Deering And Down | Coupe de Villa

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Coupe de Villa

by Deering And Down

It's kind of like Little Red Riding Hood meets the Big Bad Wolf.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Rocket Around
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4:13 $0.99
2. The Ride
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4:54 $0.99
3. Suddenly
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6:31 $0.99
4. Prophets Of Doom
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4:21 $0.99
5. Sheet Rockin'
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5:30 $0.99
6. Room 101
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3:58 $0.99
7. Something 'Bout You
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6:15 $0.99
8. Givin' Heart
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4:18 $0.99
9. I Need A Change
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6:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Had Lahna Deering and her big voice been looking for the most expedient route to stardom, she would likely never have settled in a small town in Alaska.

As fate would have it though, at the age of only sixteen, Deering did find her way up north, where she met and befriended rock and roll veteran The Reverend Neil Down. And using the town of 500 year-round residents as a base, Deering, now 21, and Down recently wrapped up a winter's worth of work on their first album together, Coupe de Villa.

In Rev Down, Deering has found more than just a producer - she's found a musical companion. While Deering's strong "belt-it-out" voice and Down's "left of center" lead guitar are the constant in the 9 tracks on Coupe de Villa.

"It's kind of like Little Red Riding Hood meets the Big Bad Wolf," said Down, noting that Coupe de Villa is the fourth album produced by Burn Barrel Records, that was conceived, recorded and produced in Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

"The emphasis here is the music," Down said. "It's pretty hard to get caught up in all the hype and 'outside noise' that can attach itself to making an album, because up here during the winter, there is no hype - there is no noise."

Deering, who spent three summers in the north before braving a winter there, worked as a maid for a local hotel, a jewelry salesperson for a trinket shop and a cast member for a daily stage performance. Then she found her niche as Miss LaLa, a "madam" who dresses in scantily clad costumes and entices visitors with her attitude and her voice as a part of a recreation of a gold rush trail camp.
Deering and The Rev -- who lists in his resume musical encounters and friendships with such legends as Jerry Scheff, Henry McCullough, and Albert Collins -- both insist that the difference in their ages has never been a hindrance in their attempt to turn out strong music.
"She's 19 going on 35; she's an old soul," Down said. "There's a synchronicity thing there. She likes sixty-five Lincolns, and I like sixty-five Lincolns."
"Everything he has done to the songs I have written has blown me away," Deering said. "When he took my first song, 'I Need a Change,' and I heard the awesome variations that he threw into it . . . I could never have imagined something that cool being done to that."

"I heard The Rev playing my first summer I was in Alaska," Deering said. "My mom and I were taking a walk one night, and we heard his music out on the street. We started dancing right there on the boardwalk. He's a maniac"

The musical duo admits one challenge that Deering's age has posed. At nineteen, alcohol control laws prohibit her from entering any of the bars or clubs in Alaska that feature live music.

As a result, Deering has performed short sets from the boardwalk outside of some local establishments and utilized visits from her mother to perform. Last summer, One sign in the window of a local bar read "Tonight only. Don't miss it. Lahna's Mom is in town."
"Everyone knew what that meant," Down said. "The place was packed."
Deering said that working on Coupe de Villa and being allowed to play gigs in Canada, where the legal drinking age is 19, has helped alleviate the problem.

"Now that I have something to focus on, I think this year is the first year that I haven't been bummed out about not going into the bars and getting to listen to and play music." she said. "I was always standing outside listening to people play music in the rain and the cold. Dancing in the street."
If Coupe de Villa is any indication, Deering will not find herself outside the music scene looking in for long.


Reviews


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Jason Thompson

Deering And Down. Another new review, another entry into this list. What can I s
Deering And Down - Coupe de Villa (Burn Barrel Records)

Well, here's one that slipped in under the radar just before the year closes out. This certainly has to be the strangest album I've heard all year, and I don't mean that in any negative way. You see, the music of Deering And Down sounds like it was recorded in some kind of musical bubble that had no popular outside influences working on it. It may have something to do with the fact that it was recorded in Alaska, which does indeed seem far, far away from all those nagging big time sounds.

Deering And Down's music doesn't hit you over the head. Instead, it works its way into your ears and nestles itself softly into your brain. You're not quite sure what it is about it that you love, but you know you just want more of it. The songs on this album often take their time. Sometimes they amble on, seemingly oblivious to time constraints and the ticks of watches that would have signaled the end of a song a minute or two earlier by any other band. But they need to do this. The nine songs on Coupe de Villa pick you up and carry you away effortlessly. Who cares about the supposed rock and roll rule books. Why, is this even rock? I think so.

Deeing And Down are none other than 19 year old Lahna Deering and The Reverend Neil Down. Deering came to Alaska with her mother from Port Townshend, British Columbia when she heard The Reverend's music one night. She fell in love with it and started hanging out with his group. Next thing the both of them know, an album is being made and Coupe de Villa is the result. As far as I'm concerned, Deering is the kind of young musician that needs to be hailed, unlike other female performers in the genre, including the likes of Lila McCann and Jolie and the Wanted in the Hollywood Country corners. What the hell do they know about songwriting? Nothing, as they don't write their own songs.

But this isn't about country, although it could be. There is a definite twangy charm to Deering's voice that sounds like a mix of Susanna Hoffs and Hope Sandoval at times. How can you lose with that? The songwriting is pretty fairly split between The Reverend and Deering, and both of them can pen some really great tunes. The music is rustic, yet edgy. Rocking, but longing enough that the punches in the melodies are subtle. Poppy, but only in a "way out there" kind of way that I promise you've never heard before.

I wasn't sure of what to make of "Rocket It Around" the first time I heard it. What the hell was this stuff? Was it corny? Was it beneath me? No, I kept listening to it, entranced by the music and Deering's voice that sounded older than it actually is (indeed, The Reverend has even said that she's "19 going on 35"). There are some funny lines in the song like "Would you roll baby roll baby rocket it around/You gotta roll baby roll baby shake it on down/Roll baby roll baby rocket around baby right" that seem like a joke, but Deering And Down play it so sincerely and have such a good time with it, that you can't help but get caught up in the moment as well. And I think that's good. After all, lots of great rock songs were just about getting your groove on. Unfortunately, the current pop trends have tainted those basic fundamentals into such jive that I think we have become jaded somewhat and tend to dismiss the classics because they aren't "serious" enough. Well, fuck that idea.

"The Ride" swaggers around on some grand New Orleans-style trumpeting courtesy of Jay Burr and Deering's transfixing vocals. This is one of the tunes that just takes its time about grooving. Where have you got to go so soon? Nowhere. Just shut up and enjoy the song. "Suddenly" is one of Deering's own compositions and is one of the sexiest and most surreal tunes I've ever heard. Where does she come up with this stuff? "You said to me feels like love's not the heroine/In my head my toes are cold/No more laughter echoes in the hall way."

On the other hand, there's The Reverend's "Sheet Rockin'" that just may support the best three chords ever recorded this side of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane". No mean feat, that. Plus it goes on for five-and-a-half minutes. For a three chord junkie like myself, nothing could have been finer. Unless of course, it's the swingin' groove of Deering's "Givin' Heart" that contains the classic line "Don't feel so broke/I only took a small toke/Of your givin' heart". Ah, there's just too much greatness throughout this album to pick a definite favorite.

I like 'em all, to say the least. And I feel that Coupe de Villa is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. With such wonderful originality as this, it would seem that Deering And Down have a long and fruitful road ahead of them to encounter. Whatever the case may be, I can only tell you that I give this album my highest recommendations. There are the albums that you love, and then there are the albums that you love. This is one of those. Snag one for yourself ASAP.

-Jason Thompson

David Whited

The talents of these two mesh very well. It's sorta reminiscent of a Lindsay Buc
Deering And Down
Coupe De Villa
Burnbarrell
When I last visted the mysterious world of Skagway, Alaska's The Rev Neil Down on his American Friend CD, his tasty hooks and slightly off-center -- and sometimes dark -- sense-of-humor were supplemented by the talents of a couple of pretty heavy-hitters. It was heavy with some very experienced musicians and it made for a rock and roll album that would stand up pretty well alongside some of Creedence Clearwater Revival's earlier offerings. The flavor was somewhat derivative -- in a good way -- but American Friend was all The Rev, and in my mind, it was a man's rock and roll record.

Coupe De Villa is a bit different. While The Rev still serves up some mighty fine guitar playing and offers up a number of his own compositions, The Rev leaves the vocals and about half of the songwriting to 19-year-old Lahna Deering.

Deering had been a follower of The Rev for a number of years and had gigged with him locally in Skagway, sometimes in clubs where -- due to her age -- she had to be accompanied by her mother. Don't let her age fool you, though. The girl doesn't write bubblegum pop. The subject matter can be dark -- as is the case of the abused woman in "Room 101."

The teaming of Deering with Down allows Down an opportunity to explore some different dimensions of his work. Some of his work was written for a woman's voice, and it might not have seen the light of day for a good while had he not allowed Deering this opportunity.

The talents of these two mesh very well. It's sorta reminiscent of a Lindsay Buckingham/Stevie Nicks or Buddy and Julie Miller collaboration. Some hard-line Americana fans may cringe at this last comparison, but I stand behind it. I consider The Rev one of the best undiscovered guitar players out there. He knows how to put the tension and release in the right places and he knows when to play and when not to. Oddly though, my favorite guitar part on this CD isn't on one of his own compositions. It's on Deering's "I Need a Change." The hook in this song is sorta reminiscent of the hook in "Born on the Bayou." It's one of those parts that just stick in your head all day long. "Prophets Of Doom" -- another offering here -- turned out to be rather timely if the wake of 9/11.
David Whited Ink 19

Bernard J Weikert

There must be something about writing, playing and recording music way up there
COUPE DE VILLA
DEERING AND DOWN
(BURN BARREL RECORDS)

Deering And Down's album "Coupe De Villa" feature the Reverend's songwriting skills and musicianship paired with the vocals styling of young Lahna Deering from Vancouver, British Columbia.

They make a great match and the music is infectious. This is pretty much a rock and roll record with twang and Deerings voice brings to mind such artists as The Motels and Concrete Blonde. Great cuts include "The Ride" and "Rocket It Around". Another cool song is the atmospheric "Prophets Of Doom". My favorite song on the album though, has to be "Sheet Rockin'" and it's a three chord master piece that can pretty much stand up to The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" on any given day. Also, "Room 101" is a heart rending song written about spousal abuse and death that'll surely make you think twice. Bernard J Weikert/GRITZ

Mike Bennett

She has one of those explosive voices that makes your ears perk up
Deering and Down -- Coupe De Villa (Burn Barrel): Reverend Neil Down is an accomplished guitarist and musical vet. Newcomer Lahna Deering is an exceptional talent - I would compare her to when Maria McKee burst on the scene with Lone Justice - she has one of those explosive voices that makes your ears perk up, and already has a pretty good idea how to use it. She isn't seduced by her power, making her all the more seductive. This album casts her as a young Bonnie Raitt with Rachel Sweet's firecracker presence. There's a 75% chance this disc will be reissued on a larger label, because I don't think that Deering will remain a secret too long. Mike Bennett/Fufkin