Artist: Raveis Kole
Album: In The Moment
Raveis Kole is an acoustic duo consisting of Laurie Raveis and Dennis Kole. The pair is an eclectic, acoustic based Americana/Indie Folk/Singer Songwriter duo that blends Southern California freedom, Middle Eastern mystery, European panache, and a gypsy's adventurous spirit, while featuring caramel smooth vocals and delightful songs and musicianship. . What never goes out of style is great songs with real musicians executing them gracefully, and this latest release In The Moment is a stellar example of it. It's an eight song set of well crafted folk songs. Half of which are a throwback in time to a more traditional approach that is reminiscent of the genre's early days in the clubs of Greenwich Village and the corners of Haight Ashbury. The other half have a more modern approach moving the music forward from where the duo seems to have found it. The songs are easy on the ears with a recording that captures the depth of two wonderful artists coming together to create a classic sound that is still fresh in the hands of Raveis Kole. The first song Sticky and Sweet has a modern day approach to acoustic music that reminds me of Jason Mraz or the acoustic side of Train. It is a very catchy acoustic pop piece that would be right at home on anyone's feel good summer playlist. The track starts with a breathy whistle accompanied by a bouncy strum pattern and a clever Star Trek reference in the lyric. The chorus is memorable and has a "Don't Worry, Be Happy" feel to the lyric. The next song So Nice turns away from the pop approach and moves toward a darker Natalie Merchant feel that is just wonderful. The vocal is rich with flavor and life experience. The tempo is slow and patient, as is the performance. Their two voices are impeccably blended creating a soupy harmony that warms the heart. A standout cut is Sun Eclipsed By The Moon. A gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitar is accompanied by subtle instrumentation tucked underneath in the mix creating a drone effect that is hypnotic and intoxicating. The vocals are performed with heart and warmth. The lyric "The wind sweeps like a heavy broom and I'm praying for catharsis" reminds me of something that Roger Waters may have scratched on a napkin in a hotel bar, which I mean as the highest compliment!
Glacier is another song that captures the beauty of Raveis Kole. The production is sparse and haunting. The guitar, vocal and lyric compliment one another perfectly, creating a sonic painting that skillfully mixes the three primary colors to create all the shades of a great sunset from a simple sampling of paint. In The Moment is a delightful mix of old and new. Good songs being the common ground between the two different eras. The first half of the record feels quite contemporary, while the songs like Kismet, Bop Bop New Orleans, Gotcha and Wherever You Go take on a more traditional classic folk approach. This is an album that serves up a variety of acoustic music, with conviction. The guitar playing and vocals are everything that they need to be to serve the songs. Anything more would have been too much and anything less would have felt incomplete. The record strikes a perfect balance between tradition and the contemporary and I hope it finds the listeners it deserves.