Fifty-Fifty’s Not Bad in Hell

Sings Like Hell presents The Duhks and Devon Sproule.

At the Lobero Theatre, Saturday, March 25.

Reviewed by Derek Svennungsen

The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with my sister-in-law immediately following the latest Sings Like Hell show.

“So, what did you think?” she asked.

“Devon Sproule is the greatest musician ever. That’s what I think,” I replied.

“Right, but aren’t you covering The Duhks?”

“I mean, could you believe how she went at her songs? She was like a red sparrow, swooping and swerving and warbling. I think I’m in love.”

“You’re married to my sister.”

“God bless, that’s right. I wish Devon would have played about 10 more songs. And told more self-deprecating stories about her dress and growing up in a commune and jazz. What a presence. She even made scat-singing enjoyable, something I never thought I’d say. She’s hooked in to different wavelengths. What an absolute treat.”

“And The Duhks?”

“Sproule deserves to be huge, don’t you think? And of course, she never will be. The most beautiful birds are rarely seen. It’s not right.”

“I take it you didn’t care that much for The Duhks.”

“Did you?”

“Well I liked the music all right, but they were kinda dorky.”

“What do you mean ‘kinda’? I felt like I was in kindergarten, being encouraged to clap along and dance.”

“But the music was good, don’t you think?”

“Well, I liked some of the faster Celtic and Cajun stuff, but they need to stay away from the singing. And the dancing. And the tattoos. And the talking between songs. And the smiling. And the bad hairstylists.”

“I know. I thought I was going to get seasick watching the singer dance. But I loved the fiddler. She was great.”

“Agreed. Lots of nice drones and riffs. But she actually said, ‘There is an abundance of positive energy in the house tonight.’ That’s not advisable.”

“Devon Sproule. She was amazing. I hope she comes back to Santa Barbara for her own show sometime. A long one.”

“Don’t tell your sister, but I’ll be in the front freaking row. Want some coffee?”

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