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Laura Cantrell - Just Like A Rose: The Anniversary Sessions

  by Zena Grieg

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Laura Cantrell - Just Like A Rose: The Anniversary Sessions
Label: Propeller Sound Recordings
Format: CD


Enjoyable mix of recent songwriting and covers of favourite songs on seventh album from Nashville-raised singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell

Nashville-raised, New York-based singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell came to prominence in 2000 with her debut album ‘Not The Tremblin’ Kind’. Her seventh album ‘Just Like A Rose’, originally intended to mark the twentieth anniversary of her debut, but delayed due to the pandemic, is a mix of her more recent songwriting and covers of favourite songs, produced by a range of renowned producers including Don Flaming, David Mansfield and Ed Stasium, featuring a host of collaborations with good friends including Rosie Flores, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller and Steve Birch. Regarded by Cantrell as “more of a celebration than a traditional album”, the songs stand out for their sincere lyrics and authenticity. Songs to listen out for in this eleven-track collection include: the opener, catchy ‘Push The Swing’ with its infectious rhythm and soaring organ; the languorous, traditional country ‘Bide My Time’, on the need to move on from heartbreak; a minimalist, harmonious cover of Amy Rigby’s ‘Brand New Eyes’; the country-rock title track tribute to fellow women singer-guitarists: “Her colors are wild, her ways are free/She’s got sparkle and shine and melody”; the Celtic-infused duet with Steve Earle ‘When The Roses Bloom Again’ with its Uilleann pipe and guitar accompaniment by Ivan Goff and Buddy Miller; melancholy, dreamy ballad ‘Secret Language’; the jazz-inflected ‘Unaccompanied’ with its reflective refrain: “When you go where your heart leads, sometimes you have to go/Unaccompanied”; the nostalgic, evocative ‘I’m Gonna Miss This Town’; and the slow-burning, half-spoken closer ‘AWM-Bless’, a rebuke against ‘angry white man’, co-written with guitarist Mark Spencer as a fundraiser for the League Of Women Voters in the run-up to the mid-term elections, with its acerbic, poignant lines: “Some people say Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves/And a woman’s right to vote is one that Congress made/ Both things are true but the picture’s not complete/Til you color in the people lining the streets/Not asking for forgiveness, a favor, or a loan/They just hit the point home, their humanity’s their own”. Cantrell’s first album in nine years, ‘Just Like A Rose’ is an upbeat, welcome comeback for this talented musician.

Track Listing:-
1 Push The Swing
2 Bide My Time
3 Brand New Eyes
4 Just Like A Rose
5 When The Roses Bloom Again (feat. Steve Earle)
6 Secret Language
7 Unaccompanied
8 I'm Gonna Miss This Town
9 Good Morning Mr. Afternoon
10 Holding You In My Heart
11 AWM - Bless

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