Title - Any Such Thing
Artist - Loveland Duren
For those unaware, veteran recording artists Vicki Loveland and Van Duren (aka Loveland Duren) are cradling dynamite once again with their brand-new album, Any Such Thing (Edgewood Recordings), due out October 1st, 2021.
Following the duo’s first two releases, Bloody Cupid (2013) and Next (2016), Any Such Thing reflects the sum of their experiences through the past five years of performing in the Mid-South and in faraway locales.
Any Such Thing swings from rock & soul to power pop to orchestral to rhythm & blues to eclectic improvisation in the most adventurous and wily ways.
These 10 sly songs fuse worldliness with wide-eyed joy, folded in with well-traveled tales of the human condition in the 21st century. Love, too. Maybe. As Hemingway said, “Ain’t it pretty to think so?”
1. Tumbledown Hearts
2. A Place of No Place
3. Within Crying Distance
4. Ain’t It Pretty to Think So
5. Skywriting (Tasmania)
6. Funny Way of Showing It
7. Where Are We Going?
8. Bridges I Had to Burn
9. Everyone Is Out of Tune
10. Ending Again
Opening on the gently rockin’ blues duet of Tumbledown Hearts and the upbeat, percussion embedded A Place of No Place, Loveland Duren never look back, always growing in their musical confidence and strengths, especially on following tracks such as the troubadour yearning of Within Crying Distance, the late ’70s New York-imbibed, finger-snappin’ hipsway of Ain’t It Pretty to Think So, and the harmoniously divine Skywriting (Tasmania).
Next up is the string orchestrated gossamer, Kate Bush-esque Funny Way of Showing It and the mid-tempo AOR storytelling of Where Are We Going? which are in turn seamlessly followed by the countrified Bridges I Had to Burn, the smoothly accessible, Steely Dan-esque Everyone Is Out of Tune, the album closing on the tacitly, quietly melodious Ending Again.
As a singer, songwriter, producer and performer, Vicki Loveland has always been about music. Her mother was a touring professional big-band singer; her father was a popular radio DJ.
By the time Vicki was four years old, she was absorbing country, blues, and gospel music from her grandfather’s radio and became immersed in four-part harmonies with her mom and older siblings on the family’s front porch in Memphis.
Vicki’s professional singing career began when she was 14, and has included work as a singer and percussionist with legendary artists such as Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, The Box Tops, The Funk Brothers, The Hi Rhythm Section, Low Cut Connie and many more.
Vicki also found time to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Memphis with a degree in music and recording technology, and has worked as a recording engineer and producer at several Memphis studios.
Vocalist/bassist/guitarist/pianist Van Duren is a native Memphian whose path was decided at 10 years old by one event: The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in early 1964.
His recording career began in 1977 with the critically acclaimed solo album Are You Serious?, now regarded as one of the progenitors of what later became tagged as “power pop.”
Subsequently Van went on to release more than 12 albums, a mix of solo records as well as several collaborations. Duren led one of the top Memphis groups of the 1980s, Good Question, whose album, Thin Disguise (1986), is a cult fave.
And in the studio Van has added his skills to recordings by Billy Swan, Rufus Thomas, Cait Brennan, and Ringo Starr.
Nine years into the Loveland Duren adventure the duo’s third album is finally here. Seven new songs were tapped for the first sessions in the autumn of 2019 at Ardent Studios with engineer Mic Wilson.
In two days, drummer Ian Duren and bassist Adam Holton laid down basic tracks on six songs with Vicki singing and Van on guitar or piano. In the next session the seventh song, Funny Way of Showing It was tracked with Loveland’s dynamic vocal and violinist Jessie Munson and cellist Jana Misener embellishing the track until a 12-piece string section made the track soar.
Memphis string-man Richard Alan Ford overdubbed pedal steel, then the recording was topped off with French horn tracks added remotely by old friend and Brian Wilson Band alum Probyn Gregory.
The album cover features work by two gifted Memphis artists. An original collage by multimedia artist Nancy Apple incorporates images by renowned photographer Jamie Harmon, perfectly illuminating the eclectic music within — powerful, whimsical, familiar and new.
Loveland Duren - Within Crying Distance [Official Video]
Loveland Duren @ Apple Music
Loveland Duren @ Facebook
Loveland Duren @ BandCamp