Sunday, April 09, 2006

A little bit country...

In which we get a little western here out West

Been meaning to write a post about Devon Sproule since I saw and heard her play at the Hotel Cafe on Cahuenga about two weeks ago, but work's been getting in the way a lot recently.

Sproule's a singer-song writer born in Canada to commune-living American hippie parents. She eventually came south, to Virginia, to find that she a had a little country in her blood. Part of what my friend and workmate, Ben-wah, terms the "Charlottesville Underground" music scene, Sproule has released fours CDs and has toured extensively in the U.K.

I went to the Hotel Cafe not really knowing what to expect. I had niether noticed nor heard of the place until Be-Wah invited me to hear Sproule play. I was really pleasantly surprised. The Cafe is a spacious but dark, almost mysterious room, more suited to cloak and dagger that contemporary folk.

I don't count myself a big fan of folk, generally, but I came with an open mind. And it turned out to be worth the trip. At first blush Sproule reminded me of Mazzie Star with a little Patsy Cline thrown in, but without the steel-geetar twanginess of either. "Country music for the vintage clothing crowd*" is how I described it to Ben-wah after the show, though I was being a little too flip. What's really different about Sproule, to me, is her lyrics. She has a knack for turning the mundane into poetry, and is not afraid to be funny.

Her latest album is "Keep Your Silver Shined."

* For the record, I used to manage a vintage clothing store.