Calhoun-raised sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell’s evolution from mountain pickers to blues-rock stars continues on new album Venom & Faith, out Nov. 9.
The sisters come out strong with a modern interpretation of Georgia blues legend Bessie Smith’s 1960 recording of “Sometimes.” Their arena-worthy blues-rock rendition sounds like it’s backed by a marching band – an unexpected and welcome development. The house party keeps rocking with the tongue-twisting “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues” and the Appalachian tradition meets modern pop amalgam “California King.” Those tracks and others further define the band’s retooling of rootsy sounds to suit modern audiences.
Considering the band, now based in Nashville, consists of two-thirds of former Northwest Georgia bluegrass outfit the Lovell Sisters, their Southern roots run deep. They aren’t jumping on some Americana bandwagon. If anything, they’re leaping off a suddenly packed train and daring to tumble down a less safe, creatively challenging path to pop accessibility. On yet another new release, the rewards outweigh the risks of straying from (yet never ignoring) past successes.
After opening for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth on Dec. 22, they’ll headline the significantly more intimate confines of Terminal West on New Year’s Eve.
Photo by Robby Klein.