Laura Cortese wears many hats: fiddler, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, community builder, creativity instigator. Her band Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards is a quartet of singing string players 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. On the band’s Compass Records debut album, CALIFORNIA CALLING, the band’s indie sensibility comes to the fore with the support of producer Sam Kassirer. Their lyrics deftly explore themes of heartbreak, independence, and the restless search for a home in the world. 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. Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards have toured and performed at premier festivals throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe, and Scandinavia.
She may be best known as the former guitarist and singer-songwriter from string phenom Twisted Pine, but her work as a solo artist shows there's much more to Rachel Sumner that we are just now getting to see. Praised by audiences for her powerful, lonesome voice and haunting songs, Rachel carefully spins melodies that get caught in your head and delivers them “with an attitude and drive in her guitar playing...sure to strike a chord and dig deep into your heart. ” (Red Line Roots)