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The Retro Modernist

It’s taken her four years to produce this particular musical gem, a gleaming mix of Appalachian and country music tinged sometimes with jazz-blues. The poetic lyrics are always arresting, clean and taut with beautifully wrought images so vivid you can practically smell the scenes she’s singing of.

This is her fourth album and during the time she made it she got married at the age of 23 to the musician and producer, Paul Curreri, finding freedom in making a very serious commitment: no yo-yo flitting between vows and rehab here, or the baldness for that matter, favoured by her contemporaries – and now, 24 years old, she tells me this music and her marriage are things “I could only contemplate when I became an adult”.

“When did that happen?” I laugh, perturbed, wondering if I might ever experience such a thing.

“When I stopped spending all my energy on being social and dating and romance and I started to spend more time getting to be a better writer.”

“Oh.”

Kindly, she points to the circumstances of her childhood and the unusual perspective it’s given her. But now she has to soundcheck too. We arrange to meet tomorrow, and I ask her to save it all ’til then. But in the meantime would she email her ideas about her work? “Sure.” Thoughtfully though, Devon didn’t just do that, but asked her husband for his input too.

So, given that other people’s mail always has an irresistible fascination mostly if not always absent in our own, and other people’s marriages are always more intriguing, here is a glimpse of both.


fRom fRoots 289, July 2007

 

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