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LARA HOPE AND THE ARK-TONES —LOVE YOU TO LIFE (Self-Released)

 

www.larahope.net

 

 

2017 winner of the Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly artist, and named the Best Up-And-Comin' Band by the Hudson Valley Magazine Lara Hope as one would expect the unit is a dynamic combination. The music from Hope and her band the Ark-Tones that include her husband, Matt ‘The Knife’ Goldpaugh (upright bass, backup vocals), Dave Tetreault (drum, percussion) and Billy Riker (electric lead guitar) is both hugely infectious and varied. Produced by the band, with help from Jimmy Eppard (Levon Helm) a nicely shaped sound is obtained.

 

Other than one each song from Wynona Carr, “Til The Well Runs Out”, and it is a ripper! Awash in thrusting licks, harmony vocals and sax (Hayden Cunnings from the band Kings Of Nuthin’) the bar is set. Jack White’s “Hotel Yorba” rounds off the album in sterling fashion. Hope could not have chosen better compositions to accompany her own well-worked songs. She gives the latter a new and  exciting twist as some stunning acoustic bass and electric guitar (solos), electric sitar and more are introduced. Maybe White has other tunes she could lend her stamp to. He may well have. With Hope and the Ark-Tones so versatile and adaptable anything is possible, and or likely.

 

Among the highlights you have the lively worded and played title-track “Love You To Life” to go with the organ (Jeremy Baum) warmed “I’m Yours” and atmospheric tune “Dr. Bartender” (that combines show music, hints of jazz with her stable diet) plus “Luckiest Girl In Town (The Wedding Song)” that opens in mellow wistful fashion. Though her style of writing could easily have come from the late 1950s it sounds as fresh and vibrant as anything around. When she finds a groove like the one here, and the cheery “Hotel Yorba”, plus with something of a Rhumba beat “Love You To Life” she is the business.   

 

Hope is a real all-rounder and not only on record but she also performs as a duo (The Gold Hope Duo) with her husband when not with the full band or playing country – western music at one of the longest family run resorts in New York, the Rocking Horse Ranch. One song “This is What I’ve Got” contains a little of all the genres noted. Assisted by the likes of call and answer song “I’m The One” as she utilises the boys for vocal aid the music is ever changing. I can’t wait to here more from Hope and the Art-Tones, for I believe there is better to come.      

 

 

                                                Maurice Hope  

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1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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