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: Grimey’s in Nashville is one of my favorite independent record stores offering used and new vinyl, a well-curated stock of new music, regular lively in-store performances and now an adjacent book store. Definitely worthy of late-afternoon idle browsing for that album you didn’t even know you needed. It is just about the perfect rekkid shop. Plus they host a great party during the Americana Music Festival where this year I saw Billy Bragg play in the back parking lot on a picture-perfect September afternoon. “You know what ‘Americana’ means in the U.K.? Country music for people who like the Smiths.” Thanks Grimey’s for making Nashville cooler than it used to be.
Video after the jump.