LINEUP: Laura Cantrell, Jay Sherman-Godfrey, Jon Graboff, Jeremy Chatzky, Doug Wygal, Kenny Kosek, and other session vocalists.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second full album from rising alt-country / regular country singer shines with originals and appropriate covers.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Still employed as a VP at Bank of America, Laura Cantrell’s second album sounds more confident, breezy, and complete than her fine debut album.
Her sound is more rooted in the traditionalist country where there’s no sweetening strings, syrupy backing vocals, nor does it sound like a southern rock band. It’s got a sweetness to it, but also has a genuine country sound.
Cantrell’s work doesn’t fit into Nashville, since it’s not big and bombastic and loud. It’s traditional country, meant for small rooms.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She married the founder of her small record company.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE A-: Another solid traditionalist country album for your collection.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Fans do, no one else really. Maintream country radio stays away from her for some reason.
LINEUP: Laura Cantrell, Will Rigby, Jeremy Chatzky, Jon Graboff, Jay Sherman-Gofdrey, Robin Goldwasser, Mary Lee Kortes
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Full-length debut from country-esque singer-songwriter shows her talent and potential.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Cantrell is a fan of old-time country music, and her debut full-length album harkens back to older country music traditions while maintaining a contemporary sound in production and engineering.
Cantrell’s soprano is reminiscent of Lucinda Williams, and her backing band makes great use of traditional old-time instruments such as the mandolin and melodica. Harmonies by Goldwasser and Kortes blend perfectly with Cantrell, making a pleasant sound.
There are originals, and covers of other contemporary country songwriters. This is a fine debut for what then was a new voice in traditionalist country.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She recorded an EP with the help of John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: A great debut in a neo-traditionalist idiom, with strong songs and arrangements.