Loveland Duren – Any Such Thing
Maybe it’s me but is the best new music consistently coming from veteran musicians? Memphis performers Van Duren & Vicki Loveland have a 10-cut LP that sparkles with music, lyrics & most importantly, ideas.
Their live shows have been met with ecstatic crowds. These two are not major names – they’re not the Everly Brothers, or the McGarrigle Sisters (both somewhat no longer with us). Yet, their music resounds, it’s powerful, filled with that necessary rock energy that’s just a thread in their Americana quilt fueled at times by the BTM Horns & strings.
Vicki’s vocals are ideally suited to their incendiary showcase. She has soul in her vocal chords, & the music is shaped by high octane melodies. I’m really impressed. This collection is a delight. An absolute slice of perfection & professionalism.
Loveland Duren – Any Such Thing (Drops Oct 1–Edgewood Recordings) is filled with distinctive, versatile, & creative songs with exceptional vigor. Even the slower tunes are driven by piano & on “Within Crying Distance,” Vicki’s rich vocal slides through with absorbing gusto. What a team.
Loveland (lead vocals/tambourine/shaker/maracas/congas/percussion) & Duren (electric-12-string acoustic-bass guitars/lead vocals/Wurlitzer/electric piano/organ/harmonica) simply lead a band of proficient musicians who lay down a thick musical carpet.
Opening songs “Tumbledown Hearts,” & “A Place of No Place,” followed by their duet vocals on “Ain’t It Pretty To Think So,” has brilliant hues as found on the best of Golden-Carrillo (“A Fire In New Town”).
Credentials? Vicki was a backup singer with Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Alex Chilton & with the Box Tops, Tav Falco, The Funk Brothers, The Hi Rhythm Section. Duren, a native Memphian, was a solo artist since 1977 & issued since 12 LPs. Duren contributed to the fine work of Billy Swan, Rufus Thomas, Cait Brennan & wait…Ringo Starr.
The duo has been together for 9 years & this is their 3rd entertaining LP recorded at the famed Memphis Ardent & Royal Studios. A potent mix of rock, soul, power pop, rhythm & blues with some orchestral escapes. The lyrics are above average. The arrangements — ideally suited. Each melody is painted with fine broad strokes & lots of colors. “Everyone Is Out of Tune,” has a nice Steely Dan musical style helped along by the jazzy sax of Art Edmaiston.
The band: Ian Duren (drums), Adam Hill (lead guitar/slide guitar), Eric Lewis (lead guitar/mandolin/BGV), Adam Holton (bass), CJ Manning (fretless bass), Liam Grundy (piano), Grace Askew (BGV), BTM Horns – Marc Franklin (trumpet), Art Edmaiston (tenor sax) & Kirk Smothers (baritone sax). Rev. Charles Hodges (Hammond B3), Jana Misener (cello), Jessie Munson (violins), Probyn Gregory (French horns – from the Brian Wilson Band), Richard Alan Ford (pedal steel), Tim Horrigan (piano), Jenny Davis (flutes), & Sam Shoup (double bass).
Color image courtesy: Jamie Harmon. The 39-minute CD produced by the duo is handsomely designed with lyric insert & available @ https://www.lovelandduren.com/