Laura Cantrell was born and raised in Nashville, and even though she was surrounded by country music, she never thought about being a singer or songwriter when she was young. She relocated to New York to attend Columbia University before the performing bug bit her. After graduation, Cantrell worked full-time at a bank, hosted a country radio show on WFMU in Jersey City, put together a band, kept writing songs and started making records. She used traditional country songs as a template for compositions of her own that stretched the boundaries of the music and won her a legion of loyal fans. BBC DJ John Peel called Not The Tremblin’ Kind, her 2000 debut, “my favorite record of the last 10 years, possibly my life.” Cantrell made two more albums in the 2000s, balancing well-chosen covers with her original material, but on her new album, No Way There From Here, she presents 11 originals with only one cover. Cantrell will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on her.
Cantrell: Lady Caitlin Rose leant her sweet soprano to several songs on No Way There From Here, and I was grateful to catch her as she was finishing and releasing her own fine album, The Stand In, last year. I left Nashville years ago, decamping for New York and music scenes beyond the Bluebird, the Gold Rush and the Grand Ole Opry. All the while, Caitlin was growing up in the Nashville I fled, her parents a successful songwriter and a music businessman. She’s had no need to flee Nashville, building a rabid local following while traveling the U.K. and Europe as an indie artist who just happens to be from Music City USA. A precocious writer and incredible vocalist, she’s got a formidable team of collaborators from her generation of “millennial” Nashvillians. I can’t wait to see what she come up with next!
Video after the jump.