Musician Laura plays her cards right with two South Yorkshire shows

Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards

Boston-based Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards are about to step into South Yorkshire at the double.

The four-piece are part of this Sunday’s line-up at the Underneath the Stars Music and Arts Festival at Cawthorne near Barnsley.

Next Thursday, July 26, they are the latest in a steady stream of American acoustic performers to appear at The Greystones in Sheffield.

It’s an opportunity to check out a musical approach they describe as “based in the lyrical rituals of folk while exploring new territories of rhythm and sonics”.

They are touring on the back of their latest album, California Calling.

All four female members play string instruments and the results could loosely be called Americana with Celtic influences.

Yet, unusually, there are no guitars in this line-up.

Their engaging mix of the modern and the traditional is propelled by Laura Cortese on fiddle, Jenna Moynihan on fiddle and banjo, Valerie Thompson on cello and Jeni Magana on double bass.

Strikingly, Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards are further defined by their captivating harmonies.

The San Francisco-born frontwoman has a fine pedigree.

She learned her trade in Boston’s roots music scene after graduating from the city’s Berklee School of Music and has a solo recording career dating back to 2004.

Laura cut her teeth as a sideman in Boston’s roots music scene.

She has worked as an instrumentalist with Band of Horses, Pete Seeger, Rose Cousins, Jocie Adams (of the Low Anthem) and Uncle Earl and is a co-founder of the Boston Celtic Music Festival.