Folk Soul Revival : Prompting the Dapperness

Born on the campus of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, in the tiny mountain town of Wise, Virginia, Folk Soul Revival – through rowdy  live shows and savvy songcraft – has become one of the favorite bands in the Southwest Virginia/Northeast Tennessee Americana scene.

Despite ever growing popularity and a widening touring radius, Prompting The Dapperness, the third record from Folk Soul Revival, was very nearly the album that wasn’t.

Since December of 2010 Folk Soul Revival has been beset by tribulation.  The group has seen a founding member depart, replaced a drummer, and – most significantly – experienced the untimely death of band member in a tragic house fire.  Such circumstances are more than enough to tear asunder any band, but Folk Soul Revival has persevered and produced what is its most mature release to date.

It seems that each crisis faced by Folk Soul Revival over the last two years focused its resolve.  Even losing good friend and singer/guitarist/songwriter Allun Cormier, whose death shook the band to its core, did not open a hole that the band could not fill.  Cormier is not entirely absent on the record – the title is spun from one of his witticisms and “Here,” written by guitarist and singer Daniel Davis, is an emotional tribute to the memory and continued presence of the band’s fallen friend.

Both Davis and guitjo player Justin Venable rose to the songwriting occasion in preparation for Prompting The Dapperness.  This release features some of Venable’s finest work to date, including the Hank Williams twang of “Whiskey & Gin,” and the tangible lament felt in both “Midnight” and “Queen City.”  Davis strikes an emotional chord on the aforementioned “Here” while getting rambunctious on “Ball & Chain” and desperate on “Puppet.”

As a long time fan of Folk Soul Revival, I cannot begin to express how happy I am that this record became a reality.  For a moment, I wasn’t sure it would.  But it did, and the fact that it is so damned good is a testament to the wherewithal of this great group of guys.

Prompting the Dapperness is out now.