Laura Cantrell + Doug Levitt / Night & Day Cafe, Manchester / Wed 5 Jul
Wed Jul 05 2023 at 08:00 pm
Night & Day Cafe | Middleton, EN
AdvertisementAfter a nine-year hiatus, Laura Cantrell – a long-beloved presence in the US and international Americana and roots music scene – is back with a new studio album Just Like A Rose: The Anniversary Sessions. Set to be released on 9 June 9 on the Propeller Sound Recordings label, the album features turns from Laura’s longtime friends Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Rosie Flores and Paul Burch, and was produced variously by Don Fleming (Sonic Youth/Teenage Fanclub), David Mansfield (Bob Dylan, T-Bone Burnett), Rosie Flores (Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin) with Ed Stasium (Talking Heads, Ramones), and Paul Burch (Lambchop, Ralph Stanley).
It features musicians Mark Spencer (Son Volt, Lisa Loeb), Jeremy Chatzky (Ronnie Spector, Bruce Springsteen), Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives), Fats Kaplan (John Prine, Jack White), Dennis Crouch (Robert Plant, Diana Krall), and Jen Gunderman (Sheryl Crow, Jayhawks). Co-writers on the album include Mark Winchester (Randy Travis, Carlene Carter), Fred Wilhelm (Rascal Flats, Faith Hill), Gary Burr (Patty Loveless, Ringo Starr) and others.
Although the album was originally intended to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Cantrell’s debut album in 2020, recording was delayed due to covid restrictions. The new collection was completed in studios located in both the New York City area and Nashville.
‘I thought I had figured it all out!’ Cantrell muses, as she describes her initial puzzlement in 2019 at how to acknowledge the approaching 20th anniversary of her first album. ‘I wanted to salute different aspects of my music life for the last two decades, to create more of a celebration than a traditional album. The idea of recording and releasing a series of singles in real time was intriguing, so I started a crowd funding campaign and launched it,’ Cantrell leans in for emphasis, ‘on March 1, 2020.’ Within days the world was a very different place, and Cantrell placed her plans on hold while the pandemic raged in her neighbourhood in Jackson Heights, NY and throughout the world. Slowly and fitfully she pushed on while restrictions and delays changed the timeline and shape of her plans. ‘We moved so slowly I thought “this isn’t even happening!” But with the help of many great “music people” the songs emerged. There was a risk working with different producers that the results would feel disjointed, but I love where the album landed. Having come through the gauntlet of the pandemic, I felt so much joy in the process, I hope people hear and feel that in the tracks themselves.’
The material spans Cantrell’s most recent songwriting and songs she’s been humming to herself since before she’d had her own band or played her own shows. ‘It is interesting maturing into your musical worldview, you still have songs that hit you like you’re a teenager with your first crush, and others that reflect more experience and nuance, or frustration with tough realities, and then those you just love purely as music – there’s a bit of it all on this album.’
Since 2000, Cantrell has released albums Not the Tremblin’ Kind, When The Roses Bloom Again, Humming By The Flowered Vine, Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music, No Way There From Here, and The BBC Sessions. She has toured extensively in the US, UK and Ireland, and was a favourite of pioneering British DJ John Peel, who called her first album Not the Tremblin’ Kind, ‘my favourite record of the last ten years, and possibly my life’. Cantrell recorded several Peel Sessions for the BBC from 2000 to 2004 and appeared on the first Peel Day programme on Radio One, commemorating the first anniversary of Peel’s death.
Cantrell’s music has been celebrated in the press, including features in the New York Times, O Magazine, Elle, the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times of London, and Maverick Magazine. Cantrell’s music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, On Point and Weekend Edition, and the BBC’s Women’s Hour. She has performed on A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and the Grand Ole Opry, and appeared on the television programmes Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show. She is currently the host of Dark Horse Radio, SiriusXM’s programme about George Harrison that runs on The Beatles Channel, and States of Country on the streaming service, GimmeCountry.
Tour support comes from Doug Levitt, who has travelled for more than 12 years and racked up 120,000 Greyhound bus miles. Writing songs about fellow travellers, he released his debut full-length album, Edge of Everywhere, on 3 March.
Price: £19.50 adv
Where is it happening?Night & Day Cafe, Middleton, United Kingdom
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