New England fiddler and songwriter Laura Cortese brings her string trio to the Arcata Playhouse on Sunday, May 26 in support of her new CD with opener Lyndsey Battle and Cory Goldman.
Welding the propulsive grace of ancient fiddle styles to disarmingly open-hearted original pop songs, Laura Cortese has emerged among the most intriguing and versatile, musicians in the bountiful New England post-folk scene. At home in any number of traditional styles, her highly-visible work as a supporting musician (on fiddle, vocals, and bass) includes appearances with Uncle Earl, Tao Seeger, Band of Horses, and – as part of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden – Patterson Hood and Michael Franti. The past two years have found Cortese in creative overdrive, balancing sideman duties, solo tours, and recording sessions with an increased devotion to her own music: a kaleidoscopic hybrid that is enriched by roots music undertones and yet remains defiantly contemporary. Laura Cortese tours internationally with her string trio featuring Mariel Vandersteel on fiddle/hardangerfiddle and Valerie Thompson on cello.
On the heels of four collaborative releases since 2010, the increasingly prolific Laura Cortese (Cor-TAY-Zee) debuts her new CD, Into the Dark. Known for her velvety vocals, endless creative energy, and highly visible work as a supporting musician, the San Francisco-born, Boston-based performer has embraced the constant travel of the modern troubadour. In fact, she maintains, it is the people she meets who are her greatest inspiration, including her newest songs. Written in an almost confessional style, Cortese’s latest work explores the timeless vulnerability and hope of people in adverse situations. Her own lyrics may say it best: “In the dark I would sing a song whispered low…singing for the people in the shadows.” Cortese’s current arrangements echo the vivid emotion of her songs in a cinematic blend of British Isles folk, bluegrass, vintage R&B, and fresh Americana on fiddles and cello.
Tickets are $12 general and $10 students and Humboldt Folklife Society members and are available at Wildberries Marketplace, Wildwood Music or by calling (707) 822-1575. For additional information visit at arcataplayhouse.org.~ submitted