Vicki Loveland and Van Duren have announced that they will be releasing their new Loveland Duren album, which will be entitled "Any Such Thing," on October 1st.
Our good friends over at Conqueroo sent us the following details: 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. Traveling the indie-film circuit in 2019 to L.A., London, Australia, and Tasmania in support of the documentary Waiting: The Van Duren Story, Loveland Duren performed for ecstatic crowds who fell in love with their music, moving Vicki and Van deeply. These 10 powerful new songs, written in 2019 and 2020, fueled inspired recording sessions in some of the most renowned studios in the world, right in their hometown of Memphis.
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.
One of the highlights of Loveland Duren's visit to London in March 2019 was finally meeting and spending some quality time with the brilliant singer/songwriter/recording artist Liam Grundy and his lovely wife, Fiona. A pact was made, and in November 2019 the Grundys made the trek to Memphis, where Liam contributed stunning piano tracks to five songs on the Ardent Steinway in one four-hour session.
In mid-2020 Loveland Duren moved to Memphis' legendary Royal Studios for a session that captured Vicki's fierce lead vocals on two more songs. The BTM Horns were added, followed by Rev. Charles Hodges on Hammond B-3 - all with the incomparable Boo Mitchell at the console. Over that summer "Tumbledown Hearts," "Everyone Is Out of Tune," and the final track, "Ending Again," were brought to fruition at Royal with Adam Hill engineering and adding some impressive guitar work as well. Final mixing of Any Such Thing was completed in autumn 2020 by Hill with Loveland Duren.
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.
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?"