The word ‘sanctuary’ means a place of refuge or safety. Americana singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Kevin Durr, gives songs that live up to that description in his third album, Sanctuary. Capitalizing on his mastering of the ebb and flow of the guitar and the violin, cello arrangements, Sanctuary targets the gentlest of souls, the dreamers of the world and listeners that want to bide their time with excellent songwriting. Sanctuary is a respite and harvests a solid crop of 12 highly-recommended songs.
It’s near the end and it draws a quicker beat than the others, but one song that stood out the most to me is the snappy “Feel That Heartbeat”. Besides the chirpy rhythm, the lush guitar melodies and both female and male harmonies, this song, to me, felt like it surpassed all the others. It just made me feel loved, welcomed. I suppose it’s the upbeat tempo, and the way the guitar weaves around the rest of the instrumentation like a gazebo vine; it took me a spring day, a day filled with possibilities.
A few other selections I’d like to highlight include “Time Slips By” and “Love Will Find A Way”. “Time Slips By” is full of cutting violin strings. Brushed up against the acoustic guitar, the song really shows the listener with harmonies and singing along ‘ah’s’ and ‘oh’s’. Durr is unstoppable in creating songs that make you feel like being inside isn’t all that bad. Who needs TV or a book, when a song like “Time Slips By” brings the universe to sound? “Love Will Find A Way” is a sweet sound. Durr, who is really bringing the Michael Stipe-vibes in this one (“Shiny Happy People” especially), sings modestly, “and like the darkness into day, love will find a way…love does not bend or break or delay, and like the darkness into day, love will find a way.” He’s inspiring listeners left and right in just about all the songs on Sanctuary, but in that particular song, it really hit me deeper. It pierced my heart. Just when you think he can’t say another way, he says it in the simplest of ways that reinforces the emotional pull. Stunning. Simply stunning.
I loved a lot of the songs on Sanctuary. It’s hard to find a bad apple in this bunch. One song that might leave me on the fence – only because it was unexpected – is “All In All”. I think I need to listen to it a few more times. As of now, my attention is getting pulled by “Love Will Find A Way”, “Sanctuary” and “Feel That Heartbeat”. Durr has a robust, complex sound in all of these songs. And like every great trek or adventure, you see and hear things the second time around. I can tell you as a listener, I was listening and looking for those magic moments in Sanctuary. I’m confident and pleased to share that I found several magic moments from Durr. Sanctuary is important – it adds to the emotional health of us all and it also brings so much joy.