- Sep 22 2023
- 6:00 pm - 6:00 pm
$12 Advance // $15 Day Of Show
6pm Doors / 7pm Show
Musicians, singer-songwriters, and husband and wife, Rachael and Luke Price, are bringing back the feel-good vibes of classic Americana. On Love, DEAN’s self-titled debut, they’ve handcrafted a musical mosaic from vintage soul, Motown, old-time music, gospel, folk, and neo-soul. The self-titled album is themed around love and community, and coming of age milestones. It’s vibrant, personal, and it’s for everyone.
“This album is a love letter from us to anyone who listens. We’re hoping the listener feels let into our lives; that they can see value in music; value in people; and that they feel inspired to grow in their own lives and relationships. We leave space for grief, hardship and honesty but our target is encouragement and positivity in the midst of struggles,” Rachael says.
Rachael and Luke first met as Berklee College of Music students on the very first day of school. Rachael’s artistic perspective encompasses soul, gospel, and Americana. Luke is an accomplished fiddler steeped in old-time music, bluegrass, swing, and honky-tonk. From these varied backgrounds, the twosome nurtured a soul-pop aesthetic. “We want to connect with people, but we also like to keep things musically interesting. For example, there may be a section in 7, or a strange horn line or a complex drum fill or passage, but we never like these touches to take away from the song” Luke says. “We strive for something that feels familiar but has unexpected twists.”
The band began simply as DEAN! while Luke and Rachael were in college. They felt keen on the trusty and traditional overtones of the name. The couple also each had a beloved family member named Dean, and when they rebooted the project in Portland, Oregon, they modified the handle to Love, DEAN. A perfect addition that showcases the warmth within the group.
Love, DEAN is part of a creative community of musicians who drift in and out of each other’s projects and also come together to teach at music camps. “Our music comes from our experience and from the influence of our musical community which stretches across the country, from Boston, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Portland,” Rachael says.
Select album standouts include “Honey Pie,” Bravest Man,” and “Whitest Dove.” The track, “Honey Pie,” oozes a sleek sparseness that recalls D’Angelo’s Voodoo album with its densely layered background vocals, behind-the-beat drawling groove, and percolating R&B guitars. Thematically, it’s a sweetly stinging empowerment song with the potent chorus refrain: Good women don’t grow on trees/My lovin is never for free/Good thing I know just what you need/A smile and a slice of some honey pie.
The romantic love ballad, “Bravest Man,” conjures Sam Cooke at his most open-hearted romantic. “That is about my amazing wife and how she makes me the best version of myself,” Luke says. The song brims with goosebump-inducing gospel background vocals and organ playing. The 11-song collection concludes with the gently atmospheric, “Whitest Dove.” The song slowly unfolds, laying out a narrative of transition from childhood to adulthood with poignant scene-setting writing. The song’s chorus refrain poetically, and powerfully, sums up its relatable theme. Rachael sings: Oh my God, I wanted to be/the whitest dove/Now my spots are too many and/I know I’ll never be innocent. “My brother passed away, and this was his favorite song I wrote. We grew up in church and it felt like there was a pressure to be perfect, but we all fall apart at some point,” Rachael says. “I had a picture of him and me on my music stand when I recorded this lead vocal. I hope he can hear it.”
Love, DEAN is the result of an arduous 6-year journey of sleepless nights, delayed studio dates, re-recording sessions, and pilgrimages around the country. Each hardship and road block brought the duo closer to its dream destination. Love, DEAN was tracked in studios in Portland, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. The 11-song album was co-produced by Luke Price and Dave Kitay, features an intriguing lineup of all-star musicians including Sebastian Steinberg on bass (John Legend, Blake Mills, Fiona Apple, Sean and Sara Watkins), Brian MacLeod on drums (Sheryl Crow), Daniel Clarke (Natalie Prass, KD Lang) on keys, Margaret Glaspy on backing vocals, and Vishal Nayak on drums (Nick Hakim, Empress Of).