New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Western Publicity)
"Ambition often follows talent, and Laura
Cortese has an embarrassment of both." John Wenzel, Denver Post
Oaks began as a studio experiment for fiddler and side-woman Laura
Cortese. Originally an excuse to focus on experimentation, the group evolved into a full-fledged collective including as few as five and as many as fifteen members. After two years of studio sessions The Poison
Oaks have emerged: with songbird vocals, triple tracked banjo and shredding guitars, they are an indie rock folkestra with fiddle that roars and subsides. Studio sessions were fruitful, yielding a vinyl 7" (with 3 bonus tracks available as downloads) called Pine to be released November 9th.
Stylistically in line with artists like St. Vincent
and My Brightest Diamond, the Poison
Oaks collaborations have resulted in a beautifully composed set of chamber pop songs. Compelling imagery and a fine wit, Cortese draws parallels between the devil and one of the seven Deadly Sins, then pirouettes to turn out a plaintive road song about yearning for love while on tour. While her previous work embraced classical and folk styles, the Oaks tunes are layered and embellished with choral background singers, multi-tracked banjo and chiming, distorted guitars. Founder Laura
Cortese on the impetus for Pine: "When we began in 2009 we called them arranging sessions and we were almost dogmatic about thinking of the process as a project not a future record. Our focus was to get as arty and creative as possible, no limitations, no boundaries."
Although The Poison
Oaks are a fairly new project, Laura
Cortese has been making music for the better part of her life. Welding the propulsive grace of folk styles to disarmingly open-hearted original pop songs, Laura
Cortese is among the most intriguing and versatile, musicians in the bountiful New England post-folk scene. At home in any number of styles, her highly-visible work as a supporting musician (on fiddle, vocals, and bass) includes appearances with Band of Horses, Uncle Earl and - as part of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square
Garden - Patterson Hood and Michael Franti. She comes from a family of musicians, received formal training at Berklee before launching her career; she has received coverage in publications like Strings, Songwriter's Monthly and Blogcritics.
Oaks includes a myriad of acclaimed musicians, including Sam Amidon, Aoife O'Donovan, Kristin Andreassen, Neil Cleary, Matthew Douglas, Jefferson Hamer, Jennifer Kimball, Robin
MacMillan, Dave Mattacks, Jacob Silver, Dietrich Stause and Pierce Woodward who perform in acts like Uncle Earl, Crooked Still, Elton John, George
Harrison, Josh Ritter
and myriad other bands and projects.
Nov. 8 - New York, NY - Rockwood
Nov. 9 - Boston, MA - Aviary
Nov. 15 - New York, NY - Pianos
Nov. 18 - North Hampton, MA - The Basement
Nov. 22 - New York, NY - The Cake Shop
Nov. 23 - Boston, MA - Aviary
Nov. 30 - Boston, MA - Aviary
For more information on The Poison
For music from The Poison
For fun with The Poison