Not The Tremblin' Kind(Diesel Only)

Laura Cantrell album cover dec 29th

Let's see, there's this pretty lady, raised in Nashville, the daughter of two lawyers, a former Country Music Hall of Fame tour guide herself, who bolts for New York City to attend Columbia University. She's working her way through several gigs, including her popular eclectic alt-country show The Radio Thrift Shop on a New York area station. Now she's releasing her first album. Isn't that how most country music careers begin?

So does Laura Cantrell sound Nashville country or New York cosmopolitan? Neither. She's like a winsome wind blowing softly from the Appalachians - the same mountain paradise that nurtured talents like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless.

With the opening lines of the title song, her voice - pure and vulnerable - intrigues, tucking away equal parts of hurt and hope, resignation and resolve. That montage works wonders on her song "Queen Of The Coast," a sad tale of the fall of a world-weary woman, scarred by men, scared by life: Time sure has changed you/It's walked right on by you/Does it satisfy you/To have so little to say. Laura's resilient see-ya-later lyrics put a lover in the rear view mirror in "Churches Off The Interstate" then she turns ironically upbeat while pondering "Do You Ever Think Of Me."

Though the album sounds as if it could have been recorded in Bakersfield, it was cut in the decidedly non-country environs of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Hoboken, N.J. - with some Gotham City pickers, all the same, who know their country and treat it like a long-lost cousin.

-- Gerry Wood

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