Chris Luedecke, one suspects, is very much a glass half full person. Despite the presence of the odd dark note or two on “Proof of Love” on the likes of “Sad As A Forest” or “Ain’t Goin’ My Way” in the main his music is sunny and optimistic and as such something of a breath of fresh air. His songs have the feel of an impromptu session beside a camp fire, never more so than on “Big Group Breakfast” where what sounds like all seventeen musicians and singers variously credited on the album pitch in on the chorus of a rolling and swaying riverboat of a song.
There’s also a gentleness to his banjo-driven music, a vocal tenderness that’s matched by his easy-on-the-ear playing. This is far from muzak though; Luedecke can write a decent song and playing simply but well is just as hard as playing fast and furious breakdowns. Standout songs here include the lolloping “The Drawing Near”, which has a rolling groove and an infectious chorus with a bit of The Band’s sensibilities of heritage, time and place, the traditional “Johnny has Gone For A Soldier” and the thoughtful “Thrown By the Bull.” The lasting memory of “Proof Of Love” though is that the world is perhaps not as bad a place as it often appears, and any album that can do that is to be treasured.
- Jeremy Searle