Devon Sproule, guitarist and songwriter from Virginia, will return in February, '06, for her second tour of the UK. The Canadian born twenty-three-year-old will release her fourth CD, Keep Your Silver Shined in the summer of 2006.
Sproule's previous effort, 2003's Upstate Songs (City Salvage Records) was included in Rolling Stone's Critics Top Albums of 2003. Critic Julie Gerstein said of the record, "Upstate Songs is perhaps the sweetest and most honest folk-pop album recorded this year. Sproule's vocal and lyrical beauty is unmatched."
Devon Sproule toured the UK in February 2005 with fellow Virginian Paul Curreri. The two were married three months later. They now live in Charlottesville, VA.
Says Devon of her last CD, Upstate Songs, "It was a record of self and romantic discovery -- and my first effort at writing about the natural world. The new project, Keep Your Silver Shined, revolves much more around domesticity, settling down, and the sentiments -- both settled and un-settling -- that go along with married life."
Devon Sproule's music is a sweet, compassionate blend of folk and pop, highlighted by her well-tuned vocals. - Chicago Sun-Times
Sproule describes the new CD as, "less poetic than Upstate Songs, but lyrically stronger, in my opinion. And quite obviously, it reflects my two-year-old interest in jazz and swing. Even the first song, "Old Virginia Block", which is produced with a more country and folk feel, is built on a jazz progression, called the Berklee Blues..."
In what is certainly her most mature and articulate statement to date, the quality of songwriting on Keep Your Silver Shined is sure to confirm Devon Sproule in the ranks of today's top songwriters. From the gleeful back porch thump of "Old Virginia Block" to the classic jazz standard treatment of "Let's Go Out," and closing with the high lonesome traditional "The Weeping Willow," performed as a duet with her husband, Paul Curreri, it's no wonder that Keep Your Silver Shined has been turning so many heads in the music industry.
In "Does the Day Feel Long?" Sproule writes, 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." A clarinet picks up the tune, backed by the brushes and bass of an able rhythm section. A more pensive track, "Stop By Anytime" describes "A wasp on the pillow in the hideaway bed / A whippoorwill whistle to a spooked city kid / Dry leaves catching 'round the camping fire pit / Quicker than a rippling lake / If you could come around, I could take you out / To see the bugs in the big woods shine / So stop by, stop by anytime."
Devon Sproule has noteworthy guitar chops and an undeniably soulful vocal sensibility. - The New Yorker Magazine
Raised on Canadian folk music, 50s doo-wop, and The Beatles, Sproule spent her childhood on a 465-acre, 100-member commune, founded in the 60's, in rural Virginia. After moving between private, public and home schooling, she eventually dropped out of high school, recorded her first record, and began touring nationally, all before the age of eighteen. Her first CD, Long Sleeve Story was released in 2001 and produced by Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard. Although the sounds featured on Long Sleeve Story, drew acclaim from coast-to-coast audiences, it was the music on Upstate Songs that established her as a considerable, mature songwriting talent.
In "Plea For A Good Night's Rest," Upstate Songs' opening track, Sproule measures a good night sleep as a reward for a day well-spent and a life well-lived. Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, Sproule's angelic voice sings, "Sleep she comes to steal the ones who / Fill their glass and leave the rest / Whose teeth get brushed, who eat enough / And know how to treat their friends." The brave, sonic venture of "Should Have Been Snow" introduces a gunshot-beat snare drum and a grooving, bouncing electric bass, along with electric guitar distortions that interrupt the album's solemn quiet. "Upstate Songs boasts remarkable guitar work and a roller-coaster of a voice that can U-turn on a dime," says fellow City Salvage Records recording artist Paul Curreri, who co-produced Upstate Songs with Sproule. The Donaldson/Kahn-penned standard "My Baby Just Cares For Me" is accorded a sparkling, gleeful treatment by a young rtist with, in addition to her own obvious songwriting abilities, a comprehensive appreciation for American popular and folk song traditions.
Upstate Songs 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, James Madison University Poetry Professor
Sproule has shared stages with the likes of: Dan Bern, Kelly Joe Phelps, Erin McKeown, the Dave Matthews Band, David Gray and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Her live concerts capture her at her best: candid, poetic and with a stage presence that is youthfully charming and at the same time, that of an experienced and self-possessed performer.