Laura Cortese gave up a life in California to attend the famed Berklee College of Music, before deciding to stay in Boston and immerse herself in the city’s vibrant roots scene as a side player. Returning to front her own band, Laura came together with the Dance Cards as an all girl band, featuring four string players – two fiddles (Laura Cortese and Jenna Moynihan), with Valerie Thompson on cello and Natalie Bohrn from Manitoba on standup bass. All of the band members share vocals. Their debut album as a four piece, “California Calling”, features 11 songs, most written by Laura Cortese but with arrangements that reflect the full band’s influences and exploring rhythms and sonic textures that take their music way beyond what you’d typically expect from a folk roots stringband. An inspirational songwriter, and engaging interview, Laura Cortese sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Canada export showcase Folk North to chat about her music and high energy live show. For more information about Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, visit thisislauracortese.com. Photo: Natalie Champa-Jennings. Music: Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards “The Low Hum”, “Stockholm” and “California Calling” from “California Calling” (2017, Compass Records).
About the author
Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee. In 2019, Jan Hall received Folk Music Ontario's prestigious Estelle Klein Award for her contribution to Ontario's folk music community.