Silver Lake 66 – The Space Between Us
One of the darkest times in American history is what’s described in the PR when this music was created. It was an inconvenience & for many a lesson in survival. But I hardly think it was as disruptive as The Depression, the 1918 Spanish flu when they didn’t have the drugs, technology & communication we have today & let’s add WWII.
Nonetheless, it was a dark time for many – but, if all those recent annoying months inspired & produced this 11-cut CD then it’s nice to know something positive emerged from the pandemic. This music is enthusiastic, melodies are optimistic & fun. “Bun E. Carlos,” “Let Your Heart Break” (woo – such bad language Maria) & “Blue Sky.”
The duo has clever old-fashion instincts, their sound is contemporary & they sound great together. Produced by Maria Francis (drums/guitar/percussion), Jeff Overbo (guitar/dobro/lap steel/Baritone & 12-string guitar) & Bryan Daste (pedal steel/background vocals/string arrangements) in Portland, Oregon.
These sane people made 41-minutes of stirring music for The Space Between Us (Drops June 17–Guitarmony Records). Some songs are sung individually but the duets are strong. “When You Fall,” is a good country song performed with slickness but never loses feeling. Some fat tones & full-bodied sound. Exceptional tune.
The plaintive vocals of Maria & quirky vocals of Jeff provide a marzipan of northern country melodies. The title track “The Space Between Us,” is chiseled & perfected in a Patsy Cline way. Nice stuff. The vocalizing is intriguing since they don’t sing in a formulaic manner. They’re mainstream, yet – they’re not. I like their effort. While Maria’s voice is a little juvenile at times, that’s the charm. She isn’t Lucinda Williams, but she does have Lucinda mixed with a little Emmylou Harris. It lends her the grit & soulful feeling necessary to be believable & original. She conveys reality through every word she sings. “Easier” is a delight.
With Jeff’s solo “I-5 Drifting” & “Take Some More of These,” his vocals are traditionally rich. Lots of character. Jeff could easily sing old folk songs. The voice has edge, brassiness & a smoky cool saloon tone without losing the genre’s enticing qualities. Maria’s shining moment — “I’ll Sing the Blues,” is moving & well-written.
The duo’s joined by Toupee Zehr (bass) with Hank Rasco (keyboards), Jenny Conlee-Drizos (piano), Paul Brainard (trumpet), Mary-Sue Tobin (baritone/tenor sax), the Bizarre Star Strings of Kyleen King (viola/violin), Patti King (violin) & Jesse Dettwilir (cello).
Look forward to lots more. Excellent duo. B&W image courtesy of their Facebook. CD available @ https://www.silverlake66.com/