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Miss Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield – The Midtown Island Sessions

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There’s no getting around it: life sure turns ugly sometimes. Days can feel like long, lonely horseback rides across sweltering desert sands. There’s little out there save heartbreak and hangovers, dingy cantinas and a 12-foot-tall outlaw aiming to sock you in the gut and raid your stash. It’s during hard times like these we bedraggled mortals need somebody to remind us we’re not alone, somebody who has stared down life’s ugly and lived to sing about it, somebody like Cosmic American crooner Miss Lana Rebel.

FPE Records is tickled to present Lana’s latest and dare we say most fully realized album to date: The Midtown Island Sessions. Once again teamed up with her trusted cohort, the supremely talented singer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Michael Mayfield, she and her backing band deliver one twang-stained confessional after another chronicling their own days spent wandering life’s inhospitable deserts, where darkness and despair often overcame them.

The Midtown Island Sessions evokes torn and frayed images of country music’s legends of yore — but not the smooth countrypolitan of ’60s Nashville (though hints of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn do seep into several cuts). Rather, Lana and Kevin channel the older, more rugged offerings of Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers, the great Ernest Tubb and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, occasionally even reaching back to the “hillbilly” era and its thick, old-time fiddle style. But don’t mistake Lana and Kevin for museum pieces. Much like Freakwater, Beachwood Sparks, Amy Annelle and the legendary Flatlanders (if we may be so bold), the pair subtly collapses the archaic into modern, and vice versa. Times may change, but life’s troubles do not.

Whether you’re a hardcore alt country/Americana fan or somebody who simply loves cozying up to a good tune,The Midtown Island Sessions will hook you. We guarantee it.

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Rebel and Mayfield are making country music as it should be made: simple, beautiful and timeless.

Tuscon Weekly

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