The Rockport Folk Summit makes its grand return with a dynamic concert featuring two fantastic, progressive-minded singer-songwriters both making their Rockport debut. Fiddler/singer Laura Cortese and her all-female, guitar-less string band, the Dance Cards, and the dulcet-voiced songwriter Ana Egge will each play a set before joining together for a rollicking collaborative finale.

Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards

Laura  Cortese  wears  many  hats:  fiddler,  singer,  songwriter,  multi-instrumentalist,  bandleader,  community  builder,  and  creativity  instigator.  Her  band  Laura  Cortese  &  the  Dance  Cards  is  a  quartet  of  singing  string  players (fiddler Jenna Moynihan, cellist Valerie Thompson and bassist Natalie Bohrn) whose  original  music  draws  from  diverse  traditions  and  experiences  to  create  a  broad-minded  yet  clear-eyed  sonic  vision.  It’s  based  in  the  lyrical  rituals  of  folk  music  while  exploring  new  territories,  moving  seamlessly  from  gauzy,  ethereal  vocal  harmonies  to  rowdy  indie-rock  percussion  to  propulsive  fiddle  melodies  directly  from  Appalachia  or  Scotland.   It’s  a  new  kind  of  pop  music:  born  from  the  folk  tradition,  traveling  the  roads  of  70s  California,  and  delivered  with  power  and  heart. The Dance Cards are not  a  string-band,  not  a  string  quartet,  not  an  a  cappella  group  or  indie  band,  but  somehow  all  of  those  at  once,  all  while  staying  firmly  rooted  in  an  identity  as  folk  instrumentalists.  Before  forming  the  Dance  Cards,  Laura  Cortese’s  career  included  stints  as  an  instrumentalist  with  Band  of  Horses,  Pete  Seeger,  Rose  Cousins, and  Uncle  Earl.  The  collective  credits  among  the  Dance  Cards  exist  on  a  broad  continuum  from  Darol  Anger  to  Amanda  Palmer,  from  the  symphony  to  prog  rock,  and  even  into  protest  music  like  Pete  Seeger  and  Michael  Franti.  Their new album, California Calling, has been called “stunning” by Acoustic magazine.

“ their close and complex harmonies and imaginative arrangements signify the best of folk right now.”- The Bluegrass Situation