Len’s Lounge – String Band

Len’s Lounge
String Band

Len’s Lounge is a country/bluegrass band out of Ohio that has been at it around eight years and a couple full-lengths. Singer, guitarist, and mandolinist Jeff Roberson and bassist John Curley, who is best known for playing with the Afghan Whigs, formed the band. Roberson has continued on with the band with various members coming and going, and all of whom being very musically talented. The band diversify there sound very nicely sometimes sticking to tried and true roots music, other times branching out to heartbreaking pop.
“Soul Sucker” starts the disc off with a beautiful rolling melody with some wonderful moaning violin and a mix of different vocals with nice and different instrumentation. Jeff Roberson’s country-tinged vocals mix very nicely with the soft understated tones of Annie Winslow. “Green” takes the band into a more pop-oriented approach, dropping the country leanings of prior songs, allowing Annie Winslow to take the song to another level. Winslow’s vocals are very pleasant on the ears and are also very captivating, some nice unobtrusive playing backs her. There is a great violin break lending the song a little bit of a mourning sound that is interjected nicely.
“Simple Song” lopes along with big bouncing bass, rapidly picked mandolin, and very well-played slide guitar. Roberson’s vocals are very solemn, but the lyrics, though heartfelt, are a little bit of a misstep. “Time Can’t Take Away” has Winslow to the fore again, and her strong but wispy vocals again steal the show. Winslow has the ability to take a song to places it would otherwise not venture; it shows what a very good vocalist can do to pleasant music. “Tennessee by Moonlight” is a very strong performance here with some nice interplay between all the instruments. Some very strong drum work and guitar’s blending well with the soaring and crying violin accompany this song.
This is a very competent disc full of wonderful country tunes that is pretty diverse as well. There is a nice mix of different styles involved here, and breaking up the vocals with Roberson and Winslow works to their advantage. Winslow’s sweet vocals are a nice break from the rougher country inflection of Roberson. The musical backing is perfect here, and the musicians mix up the use of traditional instruments very well. This is the perfect disc for driving through open country and loping hills, or any time you’d like to listen to relaxed and authentic country with pop melodies.