I have always hated bombast in music, and if I had to chose one part of americana broadly speaking that I can’t bear it’s that kind of Southern Rock dirge which is as far away from what we tend to cover on this site as drill. It’s partly why when I published my list a couple of weeks ago someone commented it was something along the lines of “soft and samey”. Guilty as charged I suppose, but soft sometimes conjures up the kind of music they’d play on Heart FM, and it’s actually fragile and understated music I’m talking about. And Laura Cantrell epitomises everything about this element of the genre which never fails to move me in the deepest sense. Her voice is still perfect – not literally perfect but perfect for the songs which she sings, about relationships, booze, being out on road. There’s an authenticity and tenderness to Cantrell which she has never lost but given I get nostalgic so quickly I can easily look back in fondness on what I had for tea last night, ‘Not the Tremblin’ Kind’ takes me right back in a warm fuzzy way to the beginnings of the term “americana” being widely used in the UK and indeed the first days of this website which were around the corner back then. Shortly after its release, John Peel named the album as possibly one of the favourites of his whole life and he wasn’t wrong about that. It’s a timeless collection of songs which people will be singing around campfires when Elon Musk’s thousand year old head rules the world from his space-pod, even if it’s doubtful he could ever appreciate anything as beautiful.
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