Songstress takes a step backward to make a huge leap forward
As a longtime fan of Laura Cantrell this album has taken a much longer time to review that I’d hoped; because, after absolutely loving the fast paced Kitty Wells Dresses album; I was initially disappointed to find Laura has made an introspective follow up.
But; now I’ve listened intently several times the penny has finally dropped and I now think Laura has created her finest album to date.
Sounding uncannily like Nanci Griffith at times Laura takes us on a mature trip through her life as it is now with rye observations that only a ‘grown up’ can make.
The piano and militaristic drum led Driving Down Your Streetis a tale of unwanted love that borders on stalking, but will ring true for many people who hear it.
On Letter She Sent Ms. Cantrell recounts the sad lives of a number of different lonely women and must surely count as one of Laura’s finest songs to date; and the title track, No Way There From Here is a simple folk song with a mandolin punctuating the choruses and helping make an ordinary love song extraordinary.
Many songs touch on subjects the songwriter has used before; but as a Mother and successful businesswoman in her own rite, Laura now sees things in a new light and Barely Said a Thing and Glass Armour are all the better for that insightfulness.
With that in mind, the younger Laura Cantrell couldn’t have written the wonderful Washday Blues as she didn’t have the experience of actually having to keep a job, run a home; bring up a baby and still be a wife; but many Mothers will smile knowingly when they hear that Laura ‘found herself crying/to the sound of the washing machine/you know what I mean?’ Sound familiar ladies?
The album and Laura’s life is neatly summed up on the Bluegrass tinged Folk song Beg or Borrow Days when the singer tells us firmly that she’s changed and everything’s going to be okay and she’s never going back to her Beg Or Borrow Days;and hopefully this album will be such a success that that is the case.