Nate Hall, Dorthia Cottrell, Bruce Lamont | Liar's Club | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Dorthia Cottrell

Dorthia Cottrell

Brian Michael Hamelguy

Nate Hall, Dorthia Cottrell, Bruce Lamont 

When: Mon., May 11, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $10 suggested donation
If you recognize Dorthia Cottrell’s name, that’s probably because she fronts Virginia doom-metal band Windhand, where her mournful voice sweeps over the thunderous riffs like the transient clouds that crown a billowing pyroclastic flow. But she’s been writing acoustic songs since she was 14 years old, and two months ago Forcefield Records released her self-titled solo debut—which proves that her power doesn’t depend on a bunch of long-haired dudes with amps. (Speaking of which: Windhand recently recorded their third album, the follow-up to 2013’s Soma.) “The first song I learned how to sing was ‘Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground’ by Willie Nelson when I was five,” Cottrell told Cult Nation in February. She’s accompanied on Dorthia Cottrell by her own skeletal plucking and strumming, as well as by lap steel and sitar from Kevin Wade Inge of Richmond band Horsehead; she covers Townes Van Zandt’s “Rake” and Gram Parsons’s “A Song for You,” which should give you some idea where she’s coming from. Her smoky contralto, confident and unflashy, reminds me a little of Chan Marshall’s, and her darkly intimate gothic folk songs—meditations, regrets, prayers, lullabies—rarely seem intended for an audience of more than one. They don’t meet you halfway—you’ve got to let yourself fall into them, the way you’d fall into a trance or a dream, and like dreams they can seem to offer deliverance from suffering. On “Cemetery Song” Cottrell sings, “I see you wanna go / Where the smoke goes / I saw you watching the sky.” For her first solo tour, she’s joined by Nate Hall of North Carolina psych-rock band U.S. Christmas. —Philip Montoro Cottrell also plays at LiveWire Lounge on Tue 5/12.

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