Charlottesville Daily Progress
Devon Sproule didn’t have to look far to find just the right producer for her new album.
Sproule, who’ll perform songs from “Don’t Hurry for Heaven” tonight at the Southern Cafe and Music Hall, recorded most of the CD while touring in England.
Her producer flew over, a few days before starting his own European tour, to capture the tight sound Sproule and her band had developed on the road while it was fresh.
Guitarist, songwriter and, now, producer Paul Curreri is Sproule’s husband. He captured eight tracks in a countryside studio and then brought them home to work on them.
“He’s just, like, an instinctual producer. He kind of awes me,” Sproule said of Curreri. “I’m really comfortable handing over the reins, and I’m comfortable with the choices he makes.”
The resulting CD dips into many different musical streams. Sproule has spent a good chunk of the past two years performing on the other side of the pond, so it’s no surprise that a variety of musical references and genres appear.
“This one’s kind of groovy. I like that,” Sproule said by phone on her way to a show with the Young Republic in Asheville, N.C. “I think it’s one of the most creative things I’ve ever done.”
Recording live in the English studio was a challenge for Sproule, but it was worth it to seize her band’s sound.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but we were pretty tight as a band because we’d been touring in England,” she said.
If a listener detects a hint of homesickness in the CD’s tracks, it’s because distance can make the heart grow fonder. Staying abroad for weeks at a time gave the songwriter a chance to look at familiar topics and inspirations through a different lens, and she’s pleased with the results.
“Getting good gigs in England has been fun, but you can’t just pop over there for the week,” Sproule said. “I’ve written so much about Virginia that it’s nice to write about something else. It all ends up feeling similar to me.”
After tonight’s show at the Southern, Sproule and the Young Republic will head to the Mockingbird in Staunton for a Saturday evening show.