Folk singer Laura Cantrell is set to release her fifth studio album, Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music on May 17. The covers record celebrates the singer-songwriter who paved the way for female country artists, who is now the oldest living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame at 91.
“Sadly, the casual country music fan of today doesn’t know Wells’ story beyond ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,’” Cantrell said. “In putting together this recording, I wanted to include some material written for Wells by her husband Johnnie Wright – of Johnnie & Jack and The Tennessee Mountain Boys. I wanted to represent her range – the songs specifically written from a woman’s point of view like ‘I Don’t Claim To Be An Angel,’ the classic ballads, the cheating and heart songs that make up her body of work.”
Based in New York, the Nashville native returned home to record the album with Mark Nevers on production duties (Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire). Across ten tracks, she attempts to get to the heart of Wells’s career, including a song inspired by her legacy. Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music follows Cantrell’s 2008 album Trains and Boats and Planes.