Music & Conversation: Devon Sproule
9 May 2014
Eccles Centre for American Studies
Devon Sproule is a singer-songwriter of distinction. She issued her first album at the age of 16, and in 2013 her most recent disc, Colours, a co-operation with fellow singer-songwriter Mike O’Neill was released on the Tin Angel label. Devon was born in Canada. Her family lived in a commune near Kingston, Ontario, before moving to the USA, to the Twin Oaks community, an ecovillage in Virginia. She has toured extensively in North America and Europe, and in 2007 she and her husband gave a memorable performance of her work on Later with Jools Holland.
Asked about the influence of her background on her music Devon has spoken of the existence in the village of a desire and willingness to communicate, of a versatility of communication, and of her pride in her alternative upbringing. Her modern folk style draws on influences of blues, country and she says, ‘while I’m not a jazz guitarist, I steal absolutely as much as I can from the genre’. Neil Spencer, in The Observer, referred to the ‘refreshing sweetness’ and ‘infectious sunny outlook’ in her early albums, Jonathan Aird of AmericanaUK, called her latest work ‘essential’.
In a rare solo appearance Devon will perform a selection of her compositions and discuss her life and work with this evening’s audience.
This event is sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.