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Laura Cantrell puts her own songs first on new album

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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It seems odd to say 14 years after her debut album, but Laura Cantrell feels like she came into her own more as a songwriter on her latest release, "No Way There From Here."

"In the past I sort of judged my songs relative to other songs I liked by other writers, and If I didn't feel like (her songs) were as strong it made sense not to do them," explains the New York-based Cantrell, 47, a Nashville native who studied law and accounting at Columbia University and worked in radio before dedicating herself full-time to music.

"But this time I felt like I had enough of my own. I felt like I had a lot more material than I had for previous records and I wanted to showcase them to some degree and let them kind of dictate what the record would sound like."

And while "No Way From There To Here" continues to mine the Americana roots styles of her predecessors -- including 2011's "Kitty Wells Dresses" tribute set -- doing her own material gave Cantrell more stylistic latitude this time out.

"In the past I've had ideas about country music; 'We want a pretty, lovely steel (guitar) part here and a fiddle there,' kind of formulaic," explains Cantrell, who occasionally writes for the New York Times and Vanity Fair. "I really tried to be a blank slate with this set of songs and say, 'What does this song feel like it needs to be the most effective version of itself?'

"So in practice we ended up with a lot more keyboards and horn parts and sounds I wouldn't have necessarily thought were part of my palette but seem to really fit with these songs. It was cool for me to have these things that hadn't been part of my music before."

Laura Cantrell and Camera Obscura

Thursday, July 24. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $15

Call 248-546-3696 or visit www.thelovingtouchferndale.com

Web Site: www.thelovingtouchferndale.com

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