Listings for October 20th, 2009

APPEARING ON Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Devon Sproule

Tickets £12

Tin Angel Records announces the release of Keep Your Silver Shined, a new collection of songs from 25-year-old guitarist and songwriter Devon Sproule, with US promotion and distribution by City Salvage and Waterbug Records.

Produced by Jeff Romano in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains, Keep Your Silver Shined highlights Sproule’s talent for combining Appalachian, folk and jazz influences. From the front porch thump of “Old Virginia Block” to the high lonesome traditional “The Weeping Willow,” featuring fellow Virginia-native Mary Chapin Carpenter, this record finds Sproule making another important contribution to the Great American Songbook.

“’Keep Your Silver Shined’ rings with a sweet, heartbreaking majesty; these songs are beautiful, timeless and transporting.”
- Davy Rothbart of This American Life

“Vintage country…with jazzy sophistication…beautifully sparse arrangements and melodies that surprise the ear when you first hear them, but which then get under your skin much more than anything more obvious would.”
- BBC

Just home from a British support tour with Woodstock legend Richie Havens, Sproule, with her trademark vintage dresses and 50-year-old Gibson guitar, seems pleased.

“Being invited back to the UK is always good news. Folks there think you’re cool for coming, and folks at home think you’re cool for going. Keeps a girl’s chin up to be called cool once in a while. And the audiences are terrific.”

Though she may thrive on the road, Keep Your Silver Shined shifts the light to Ms. Sproule’s domestic life in Charlottesville, VA, with husband and fellow musician Paul Curreri. The record includes a duet by the two, “Eloise & Alex,” a Curreri original.

“You could call Keep Your Silver Shined my ‘Getting Married Album’, I guess. Being in love with Paul Curreri, in love with Virginia, deciding to settle down with both and figuring out how to make it all work. Ours ain’t the most steady lifestyle — a fact that doesn’t always jive with the healthy, future-planning parts of being married. But we’re happy, both writing, touring and getting the bills paid.”

“Keep Your Silver Shined is one of the most fetching roots records to come down the pike in quite some time.”
- Philadelphia Inquirer

“Gorgeous laid-back Southern-tinged music. Very highly recommended for lovers of good songwriting and seriously sexy (or sexily serious) voices.”
- Maverick Magazine

Sproule’s previous effort, Upstate Songs (City Salvage Records) was included in Rolling Stone’s Critics Top Albums of 2003. Critic Julie Gerstein called the record, “perhaps the sweetest and most honest folk-pop album recorded this year,” and added, “Sproule’s vocal and lyrical beauty is unmatched.”

Describing her girlhood on a 1960s-founded commune in rural Virginia, and the rope hammocks made there, Sproule sings in Silver’s, “Does the Day Feel Long,” “All my thinking back has been strung up between two tall trees / Some kind of language learned in the country / Grapes filled with a million seeds each.”

In “Stop By Anytime,” sparse drums hint at a bossanova. “Stop by anytime / I’ve got the bookshelves loaded and the backyard is green and blooming / Stop by anytime / Let the humidity curl your hair / And the mulberries stain your toes / If you could come around, I could show you down / To where the knots of the day untie / So stop by, stop by anytime.”

Sproule’s own jazz standard “Let’s Go Out” playfully complains, “There’s nothing in the fridge / Nothing in the cupboard / The jelly jar is empty / And I’m plum sick of peanut butter / A groundhog ate the lettuce / Right out of the ground / Honey, let’s go out!” A clarinet picks up the tune, backed by the brushes and bass of an able rhythm section.

“It’s a marvelous collection of songs and, frankly, it evokes a sense of place better than any album since Lucinda Williams’ 1999 masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel



 

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