UPSTATE SONGS (City Salvage) Devon Sproule
Fantastic. Young Devon Sproule is an absolute wonder, luminous.
To be this musically evolved at 21, one might need to be on their third record already, and to have a handful of years of national touring under their belt. They might indeed, and this one is, and has.
She recorded her first record at sixteen. It was produced by Steffan Lessard, the bassist for the Dave Matthews Band, the celebrities of her region. Devon was raised in an intentional community called Twin Oaks, a near 500-acre farm in the Charlottesville, VA area. Her first pair of albums were more in the dark pop & rock neighborhood, and I'm really excited to hear them. Since it's a blessed mystery to me how a person gets here by 21, I'm looking forward to walking backward with her a little bit.
I saw Devon and cohort and co-producer Paul Curreri showcase at the recent Folk Alliance, and hung out just a little with them. They have a wealth of gifts, and an abundance of chemistry. Signature lyrical styles, hot guitar chops, humor, and grace. But we profiled the work of Paul last month (Songs for Devon Sproule) so we'll concentrate on the subject at hand. The walking bass line in her country blues treatment of the jazz classic "My Baby Just Cares for Me" is flying by as I write. Time stops for a minute, the way it does when I realize I'm listening to someone I haven't heard a version or the likes of before.
Most of the selections on Upstate Songs are just Devon Sproule and her guitar. I've heard many a seasoned and celebrated professional do that and not measure up to these tracks. Paul Curreri adds his great acoustic playing to a trio of tunes, and "Tristan and Isolde" with April Leightty on viola is particularly memorable.
We kid you not, this person is like someone from another time, if not another planet. She is one of our favorite new artists, and people. Disarmingly charming, and confoundingly talented. Get on board, you can buy it here, and the clips await your audition.