Rockport Folk Summit: Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards and Ana Egge with Cables & Lines
The Rockport Folk Summit makes its grand return with a dynamic concert featuring two fantastic, progressive-minded singer-songwriters both making their Rockport debut as well as a rising star chamber folk trio from the North Shore. Fiddler/singer Laura Cortese and her all-female, guitar-less string band, the Dance Cards, the dulcet-voiced songwriter Ana Egge, and the harmony-blissed trio of Cables and Lines will each play a set before joining together for a rollicking collaborative finale.
Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
Laura Cortese wears many hats: fiddler, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, community builder, and creativity instigator. Her band Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards is a quartet of singing string players (fiddler Jenna Moynihan, cellist Valerie Thompson and bassist Natalie Bohrn) whose original music draws from diverse traditions and experiences to create a broad-minded yet clear-eyed sonic vision. It’s based in the lyrical rituals of folk music while exploring new territories, moving seamlessly from gauzy, ethereal vocal harmonies to rowdy indie-rock percussion to propulsive fiddle melodies directly from Appalachia or Scotland. It’s a new kind of pop music: born from the folk tradition, traveling the roads of 70s California, and delivered with power and heart. The Dance Cards are not a string-band, not a string quartet, not an a cappella group or indie band, but somehow all of those at once, all while staying firmly rooted in an identity as folk instrumentalists. Before forming the Dance Cards, Laura Cortese’s career included stints as an instrumentalist with Band of Horses, Pete Seeger, Rose Cousins, and Uncle Earl. The collective credits among the Dance Cards exist on a broad continuum from Darol Anger to Amanda Palmer, from the symphony to prog rock, and even into protest music like Pete Seeger and Michael Franti. Their new album, California Calling, has been called “stunning” by Acoustic magazine.
A songwriter of immense emotional depth with a pure, sweet alto and an uncanny knack for pop melodies, Ana Egge has steadily built a career on her own terms. Through the years, she has built a devoted audience and a legion of admirers that include musical legends like Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin. With the release of her newest record, the critically-adored White Tiger, that list of admirers is bound to grow exponentially.
Egge’s childhood shaped her free-spirited, yet emotionally grounded songwriting, the Saskatchewan born singer living on farms in North Dakota and New Mexico with her latter day hippie parents. When Egge got bit by the music bug as a teenager, she took matters into her own hands, building her own guitar, and moving to Austin, TX to observe, absorb and take musical risks. The striking depth and unusual maturity of her singing, playing, and songwriting got her noticed, and she recorded her first album, River Under the Road (1997) with the legendary western swing band, Asleep At The Wheel. The Austin Music Awards named her “Best Singer/Songwriter” and “Best Folk Artist.” Over the ensuing years and 8 subsequent records, Ana has made good on that promising debut. She has worked with producers Martin Terefe, Jason Mercer, Joel Plaskett, Steve Earle, and Stewart Lerman, and recorded full albums with The Stray Birds and The Sentimentals. White Tioger is her tenth record and includes includes producer/reed maestro Alec Spiegelman, singer Anais Mitchell, guitarist Buck Meek (Big Thief), drummer Robin MacMillan (Aoife O’Donovan), bassist Jacob Silver (Amy Helm), and violist Adam Moss (The Brother Brothers) among others.
Cables and Lines
A chamber folk trio from Gloucester, Cables and Lines is made up of three remarkably talented songwriters; Erin Dooley (vocals, guitar), Calvin Joss (vocals, banjo, guitar), and Andrew Luman (guitars, vocals). Longtime veterans of the North Shore and Boston music scenes (Joss is a founding member of the beloved post rock juggernaut Caspian), Cables and Lines has just released their debut EP Meadow, a recording featuring the band’s intricately delicate arrangements and gorgeous three part harmonies.