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When I Was You

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Album Review

The San Francisco-based Vagabond Lovers are in the business of highly competent, polite folk-rock; reference points include 10,000 Maniacs (with a much better and less pretentious singer) and Richard & Linda Thompson (by way of Knots and Crosses). When I Was You starts off awkwardly, with the strangely juvenile elocution of "Junkie" and the rather tuneless "Midnight Radio," but things improve significantly about halfway through: the band's surprise version of the Cars' "Drive" is a moody, shimmering delight, and it's bracketed by two of the band's best originals, "Living Independently" and "A Thousand Different Reasons," the first of which is a regretful rumination on a disappointing choice of a domestic partner, while the second sounds like a vow to stick by that choice regardless. Then comes "I Got Killed," a cool and slightly creepy Latin-tinged reflection on maturation and death. Very nice.


Formed: 1990

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter Patty Spiglanin formed the Vagabond Lovers in 1990 so she could belong to a real band. She wasn't into industry politics or schmoozy schemes; she wanted to make music, exploring her native Bay Area for more musical outlets. She and bandmates bassist Evan Eustis, guitarist Michael Zapruder, keyboardist Mike Connor, and drummer Dan Lashkoff maintained a steady rise over a ten year period; their fresh Americana aesthetic earned the attention of Monarch Records at the dawn of the new...
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When I Was You, Vagabond Lovers
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