Laura Cortese - Acoustic Project
2010, Cortese Music
Laura Cortese had developed a well-earned reputation as fiddle master, playing alongside such artists as Michael Franti, Tao Seeger, Uncle Earl and Band Of Horses. With grace, poise and a bit of the fire that's part raw talent, part training and a whole lot of inspiration, Cortese has risen out of the New England folk scene to be considered on a par with nationally known traditional violin players. It would be easy to overlook that she's fine songwriter and vocalist in her own right, but that would be a mistake. Cortese shows why on the seven song EP Acoustic Project.
Cortese opens Acoustic Project with "Overcome", painting emotions and moments in words in a highly inventive arrangement textured with strings and her warm, moving voice. "Perfect Tuesdays" is the lonely single life in a very catchy country tune. Cortese explores chance meetings with conscience clear in a well-written tune that would have significant commercial potential in a more high-gloss musical setting. "5 Tune" is an instrumental jam that soars. Cortese shows off the depth and fire to her fiddle playing in a musical aside that inspire you to get up and dance. "Du Petit Sarney Et Reel A Deux" again finds Cortese displaying her instrumental talents, this time on a slowed down reel. "Women Of The Ages" is a song dedicated to the hardships of women down through the years. It's a touching song that makes the moments that historians often forget yet which feed the fires of history. "Wade On In" is an invitation to love and its pleasures. It's well-written but the energy is a little flat here and might fare better in a more upbeat and vibrant arrangement. Cortese closes with the barn-burning classic "Greasy Coat", playing like she herself is on fire.
Laura Cortese is a talent both with a bow in her hands and behind the microphone. Acoustic Project is a rough musical sketch of her talents, a candid photograph taken under harsh light. Consequently you get to see a few of the fissures that the gloss of high production values wipe away, but in the process Cortese shows listeners what real art sounds like. There's no flash here, just honest-to-goodness, down home talent.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Laura Cortese at www.lauracortese.com or www.myspace.com/lauracortese. Acoustic Project is available for download in Laura Cortese's webstore.