String band music to modern indie folk
We've heard the dance-fiddle-and-song triple threat of Boston's Laura Cortese at The Ark before, but this time she brings something new. Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards have a vision for their band's sound: bold and elegant, schooled in the lyrical rituals of folk music and backed by grooves that alternately inspire Cajun two-stepping and rock-n-roll hip swagger. Cellist Valerie Thompson (cello/vox), fiddler Jenna Moynihan (fiddle/vox), and bassist Natalie Bohrn (bass/vox) pair their sophisticated string arrangements and rich vocal harmonies to band leader Laura Cortese's poignant and powerful singing. Their new music has a wide emotional and sonic scope. The four voices are just as much instruments as they are providers for lyric and harmony. At times it's rowdy, delicate, or cinematic. The result is a sound that can start as a string band, and morph into a string quartet, female a cappella group, or indie band; all while staying honest and true to their identity as folk instrumentalists. Watching Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards on the main stage at a summer folk festival, or tearing it up late night at a club, you get the sense that they might snap some fiddle strings or punch a hole in the bass drum. Songwriter J.E. Sunde opens.