Title - 'Love & Promises'
Artist - Auburn
OK, for the record, did you know that acoustic ensemble Auburn actually broke up over a decade ago? I know, right! But luckily for us fans they reformed back in 2011 and have since brought us musical gems such as INDIAN SUMMER (2013), NASHVILLE (2014), MIXED FEELINGS (2015), and this month, here in 2016, the quite stunning LOVE & PROMISES on Scarlet Records.
Having also celebrated their 40th anniversary - although quite where that decade break up fits “legally” into that anniversary timeline is above my pay grade! - back in 2014, Auburn (Liz Lenten: Vocals; Thomm Jutz: Producer & Guitars; Evan Hutchings: Percussion / Drums; Mark Fain: Bass; Jen Gunderman: Piano / Organ; Justin Moses: Dobro; Britt Savage: Harmony Vocals; and Chet O’Keefe: Guest vocal) have once more harnessed their brand of Americana blues and roots music rock to bring us this truly delightful new album, Love & Promises.
2. 'In My Blood'
3. 'Love & Promises'
4. 'Miss You Blues'
6. 'Cross The Deep Atlantic' ( featuring Chet O’Keefe)
7. 'Safety Net'
8. 'Ivory Moon'
9. 'Stupid Game'
10. 'If Everyone Was Listening'
11. 'Tell Me'
12. 'State of Grace'
As always, lead singer Liz Lenten‘s writing and vocal expertise is most definitely brought to the fore here on Love & Promises, and it is obvious from the very first track 'Asleep' through to the very last one 'State of Grace,' that there was a lot of heart and soul placed into every written lyric. The inner emotional turmoil that ebbs and flows throughout the storytelling on these collective tracks, allow constant images of tales gone by to flood your minds; creating scenic soundscapes within you as you listen.
Personally, my three favorites are 'Asleep,' 'In My Blood,' and the title track, 'Love & Promises'. The former is a slow, gentle, raspy cut of emotion that if Lenten were sitting on the sofa next to you singing it, you would most definitely feel your temperature rising, your cheeks flushing rather quickly! The slow to mid-tempo, guitar-plucking, sultry-sung gem of musical art entitled 'In My Blood' is another one that brings what Auburn does best to the fore, and the title track, 'Love & Promises,' albeit a different beast, is still one that has you hanging on Lenten's every word.
In closing, Love & Promises is an album that, aside from Lenten, also features the credible work of many (aforementioned) others that come together to, simply put, enable us to enjoy yet another quite brilliant album of music from Auburn. As Hunter S. Thompson once said: “Buy the ticket, take the ride”!
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk