[Review] Silver Lake 66 – Let Go Or Be Dragged

Despite initially sounding like a vintage sore recovery act from the Echo Park area, Silver Lake 66 is anything but inauthentic. Exchanging a clapboard aesthetic for a sound that is wholly aware of a modern romantic West Coast, Let Go or Be Dragged is warmly reverent and inviting, providing a sound of experienced wanderers and troubadours.

Amidst the fond sentimentality of “Sherman County” and the beauty of lesser-populated territories of Oregon, Let Go Or Be Dragged is tinged with the inevitable dark and dubious side of country. Without overstating the allegiance to the intrinsically nefarious side of music from the west, “Devil’s Lookin’ For Me” is an instantly classic addition to the canon of Beelzebub-centric Americana.

Silver Lake 66 show supreme constraint and take care to avoid laying ordinary production tropes on too thick. The result is an entry that sounds like a cleaned-up LP from a long-lost 4 Star Records session. Indelible to its devotion to California and Oregon yet presenting its roots in the Midwest, the duo of Jeff Overbo and Maria Francis is impenetrable. Overbo and Francis sound quite like a sturdy combo from folk lineage, though with the advantage of performing in the modern vernacular and saving some face in recording methods.

Let Go represents the non-confrontational side of Americana – while contemporaries of Silver Lake 66 often get touted for their commitment to acting brash, Overbo and Francis relish in the reveries of relocation and making multiple homes. Through this they find charm in the simple state of freewheelin’. A refreshing take on an antiquated approach, Silver Lake 66 makes cowpoke-adjacent music pleasurable again.

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