Laura Cantrell

Laura Cantrell is a country singer, songwriter and sometime disc jockey who was born in Nashville, Tennessee but lives in New York. Although her involvement with music began in her home town, it was not until she moved to New York to study at Columbia University that her career as a performer and DJ began. After university, she continued working in a day job (for a Wall Street investment firm) until the acclaim gained by her records (especially her first album, Not the Tremblin' Kind) made it possible for her to pursue a full-time career in music. Two more albums followed, When the Roses Bloom Again (2002) and Humming By The Flowered Vine (2005), but then motherhood obliged Cantrell to take a break from recording and performing. She returned with a download-only album, Trains and Boats and Planes (2008) and in 2011 made a tribute album to the first female star of modern country music, Kitty Wells Dresses.

Despite her Nashville origins, Laura Cantrell is closer to the alternative country and back-to-the-roots movements in country music than to the commercially dominant pop-country style. She has many prominent admirers from outside the country music world; among them was John Peel, in the final years of his life.

Links to Peel

When Peel obtained a copy of Not The Tremblin' Kind in 2000 he was highly impressed, calling it "my favourite record of the last ten years and possibly my life" (although his initial reaction was less unequivocal: "She does look, I have to say, not like my idea of a country singer. Kind of thin-lipped and stroppy really, and not like a Playboy bunny" [1]). He went on to play tracks from the album regularly and eventually invited Cantrell to do a session for his programme. As she was not simply a performer but a DJ with her own show on a New Jersey radio station, The Radio Thrift Shop, concentrating on older styles of country music, she and Peel found they had musical tastes in common and she visited (and recorded at) Peel Acres. In the end she did five sessions for Peel's show. When Peel and his wife Sheila went to New York they stayed with Laura Cantrell and her husband Jeremy Tepper (also a musician).

When 9/11 occurred in New York, Peel said on air that his first thought was for Laura Cantrell's safety, because she worked in the financial district worst affected by the explosions. After Peel's death, Laura Cantrell paid warm tributes to him on radio and in the press. She also dedicated her 2005 album Humming By The Flowered Vine to his memory.

Festive Fifty Entries

All the above from LP 'Not The Tremblin' Kind' (Spit & Polish)

Post Peel


  • Five sessions, including three from Peel Acres. The session duet with ballboy of 'I Lost You (But I Found Country Music)' was released on the b-side of the band's Past Lovers single and is also available from the download section of Laura Cantrell's homepage, as are Peel Session versions of 'Legend In My Time', 'Hong Kong Blues' and 'Rain Boy'.

1. Recorded: 2000-06-04. First broadcast: 06 July 2000. Repeated: 16 November 2000

  • Not The Tremblin' Kind / When The Roses Bloom / Queen Of The Coast / Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain / Somewhere Some Night

2. Broadcast: 01 February 2001 (live at Peel Acres)

  • Two Seconds / Too Late For Tonight / The Whiskey Makes You Stronger / Churches Off The Interstate / Legend In My Time
John Peel's Laura Cantrell (Peel Session)

John Peel's Laura Cantrell (Peel Session)

3. Recorded: 2002-10-01. First Broadcast: 05 November 2002. No repeats.

  • Broken Again / Hong Kong Blues / Cellar Door / Christmas Letter Home

4. Broadcast: 08 May 2003 (live at Peel Acres)

  • Early Years / Rain Boy / Wait / Indoor Fireworks / Lee Harvey Was A Friend Of Mine

5. Broadcast: 23 December 2003 (live at Peel Acres)

  • Pretty Paper / New Year's Resolution / Oh So Many Years / I Still Miss Someone (with ballboy) / I Lost You, But I Found Country Music (with ballboy)

(Please correct mistakes and add any missing info)

Other Shows Played

(The following list is compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive via Phil's Mighty Database and may be incomplete. Please add further information if known.)

  • 07 May 2003: Queen of the Coast (LP- Not The Tremblin' Kind)' (Spit )
  • 21 August 2003: Somewhere Some Night (CD - Not The Tremblin' Kind) Spit & Polish
  • 25 September 2003: 'No Place For Me' (EP - The Hello Sessions 1996) (Hello)

External Links

  1. Originally broadcast on 23 December 2003 as part of a Peel session.
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