There’s something about Roanoke’s sound that makes me feel homesick for a place I don’t know yet. After listening to their debut self-titled album from my kitchen in Chicago, I felt as if I’d been on an adventure—like I had traveled down dirt roads with wind tangling my hair. Like I had fallen in love and out of love in one sitting. Like I had grown up, but not grown old.
Roanoke’s Folk/Americana roots deliver a welcoming, easy vibe that jives perfectly with their relatable, story-like lyrics. Resettled in Nashville, TN, Roanoke is a five-piece group fronted by the voices of Taylor Dupuis and Joey Beesley and rounded out with Zack Nowak on mandolin/vocals, Jo Clearly on violin, and Kyle Breese on drums/banjo/harmonica—a Folk/Americana dream team.
No matter where you are, Roanoke will transport you to another place—be it a winding mountain road or a front porch swing. Their roots run deep with the heart of country music, the soul of the blues, and the grit of Americana music. If you like artists such as Jamestown Revival, The Oh Hellos, The Head And The Heart, or The Civil Wars, then Roanoke will no doubt find a place in your collection.
Today is a particularly exciting day for the band, as their debut self-titled album is officially out! Throughout Roanoke, you’ll hear melodious harmonies, an assortment of instruments (that’ll guaranteed make you wish you were sitting on a porch with them in Nashville), and lyrics that tell stories of heartbreak, family, forgiveness, and fears of love and loss. On the band’s successful Indiegogo campaign page, they explain how personal this collection of songs is to them, “Our hearts and souls are in this record, an album created to make listeners feel something, whether it be adventure, loss, or love. We want to tell a story, and for you to become part of that story.”
Joey and Taylor’s voices both stand out on his and her own, respectively, but when they’re intertwined together, something magical happens. Roanoke’s opening track, “Jordan,” is a perfect introduction to an album full of soulful melodies and lyrics of love and heartbreak—Taylor and Joey’s harmonies will keep you captivated as the instrumental background kicks in and adds another layer of energy. “Heavy Goodbyes” is a softer, slower ballad that really highlights Joey and Taylor’s vocal abilities—it definitely has become a quick favorite of mine! “Trouble” is a more upbeat track that brings on a feeling of wanting to stand one’s ground. It’s one of those songs that will make you feel like a badass when you listen to it—if it’s trouble you want, then it’s trouble you’ve got til you’re gone.
Then there are songs like “Interlude/Mountain Man”—where an instrumental introduction slows and breaks into Taylor’s voice before picking up again to turn into a darker-sounding, backroad, gritty jam. My personal favorite is “Red and Gold”—a slower, slightly bittersweet song that features a soft harmonica, strings, and lyrics that resonate with my love of family: “Gotta make a living, gotta sell what he has, so he rides out west to a red sunset. And he won’t come back home til the leaves turn red and gold.”
I don’t quite know where Roanoke makes me homesick for, but a few listens later, and I feel inspired to go seek out the desire of adventure that they’ve sparked in me. If you want to be a part of Roanoke’s story, you can grab yourself a copy of Roanoke on iTunes or stream the album on Spotify.
Literally, Darling was offered an advance copy of Roanoke’s debut album by The Catalyst Publicity Group to be reviewed. All opinions expressed are the author’s own.