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Lucy Vincent, Head Of The Tide 

(Alpha Dog Records, CD)

To press play on Lucy Vincent's latest album, Head of the Tide, is to hear Burlington coming through your speakers. From long nights spent drinking, to vibes of peace and love, the character of the Queen City shines through in both the band's music and lyrics.

LV is a trio featuring guitarist-vocalist Kelly Ravin, bassist-vocalist Jordan Lee Berger and drummer/percussionist/flutist Matt Rosenthal. On this follow-up to their self-titled debut, the three offer a full serving of feel-good, yet introspective music.

The album opens with "Tomorrow Morning," an upbeat and infectious tune with jam band undertones and a funk-flavored bass line. Hints of reggae in the track add further texture.

Subsequent cut "Closer to the Sea" features a more moderate tempo and Rosenthal's signature flute lines. Burlington sax hero Dave Grippo also lends his support, serving up a soulful alto solo that leads the way into a brief, Latin-tinged section.

"Slow Down" features Adam Frehm - formerly of Smokin' Grass - whose lap steel lends a Southern feel. Ravin's powerful voice and twangy guitar tone command the listener's attention, but the band members don't harmonize as strongly as they did on their debut. Still, more variation in the rhythms and arrangements make for a well-plotted record.

Rosenthal's percussion on "Malecon" includes insistent cowbell, reminiscent of the famous "Saturday Night Live" skit featuring Christopher Walken - you know, the one where he says he's "got a fever" for "more cowbell?" Impressive cymbal work and sustained instrumental harmonies create an overall sense of suspense.

"In the Hills" keeps close to the original version heard on Lucy Vincent. The down-home "Drop It All Tonight" features Ryan "Big Time" Erskine on organ, and Ravin taking a break from rhythm guitar to drop a fully charged lead.

Other standouts include "26 Hours," on which bassist Berger is front-and-center on vocals. "I've seen a million troubled faces / Seeing the glass halfway to the end / But the water's running every day in some different way / It's just a matter of how you catch it," he sings.

Head of the Tide ends on a joyful note with "Celebrate" - another tune with a Latin feel. In addition to a solid groove, it features whistle, tambourine and, once again, cowbell.

Lucy Vincent currently rank at number four on, flanked by genre stars moe., Keller Williams and Robert Randolph. Odds are pretty good they'll keep on climbing.

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Mary Kohut


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