[New York (at least now)] Some had their Gillian Welch, others had their Wilco, but Laura was my alt-country artist and possibly the first country that I ever even listened to, unless you count The Eagles (ask a West Coaster what kind of music they like: “Everything but country.” – it wasn’t my fault). I was a closet listener to her Not the Tremblin’ Kind album. Lyrics that painted a story. Sweet wavery voice. She was this whole other world, to me. I busted ass to make it to this show and went straight to the bathroom to unsweat myself and this tidy woman brushed past me – I suspected it was her but she was already past me before I could reach out and touch her. She’s almost a dead ringer for Joan Cusack but more delicate/classy. Porcelain skin. The more interesting thing about her is that despite the sweet little voice, skinniness, and porcelain-ness, she comes across as cynical, smart, and tough. Live, she sounded exactly as she does recorded. She was backed by a guy on lap steel and a guy on an electric bass. The music is easy – kind of traditional – nice. I found out today she was broke and backed by John Peel. He told her to keep writing those narratives – she asked what narratives (or so she told us today) – and he said about those country women – and then she sang a song about Kitty Wells (whom I don’t know – sorry Austin friends). She may live in New York now but she doesn’t talk like a New Yorker and doesn’t have the soul of a New Yorker.