Ragged Heart, the new Americana release from Portland duo, Silver Lake 66, flows like a river of resiliency through a heart that is well worn and rough around the edges, but still beating strong. The album is an explorative journey through the human condition. Each song is a testament to enduring the dead-ends and bumpy roads that appear on the long drive called life.
Silver Lake 66
Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo define modern Americana as Silver Lake 66. With a winning amalgamation of classic country, folk and blues, their songs have been hailed by numerous publications and radio stations. It’s no wonder, either, given their knack for authentic, heartstring-tugging songwriting, impeccable harmonies and ardent guitar-playing. Together, they perform outstanding roots-laden duets following in the footsteps of Americana greats from Lucinda Williams to The Civil Wars.
The couple first began playing music together in the Midwest. First and foremost, Francis and Overbo met in Minneapolis and lingered there for a while. Following several years of recording and performing locally, the duo decided that it was time for a change and they hit the road for SoCal with their Ford van, their guitars and their trusty dog, Bernie.
For nearly a decade through the 1990s, Francis and Overbo called Los Angeles their home. During that time, they fronted a band called The Ruby Trees. As The Ruby Trees, the couple performed in a slew of local LA clubs, which includes appearances at Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance at The World-Famous Palomino Club. During this time, they also contributed a song to A Town South of Bakersfield, Volume 3 (Restless). They joined industry veterans Dale Watson, The Hellecasters and Harry Dean Stanton on the release.
Life in LA wasn’t all good news for the couple, however. During their stay in California, Maria Francis’s battle with lupus proved to be a steep hill to climb. They faced adversity in their move to Portland, Oregon, too, when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Still, the couple persisted. In the end, Francis overcame the odds and is now cancer-free.
With nothing but gratitude after overcoming these trials, Francis and Overbo found themselves adopted by a like-minded tribe of Portland musicians who helped them get back into the art of music-making all over again. It was then that Silver Lake 66 was born. Together with those collaborators, they contributed to jam sessions and other performances at a honky-tonk at the edge of the city called The Barn. It was then that the duo really found their sound with their newfound duet project.
The rest of Silver Lake 66’s story so far is of positive change, pushing forward and doing what they do best together. In August of 2016, the super duo released a new LP, Let Go Or Be Dragged. It features a collection of songs drawn from personal experiences of travel, love, loss, and adversity. A group of local veteran musicians from the Portland Americana community rounds out the vocally driven, warm, tremolo-laden sound.
The album has been a resounding success with Americana radio, receiving airplay from over 55 stations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. The album hit #19 on the Roots Music Report’s album chart, and the song “San Francisco Angel” reached #18 on its singles chart.
The Huffington Post’s Randy Radic describes Silver Lake 66’s music as “elegant simplicity” and “the real McCoy.” For Folk’s Sake’s Jonathan Frahm calls the duo “the real deal” and highlights their “sweet harmonies that mesh the entirety of their sound together.”
Their most recent album, Ragged Heart, is a continuation of their journey as a couple, as individuals, and as a like-minded musical duo. With the addition of strings and horns, Ragged Heart builds off of their previous works and centers around resiliency and hope. The new album comes out Spring 2019.
Silver Lake 66 are one inspiring, electrifying duo to keep your eye on. Make sure to catch them on tour when they hit your city!
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The New Americana single from Portland-based duo, Silver Lake 66, extends a sympathetic hand to the forgotten souls who have fallen through the cracks. Pedal steel and guitar bend and slide around the duo’s harmonies, as they express the loneliness of one destitute being. The lyrics draw attention to the jarring reality of homelessness in their Portland community.
The new single from Americana duo, Silver Lake 66 about a well-worn heart and a broken relationship, is a modern take on California country, inspired by the ‘60s Bakersfield sound and performed by a stripped-down, just-the-facts backing band. Straight from the heart, Maria Francis sings about a hopeful love that doesn’t stop in spite of past mistakes and pain. The pedal steel guitar soars with an edgy telecaster adding fuel that makes the song go down like a smooth shot of bourbon.
"Silver Lake 66 transports a dignified sound that evokes the gratifying sounds of Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, with a sly inkling for today’s roots music ears." [4/1/19]
Joe McSpadden, No Depression
" This is music for cold nights and warm whiskey. In the wee hours this album will ask you to question the price you have paid for your journey. Silver Lake 66 would tell you it was worth the cost; the Devil be damned.”
Randy Radic, Huffington Post
“Simply put, Let Go Or Be Dragged is one of the better albums I have had the opportunity to review. If you enjoy pure country music, the kind Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings used to produce, you’ll find Silver Lake 66 particularly comely.”
Jonathan Frahm, For Folk’s Sake
"They follow a vocally-driven roots rock sound evocative of many other popular groups of the modern folk era, from Shovels & Rope to Shakey Graves & Esme Patterson, and do so with a vested pride that elevates them to very nearly the level of those aforementioned megatons straight out of the gate."
RJ Frometa, Vents Magazine
"Melancholic yet hopeful, this country album (featuring significant hints of blues) makes for a realistically inspirational listen...”
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