American singer to be among first performers at Mareel

Highly-rated Americana singer Devon Sproule and her three-piece backing band will be in Shetland for the sole Highlands and Islands show on their Scottish tour this summer.

The Austin-based 30-year-old’s music takes in shades of folk, country and jazz, with one critic describing her poetic songs as oozing the atmosphere of “balmy Virginia days”.

The gig takes place on Tuesday 21st August and is set to be among the first to take place in Shetland Arts’ new cinema and music venue Mareel. It is also the opening night of Sproule’s 10-date jaunt around Scotland.

Uncut magazine has billed her music as “an infectious Appalachian stomp with jazz shadings”, while a Scotsman scribe reckoned she had “the polite manner of a pastor’s daughter and the mildly bonkers mannerisms of a swingin’ 1940s jazz singer”.

Born to hippie parents on the Dandelion commune in Kingston, Ontario, Sproule spent her entire childhood on a 465-acre, 100-member eco village in rural Virginia. She left high school, made her first record and was touring nationally before the age of 18. Her 2003 album Upstate Songs made it into Rolling Stone magazine’s top albums of the year list.

Sproule’s first UK release, 2007’s Keep Your Silver Shined, proved to be a hit for independent label Tin Angel Records, topping year-end lists and landing her a spot on the BBC’s Later With Jools Holland. Her televised performance, alongside husband and fellow songwriter Paul Curreri, was lavished with praise (www.youtube.com/watch).

Last year’s tour to promote her most recent album I Love You, Go Easy saw Sproule performing at venues including the Sage in Gateshead, London’s Barbican and Trafalgar Square on Canada Day.

• Tickets to see Devon Sproule in Mareel on Tuesday 21st August are available from Shetland Box Office.

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