Here, Kitty Kitty

All about soul: Laura Cantrell
All about soul: Laura Cantrell
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NASHVILLE-born. New York-based.

CVs don’t come much healthier than that.

And from those two cornerstones of American music, Laura Cantrell has emerged with plenty of soul, style and attitude.

She has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, toured with Elvis Costello, had two tracks (When The Roses Bloom Again and 14th Street) played by Bob Dylan on his Theme Time Radio Hour show, recorded five sessions for John Peel and was invited by the Country Music Hall of Fame to present a musical programme for their Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music exhibition.

That show inspired her song Kitty Wells Dresses, indeed an entire album released under that name, which celebrate the sound and songs of Wells, whose trailblazing commercial and artistic achievements made her country music’s first female superstar.

Wells’ chart success, starting in 1952 with her breakthrough hit It Wasn¹t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, stretched into the late 1960s, dispelling the myth that women couldn’t sell records in country music and opening the door for the next wave of female superstars, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette.

At 91, Wells is the oldest living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

More than mere tribute, Cantrell strives to find the emotional foundation of Wells’s work, covering her major hits and the hidden gems of her music.

The album also adds her own, very personal statement of the importance of Wells to multiple generations of country singing women and fans alike.

Cantrell will be showcasing the album when she appears at the Memorial Hall, Sheffield next Wednesday.

WATH Folk Festival is with us - for the 40th time.

For it is four decades since the South Yorkshire town first opened its doors to the region’s folk music fans.

This year’s event continues until Bank Holiday Monday with a full programme of music concerts, workshops, competitions and community events.

The Montgomery Hall will be the main musical focal point with artists including Frances Black, the Tannahill Weavers, John Tams with Barry Coope, Drever McCusker and Woomble, Chris Wood, Jez Lowe, Anna Shannon, Uiscedwr, Elbow Jane, Bernard Wrigley, Kieran Halpin, Charlie Barker and Harriet Bartlett, Holly Taymar and Flaxenby.

The festival also features a large community festival taking place throughout the town tomorrow.

More information visit www.wathfestival.org.uk

MULTI-lauded folk duo (well, trio actually, if you count constant companion Miranda Sykes on bass) Show of Hands are at the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield, next Friday.

This is their Standing Room Only III tour which sees Steve Knightley and Phil Beer returning to familiar venues across the country after a series of solo shows.

With a stand out new studio album under their belt, Arrogance Ignorance and Greed, and a double nomination at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Duo and Best Original Song, they are more than ready to stand and deliver from their rich repertoire.

They will be supported by American guitar maestro Rodney Branigan. For tickets, call 01246 345334.

CHRISTINE Collister is guest at the Beehive, Harthill, near Sheffield next Friday.