Ragged Heart – Silver Lake 66 (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

There is a lot to like about the new album from Americana duo Silver Lake 66 – otherwise known as Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo. It’s pretty much a tried and tested formula but one that has been successful for decades so is pretty sure of finding an audience. The thing that will stand out is the natural blend of the male and female vocals, throughout the album the lead vocal is swapped and changed but when the accompanying vocal appears, typically on choruses, the songs soar.

Country music has a rich heritage of duets, harking back to Johnny Cash and June Carter, through Dolly and Kenny and right up to Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock. There is something about country music that not only welcomes this mix but seems to find success with this platform and the styles of Francis and Overbo carries on this tradition.

It’s pickup truck territory, songs suited to the country joints with long bars and wide dancefloors, where the men wear trucker caps and the women match denim skirts with cowboy boots.

Like I said, there is a lot to like, and it’s very difficult not to tap your foot to songs like ‘Blue Earth County’, ‘Ragged Heart’ and ‘Faded Tattoo’, while songs ‘Tender’ and ‘Broken Dreams and Cigarettes’ show a gentler side to the song writing. It might not be for everyone but if you like country music, this is one to give a little of your time to.

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