(Photo | By Suvan Chowdhury of Pexels)
The acclaimed roots duo Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno are coming to Bend to play McMenamins Old St. Francis School on March 9 (mcmenamins.com/events).
Their self-titled album last year on Free Dirt Records was a blend of indie roots and stringband traditions, and Vivian Leva is one of the finest Americana songwriters of her generation. Country too, she can write a country heartbreak song like nobody’s business. NPR just named Vivian & Riley one of their 2022 Artists to Know for NPR Slingshot: npr.org/2022/01/05/1065244254/slingshots-2022-artists-to-watch.
Check out Love & Chains: youtube.com/watch.
Or check out Will You for a great song about a generation growing up isolated from each other: youtube.com/watch.
Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno — March 12, 2021 on Free Dirt Records
Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno’s self-titled record is old-soul roots music to its core. Though both just out of college, the duo’s musical talents extend far beyond their years. Produced by Grammy-winning Cajun roots heavyweight Joel Savoy at his Louisiana studio, Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno is not some soulless collection of songs imitating previous masters of American music. Rather, the pair has responded to one of the darkest eras in American history with an album of stunning breadth and originality. With mass protests, fires raging near their current home in the Pacific Northwest, and no prospect of touring anytime soon, it’s an aptly biting, bittersweet group of songs for an uncertain time. Yet, Leva and Calcagno balance this with a sense of optimism — a notion that at our most vulnerable we might emerge better humans because of it all, perhaps beginning with our own intimate relationships. The 11 tracks elegantly reprise the deep threads of old-time and classic country present throughout Leva’s debut album — she did grow up in rural Appalachia outside Lexington, Virginia, the daughter of celebrated old-time musicians, after all. However, the pair fluidly meld this traditional backbone with fresh iconic melodies, expanded production and the tightly wound vocal harmonies of indie folk. It’s an artistic statement made from this moment but built to last.
Listen (private): soundcloud.com
Download (private): bit.ly/hearthdlVLRC21