Lewes Guitar Festival - Devon Sproule

Before I call up Devon Sproule in the house in Virginia she shares with her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Paul Curreri, I do quite a bit of research on her. I check out her website, listen to her myspace site and watch her on You Tube. I very much like what I see and hear. She’s a perky, charming, intelligent performer, in the Michelle Shocked mould, but with a little more whimsy. She plays the guitar, and she sings, basically, and while her guitar playing isn’t amazingly intricate and her voice isn’t up there with the greats, the whole package comes together really well, strengthened by witty lyrics about the minutiae of life which make you want to listen to them.
Devon is the first performer to play the Lewes Guitar Festival Gun Garden lunchtime slot, and I tell her she’s going to be playing in front of a 1,000 year-old castle. If you want to get an American excited, I’ve learnt, tell them how old something is. I then ask her what we can expect of her, in her own words. “The press I’ve got in England has compared me to Lucinda Williams and Jolie Holland,” she says. “I’ve pretty much been lumped into that ‘old music’ category. Folky stuff, I guess. But, as the title of my latest [second] album, ‘Keep Your Silver Shined’, suggests, my music isn’t simply about subscribing to something that’s old, it’s about keeping it new, and giving it your own touch.”
“Some people are into that old aesthetic as historians,” she continues. “Like Leon Redbone. I’ve just come across him, and he’s getting as close as he can to replicating old music. That’s not what I do. I’m into swing jazz and a big part of what I do has a vintagey, Southern, Appalachian feel to it. But the settings for my songs are more modern: I write in a very descriptive way about personal little things.


Stairway to Devon