Deering and Down

Coupe de Villa

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Imagine Credence Clearwater Revival with a female lead singer and some horns from a New Orleans Salvation Army band. That's the effect achieved by Lahna Deering and Rev. Neil Down's ensemble on this lively album. Using everything from a tuba to a dobro to Down's swampy guitar licks, Deering & Down and company play a mix of folk, country, Cajun, blues, and roots rock that is usually entertaining. The middle section of the album lags a bit due to some slower-paced material, but the opening numbers -- "Rocket Around" and "The Ride" -- really do rock, while the album ends with the country-esque but funky "Givin' Heart" and the bluesy "I Need a Change," with its long instrumental coda that does recall early Credence. Deering has a pleasant, arresting voice, and while her songwriting skills are in their embryonic stage (she's 19), she succeeds with the simple statements of "Room 101," a song about domestic abuse. This song and Down's "Prophets of Doom" both make inventive use of upbeat melodies paired with downbeat lyrics. All in all, while Deering's debut may not be spectacular, it is at least memorable -- and she has paired herself with a veteran guitarist and mentor in Rev. Down.

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