RADAR: Laurie Levine

The Americana songwriting at the heart of Laura Levine's music would make her a distinctive voice for anyone who prizes that particular form of raw and roots-driven folk and alternative country. But the fact that Levine has spent her entire life in South Africa gives her remarkable story an interesting twist. Inspired by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, Levine has crafted three fine albums, most recently last year's critically acclaimed Six Winters. "There’s a lot of pain there, but extraordinary beauty too," says producer Dan Roberts. "Laurie had also been listening to some old sounds, early dust bowl depression era and such, but at the same time we both love contemporary electronica, so we settled on what can be best described as a: ‘the future is yesterday’ approach." Backed by dobro, mandolin, banjo and pedal steel, Levine takes her songs and stories on a journey to Appalachia by way of Cape Town with a naturally expressive voice that reminds us a bit of Kasey Chambers. A first-time tour of the U.K. begins next week. Watch the "O Brother" video below...

Laurie Levine - "Oh Brother" (from Six Winters)

 Laurie Levine - "Beautiful Loser" (from Six Winters)