Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards
Laura Cortese digs deep and aims high, grew up in San Francisco and moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, immersing herself in the city’s vibrant indie music scene and enjoying a busy touring-and-studio-sidekick career which included appearances with Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall and Pete Seeger at Newport Folk Festival.
But, it’s been with her band, The Dance Cards that she has made the biggest impact. Featuring Emma Smith on bass and served up with panache and zing, it’s bold and elegant fare, schooled in the lyrical rituals of folk music and backed by grooves that alternately inspire Cajun two-stepping and rock ‘n’ roll swagger.
When contributors to the UK’s Rock n Reel magazine, submitted their Best of The Year lists for publication, top writer David Innes declared that they had been his “most memorable gig,” saying they “swung and rocked with constraint-free exuberance, tugging at and capturing everyone’s hearts.”
Following a previous tour, Songlines magazine drooled: “This was a celebration of American string playing par excellence,” while fRoots mag said they were “powerful, gutsy and almost certainly going to make musical waves.” Since then, the four-piece has taken both Shetland and Orkney Folk Festivals by storm, will be appearing at Glasgow’s celtic Connections festival early next year – AND on tour here promoting a brand new album, California Calling, just released on Compass Records.
Karen is an Americana Singer/Songwriter from Northern Ireland and is heavily influenced by American Folk, Bluegrass and traditional Country. Her flair for storytelling and focus on harmonies has gained her new fans in the Americana and Country scene in the past few years. After playing in Bluegrass bands over the years she got the opportunity to travel to Nashville in 2015 for a week of Songwriting with esteemed Nashville writers. She also got to perform in The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville with Don Henry and Beth Nielsen Chapman as part of the exchange.
Karen has recently released her new EP ‘Like We Used To’ and it is available on iTunes and Spotify. She is playing at various festivals and events in the UK over the summer and plays regularly in Liverpool and where she is based.
339-340 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA