As the hostess/proprietress of Radio Thrift Shop on WFMU-FM 91.1 in Hudson Valley, New York, and an accomplished singer in her own right, Laura Cantrell is a champion of old-time country music, and she makes it sound lovelier than ever on her Matador debut, Humming by the Flowered Vine. Her precise, crystal-clear vocals may sound cool to modern ears, but they're perfectly suited to these gorgeous melodies and honky-tonk rhythms. Only the Lucinda Williams cover, "Letters," sounds like a reach; Cantrell doesn't have that much gravel in her soul.
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