Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno

Vivian and Riley have merged their incredible talents to create a tasty roots music mix of old time, country and stringband music. While their 2018 album, “Time is Everything”, was decidedly a country and honkytonk affair centered around Vivian’s incredibly evocative voice, the new release shines more broadly into more varied sonic territory. Love songs, and songs of regret and longing still dominate the self titled release. The vocal duties are shared by both in songs that evoke the Americana duo, Mandolin Orange.

We begin our segment with the gorgeous “Will You”; one of the singles released in advance of the album’s March release date. Our conversation touches on both of the band members biography. Vivian is the daughter of parents who released a number of albums in the late 90’s as Jones And Leva and The Renegades. She was raised in Virginia and was exposed to music festivals as a youngster. Riley was a West Coast festival kid likewise drug around festivals from their Seattle base. They met professionally five years ago in a Washington state summer workshop while Riley was performing with his stringband, The Onlies. Vivian attended with her mother and joined the band on tour soon thereafter.

The newest disc was recorded (just in time) in January 2020 in Eunice Louisiana with the Grammy winning producer, Joel Savoy, a legend in Cajun music. Several other songs have been released along with gorgeous videos including “Love and Chains” along with “Leaving on Our Minds”. Both songs lyrically deal with issues of isolation and leaving loved ones; topics appropriate in this era. Our segment finishes with the band introducing both those songs. This is a very sweet duo with lovely vocal and instrumental interplay. The new self titled album will be available on the top-notch Free Dirt Records in March.

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