Laura Cantrell Residency - Every Thursday Night in February
Hill Country Live welcomes Laura Cantrell every Thursday night in February starting at 9pm!
Laura Cantrell is a country music artist based in New York City. Cantrell released her debut album Not the Tremblin' Kind in 2000. The release earned a four-star review in Rolling Stone and rave accolades from legendary BBC DJ John Peel, who called it "my favorite record of the last ten years and possibly my life," and recruited Cantrell to record five prestigious "Peel Sessions." Her 2002 sophomore release When the Roses Bloom Again earned even more attention, including high-profile appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Grand Ole Opry, airplay on numerous NPR programs, profiles in The New York Times and O Magazine, and opening slots on Elvis Costello's 2002 U.S. tour. Cantrell's 2005 release on Matador, Humming by the Flowered Vine, led to appearances on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and KCRW's Morning Becomes Electric.
In 2009, Cantrell was invited by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to present a musical program for their "Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music" exhibit. Inspired by the first-ever solo exhibit dedicated to a female Hall of Fame member, Cantrell composed an original song with friend Amy Allison called "Kitty Wells Dresses." She also reacquainted herself with Wells repertoire, rediscovering old favorites like "I Don't Claim To Be An Angel" and "I Gave My Wedding Dress Away," songs she'd been performing since she'd first started playing music. After the concert, she decided to make a recording honoring the sound and songs of Wells, whose trailblazing commercial and artistic achievements made her Country Music's first female superstar.
These experiences led to the release of her 2011 album: Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music, a tribute to her musical heroine. The album was the foundation a subsequent UK and US tour and was profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Country Music People, and The Tennessean. But it was during the recording of the album that Cantrell got the ultimate validation, an invitation to see Kitty Wells and her husband and musical partner Johnnie Wright in their home in East Nashville, a memory made all the more poignant as Wright passed away in the Fall of 2011, a few months after the album’s release.
In recent years Cantrell has been a contributor to The New York Times and Vanity Fair.com, and wrote on the subject of Kitty Wells' legacy for the anthology Rock And Roll Cage Match: Music's Greatest Rivalries, Decided. For Kitty Wells Dresses, Cantrell uses a voice tuned to the incredibly rich history of country music to continue an ongoing meditation on femininity in country music.