Don’t Break the heart that Needs You

Lord have mercy!

A very, very nice evening in Bristol last night…

I’ve been casting impatient looks up at a pair of Laura Cantrell tickets pinned to our notice board for a while now; but when it came to it, what with Easter, Royal Weddings and a raft of bank holidays and long weekends, the awaited day came on me suddenly. Aside from a hastily assembled mix tape for the journey down, I hadn’t really done any catching up or re-listening. But in the end, that all worked in my favour, and I came to the evening with no expectations or preconceptions.

St Bonaventure’s is a strange place – less a gig venue and more a community centre, with plastic chairs and upholstered arm chairs, and a tiny stage at little more than floor level. On the plus side, there were whole teams of friendly volunteers around the place (I counted eight behind the bar at one point…).

And Laura Cantrell blended into the friendly, unassuming environment as if she’d been playing there for weeks. With a couple of multi-skilled helpers (whose names escaped me, I’m afraid to say – they were excellent) on guitar, mandolin and Hawaiian guitar, she ran through a whole bunch of 16 songs and chatted easily between each one. Not The Tremblin’ Kind was well represented; there were three songs from the new Kitty Wells Dresses record and a couple of completely new songs. It was all delightful stuff- sung and performed with the skill, restraint and class her catalogue deserves. I beamed like a fool throughout…

My retirement age recording device did me proud and I’ve caught the whole lot. I’ll post a few highlights here, and a zipped file of the rest.

Don’t Break the Heart (live)

Nothing Came Easy but the Tears (live)

Churches off the Interstate (live)

Not the Tremblin’ Kind (live)

Laura Cantrell @ St Bonaventure’s, May ‘11

A trip to the Laura Cantrell website reveals an extraordinarily generous 19 (that’s nineteen) free tracks for download. She also mentioned a project she’s involved with called Radio Free Song Club where there are further downloads of new songs available.

A lovely evening…

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