The Vineyard-based rock and roll band Dukes County Love Affair (DCLA) released a new five song EP in December called High Sky, and it rocks with the best of the genre.
It is their third album release and they are getting better. They have taken a step forward in their development as a band and music writers, with a look back to the history of cutting edge rock and roll to produce a hook-filled collection of music that is by turns introspective, danceable, and just plain fun to listen to.
If there were a recipe for High Sky, it would no doubt read something like, go back to the psychedelic 1960s, take a strong rhythmic, danceable bass guitar and drum line, and sail it through the continuum of rock and roll to 2014. Along the way allow it to take on the fellow travelers of melodic guitar fills, rhythm and blues guitar, psychedelic lead guitar, electric piano and synthesizers, poetic lyrics, a bit of rap, a bit of funk, a bit of rockabilly, and an assortment of dynamite hooks and electronic effects. It is a cornucopia of rock and roll and it sounds very, very good. It is a clean, hypnotic EP.
If there is a downside to the new EP, it is that it is not a full album with five or six more songs.
DCLA has been together for more than three years and has toured the country, sharing the stage with G.Love, Deer Tick, Willy Mason, Ben Taylor, and St. Lucia. The current lineup is Adam Lipsky on keyboards; John Stanwood, guitar; Jamie Greene, drums; Mike Parker, vocals; and Phil DaRosa on bass. Johnny Hoy plays harmonica on the song “Blackcloud Mountain” on the EP and Elyse Madeiras sings backup vocals on “High Sky Flyer.”
Mr. DaRosa said that the band has stepped away from how they usually write, adding new elements to the mix, most notably synthesizer keyboards and more backup singing. The EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mr. DaRosa at his Print Shop Studio (TPS) in Oak Bluffs.
Now on a month-long “Give Love Tour” of New England in support of the new EP, DCLA is donating a portion of the proceeds of every concert both from ticket sales and DCLA merchandise to either a local community organization that supports sustainability, or one of a selection of nonprofits, such as Doctors Without Borders and The Red Stocking Fund.
“It’s been a crazy few days,” said Mr. DaRosa from the road. “Shows have been great. We’re putting a lot of energy into connecting with local bands in each market we play, and teaming up to do fundraising events with them.” Upcoming shows include January 16 at The Spot in Providence, R.I.; January 17 at The Basement in Northampton; January 18 at Gemstones in Lowell, January 22 at the BBC in Pembroke, and January 23 at Fat Baby in New York City.
For more information on the Give Love Tour or to purchase the album, visit to dclamusic.com.