Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart

Never Gonna Let You Go (Evolver)

The Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles Six Pack Weekend Odeon, 1295 Old River Road, the Flats Thursday, June 12, through Saturday, June 14; $6 for Thursday pre-show/$60 for a two-day pass, 216-241-5555
Stacey Earle is Steve Earle's younger sister; she has toured with him and performed on his albums, but her career is on an entirely different arc. Steve is dark, dangerous, and slightly crazed; Stacey is bright, friendly, and almost giddy. This is especially evident on Never Gonna Let You Go, her second album with husband-songwriting partner Mark Stuart.

Never Gonna Let You Go is a luminous feel-good album, guaranteed to make you smile. Most of the tunes are love songs, but they're never monotonous, either musically or lyrically. "If You Want My Love" is a goofy celebration of courtship that combines the duo's playful vocals with a Creedence Clearwater guitar vamp, a western-swing rhythm, and a jug-band kazoo break. "Lay Down" is Earle's cozy ode to the physical side of love that'll have you purring like a cat in a sunbeam. And on "Looking for Fool's Gold," Stuart serves up a punchy bit of folk rock to inform the object of his affection that the treasure she's seeking is "under her nose." "Fishbowl" brings to mind a '30s novelty ballad, with its swooping bass line and tack piano solo, while the title tune echoes the "beat music" of the British Invasion, but with a country twist that makes it -- and the rest of this record -- pure Earle and Stuart.

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