Trains and Boats and Planes
Trains and Boats and Planes is a short and bittersweet tour through the aural archives of this WFMU DJ turned Americana chanteuse. Laura Cantrell's fifth outing is an all-covers affair and her first recording since Humming By The Flowered Vine. (She's been raising a daughter who was born shortly after touring that 2005 release). Leading off with a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition, Cantrell dresses up the title track with accordion, Spanish guitar and maracas that all blend to create a Texas flavor the late Doug Sahm would fawn over. John Hartford's "Howard Hughes Blues" also gets the Texified treatment as Cantrell and band serve up a hearty helping of southwest tones. And if you happened to watch the Body Of War documentary, you may have heard Cantrell giving New Order's "Love Vigilantes" a beautifully melancholic and rootsy reworking in the soundtrack. Her stripping down of Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" is another standout in its stark but beautiful simplicity. With Trains Cantrell births a collection of classic but not retro covers that come off sounding like originals.