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Time to Grow

The Lovell Sisters

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Album Review

The Lovell Sisters are carving out their own unique niche in pop music with an acoustic sound that blends bluegrass, folk, blues, pop, and the barest hint of R&B. All three sing and play: Megan plays Dobro, Jessica tackles the fiddle, and Merlefest winner for top mandolin picker Rebecca plays mandolin and guitar. They're major attractions at American folk festivals, having previously won the Prairie Home Companion National Teen Talent Competition, and almost signed to a major label in 2008, but chose to remain on the indie 2 DefPig logo for Time to Grow, their second album. The album was recorded in Nashville, with Brent Truitt (Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss) co-producing with the three sisters. Like Krauss, the Lovells have a way of playing traditional music that will appeal to mainstream, non-country-loving listeners. For these sessions, studio vets Viktor Krauss and Jeff Taylor joined the fun, but the Lovells were up to the challenge and turn in some blazing solos as well as their trademark harmonies. They also step out as songwriters with five solid originals. The title track is a "farewell babe I've got to go 'cause I'm in a band" tune, and it sounds great coming from the viewpoint of a woman for a change. Megan's Dobro provides the required feel of the breezy open road while Jessica lays down some bluesy fiddling. "Distance," which won the John Lennon Songwriting Prize in 2008 for Best Country Song, is a strong country/pop effort; "Take One Moment" is a nostalgic ode to a lost love with a country flavor intensified by Paul Franklin's pedal steel and Megan's stinging Dobro; "Subway Song" is a showcase for Megan's bluesy Dobro and Rebecca's heartfelt vocals; and "Paulita Maxwell" is a fine bad-man ballad that tips its hat to both folk and country traditions. On the covers the sisters show off their arranging prowess as well as their instrumental ability. They wail on "In My Time of Dyin'," giving it a ragtime feel with fine rhythm guitar by Rebecca and Megan's solid Dobro work. "Ichetucknee Chutney" is a bluegrass/pop instrumental with a stop-and-start arrangement that gives each sister a turn to lay down some impressive solo work, while the moody "Door in the Wall" lets them explore the bluer, jazzier side of their playing. The album closer, "You Remain," is a sad country song that sounds like a hit with its aching harmonies, Rebecca's desolate vocal, and intense pedal steel fills. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Undeniable Passion = A Terrific Album

With Time To Grow, the sophomore CD from the Lovell Sisters -- these three remarkable women have done just that and more. Drawing on their extensive touring, constant exposure to all kids of music, and maturity as they’ve become adults, they’ve produced 11 songs (including five originals) that are performed with incredible passion, soul and musicianship. Jessica (violin), Megan (dobro) and Rebecca (mandolin) are phenomenal musicians both individually and when they blend their sound together. Their perfect harmonies are a wall of sound that’s pure joy. It might seem odd at first that these sisters can sing about lost love, life’s regrets and dying with such emotional honestly given their age, but they can -- and it’s totally believable. And when you put it all together, it’s something truly special. Passion? That’s almost too weak of a word. They’re sharing their gift of music with the listener in a way few musicians can. These are true artists doing what they love and it shows in every song, every chord change, every solo and every note. Of the originals, Paulita Maxwell has grown on me the most. The song features great storytelling, harmonies and lovely touches from Megan on dobro. Rebecca’s lead vocals are top notch as well. The title track, Time To Grow, speaks to life on the road, but more than that, it actually feels different from their other songs. As if the Lovell Sisters have grown up right in front of your ears. Of the others, Ichetucknee Chutney is just exceptional and delivers a drive that’s wildly infectious. This song shows off everyone’s musicianship, including their guitarist (way to go Matt!). When the individual solos are tossed around, it’s magical -- as if everyone is communicating at a level beyond music. Not to be outdone, You Remain is stunning -- Jessica’s lead vocals and Megan’s achy lap steel guitar work perfectly together. But, really, every song is worth hearing and each will speak to you on a different level. The performance, engineering and production are all highly polished. Any fan of bluegrass or acoustic music will appreciate Time To Grow. But more than that, compared to the way most music is made, produced and marketed, it’s refreshing to hear such wonderful musicians pursuing their passion on their own terms and sharing it with anyone willing to listen. A *steal* at just $8.00. Highly recommended.

Mad Talent

I fell in love with this trio at Merlefest last year. Talent like this only comes around every so often and typically not all in the same family. Obviously, talent on loan from God. Strong writing, lyrics, structure and passion for playing.

AMAZING!!

Thank you all for coming to Muncie, Indiana and sharing your talent with us. I'm going to be truthful, I didn't know what to expect, but I was thoroughly satisfied in the end! All three of you have bright futures ahead of you. Your kindness and passion for shows on and off the stage and I thank you for shaking my hand and getting to know me a little better (even though it was only a couple minutes) but you all shared your time with Ball State and we thank you!! GOOD LUCK ON ALL ENDEAVOR'S! PS My personal favorite is Paulita Maxwell... Jessica's voice is AMAZING!!

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Calhoun, GA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

The Lovell Sisters received their first big break in 2005, when the acoustic trio won a teen talent contest sponsored by Prairie Home Companion. The three siblings — fiddler Jessica, Dobro player Megan, and mandolinist Rebecca — had previously studied classical music in Calhoun, GA, where they took part in the city's youth symphony and sang in a local church choir. After hearing a recording by bluegrass artist Jerry Douglas, the Lovells decided to ditch their classical instruments and...
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Time to Grow, The Lovell Sisters
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