“That’s me in the middle,” Devon Sproule laughs, pointing to the cover, “Not the pregnant one. One thing at a time!”
City Salvage and Tin Angel Records proudly announce the release of Keep Your Silver Shined, a new collection of songs from 24-year-old singer and guitarist Devon Sproule, with national promotion and distribution by 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
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.”
Says producer Jeff Romano, "I think of this record as a picture of Devon's life. When the play button is pressed, a painted shutter opens and you feel the space of her company, her attention to everyday-life's detail. It helped that we recorded the whole thing in my living room - plants everywhere, sun shining through, wood floor and a high ceiling. It's a record that makes you feel right at home."
“Keep Your Silver Shined proves Sproule worthy of holding her own on a shelf with anyone from Joni Mitchell to Gillian Welch, while reminding you less & less of anyone you've ever heard before.” - Brady Earnhart, Poetry Professor, University of Mary Washington
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.
“Devon Sproule has noteworthy guitar chops and an undeniably soulful vocal sensibility.” - The New Yorker
Born to hippie parents on a commune in Kingston, Ontario, Sproule claims dual citizenship with both Canada and the US. After moving between private, public and home schooling, she eventually left high school, recorded her first record, and began touring nationally -- all before the age of eighteen.
Keep Your Silver Shined presents an honest and sparkling portrait of Devon Sproule: candid, poetic and right at home.