Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo met in Minneapolis and later headed for Southern California. But it was in Portland, Oregon that Silver Lake 66 was born. It was there that Maria Francis battled thyroid cancer and won so they have plenty to be thankful for and this positivity is reflected in their music.
The album is the follow up to their 2016 debut LP, 'Let Go or Be Dragged' and benefits from the contribution of a tight-knit community of Portland musicians.
The old school country songs express a recurring message that hope endures even when the odds seem stacked against us. "I'm not dead yet" are the words of a down and out in Faded Tattoo; a small consolation perhaps, but beggars can't be choosers!
The songs of romance are equally pragmatic and refreshingly unsentimental. A song title like Broken Dreams and Cigarettes speaks for itself.
Ultimately, the realisation is that love doesn't conquer all it helps to keep you sane. In the title track, Maria recognises that her lover is no saint but this doesn't destroy her passion as she sings "I only hope your love for me was true".
Jeff hardly comes across as a smooth talker as he informs his woman that you're Such a Mess but he at least has the grace to quickly reassure her that I love you just the same."
All this good natured melodrama is played straight with strong harmonies and no fancy arrangements or gimmicks. It makes it the kind of wholesome good time music that goes down a storm in the right bar although doesn't generate quite the same level of excitement on record.
Silver Lake 66's website