminiscences of John Peel are included in the box set Kats Karavan: The History Of John Peel On The Radio. The set is as varied and interesting as John's programs, and contains material from several of artists recalling their Peel sessions.|
|Laura at Vanity Fair: Read an essay on the Patsy Cline crash site written by Laura for Vanity Fair magazine's blog. Find it here!|
|Real Live Dolly!: Laura contributed a testimonial to the booklet for Dolly Parton: Singer, Songwriter, Legend, Icon
a new, career-spanning box set in
|Patsy vs. Kitty: Check out Laura's contribution to the book, Rock And Roll Cage Match, Music's Greatest Rivalries Decided. Laura details her fascination with Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, telling how, in her eyes, there can be only one "Queen of Country Music." You can buy it here!|
|Fit for a Queen: Thanks to everyone who came to see Laura's tribute to Kitty Wells at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. What a special treat to get asked at the last minute to play some of Wells' songs on the Grand Ole Opry's new Country Classics Thursday night broadcast. In case you missed, check out here!
|Lucinda Speaks! Lucinda Williams describes how hearing Laura's cover of "Letters" on "Humming By The Flowered Vine" influenced the song choices on her new album, "Little Honey." Read it here!|
|Check out Laura's interpretation of the NYC subway map, featuring streaming audio of her entire 2005 album "Humming by the Flowered Vine."|
|Laura's acoustic version of the New Order song "Love Vigilantes" is included on the soundtrack of the film, "Body of War," a profile of Iraq veteran Tomas Young. The soundtrack is available now from Sire Records, and also features tracks by Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and others.|
|Elvis & Laura on TV!: Elvis Costello and Laura harmonize on the old James Taylor/George Jones duet "Bartender's Blues" on the fourth episode of Costello's new Spectacle show on the Sundance channel. In case you missed it, check it out here!|
|Check out the reviews and previews of Laura's recent East Coast tour in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Philadelphia City Paper and New Haven Advocate, read her rant on her musical heroines at the record collector blog Boogie Woogie Flu and hear her recent appearance on WNYC public radio.
|Don't Get Lost! This week's episode of Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (entitled "Don't Get Lost") opened with Laura's recording of "14th Street" from "Humming By The Flowered Vine." WOW, the third song of Laura's to be played on Theme Time Radio Hour, we are not worthy! The program airs again on the SIRIUS XM Deep Tracks channel (SIRIUS 16, XM 40) Sunday at 8 am and Monday at 8 am ET.
|July 2012 - Heading South: Folks, I hope your summer is off to a good start and you're enjoying the heat wherever you are. I'm personally looking forward to spending some time down South where I'll be appearing at the very cool Music City Roots concert series and live radio broadcast on Wednesday, July 11. The show will feature artists such as Kim Richey and Bill Lloyd and will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale. Gonna be a lot of fun. Later that week we'll be headed to St. Louis for a house concert courtesy of the series Wood House Concerts. Info on either show is available here!.
If you're bored of Facebook, check the cool photos from our February residency at Hill Country BBQ at Jasper Coolidge's photo blog Gimme Shutter and a preview and review from Neville Elder's blog at No Depression, and a nice mention in The Nation here.