‘Sanctuary’ by Kevin Durr

Sanctuary is the new album from singer/songwriter Kevin Durr. Featuring a welcomed mix of warm harmonies, interesting strings and inspiring lyrics, Sanctuary has semblances of Americana, pop and roots music. Hum along to the ditty “Every day is Beautiful”, slow dance to “Love Will Find a Way” and cozy up to fleshier “Feel That Heartbeat”. Durr’s James Taylor-like vocals and lush music beds make Sanctuary a destination collection. Blue skies ahead for this violin/guitar enriched album – you won’t be disappointed. 

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The outdoorsy tones, organic bursts are evident in the elevated sound the violin – guitar combo makes throughout the album. Durr does a fantastic job from the get-go, in the title track he establishes with the listener a quick rapport. His voice is gregarious, and the lyrics have a tenderness to them. Durr is approachable – he’s authentic. I fell quickly for the dreamy soundscape the guitar makes, the pitter-patter of the percussion is just enough to sound like rustling leaves, or the changing wind. 

He carries that pallet throughout “Sanctuary”. By the time you hit “First Snow” the moving violin stirs even the most cynic. It’s a stunning, beautiful track. All the leaves have fallen, Durr harmonizes. I found this song to have such a wealth of modesty, such a simple flow. I loved htat about it – it just transports you to a loving place. A state-of-mind that is humble and grateful for Mother Nature. I also felt like it’s a great song to champion when a change is needed, when it’s time to turn the page on a new chapter in your life. The violin, a stoic reminder that seasons change, and that weather changes too, but things can become anew.  

Durr enlists the listener to dance into, to sew themselves into the music beds. You feel a part of the score, included in the silent communication taking place. “I Need You”, like the smoky mountains, has a wholesome tune. The rhythm is like a sing along ditty. All one needs is a fire pit, a group of friends and the head bopping will commence. I really enjoyed the tones in “I Need You” and this one casted a very bright star.

I also really dug “All In All” and “High Flyer”. Durr continues to share stories of love, friendship and relationships finding peace. “All In Hall” has a bit of a grittier taste to it, a bit more aggression than some of the others. I think maybe the tempo hit me differently. It’s still very string heavy and dabbles into that country-western-Americana realm. “High Flyer” has crunchier electric guitar arrangements and that scathing violin and what I can also presume is a cello, just floats like a top. “High Flyer” has a bit of a feeling of being watched – with the interesting lyrics like hear every move, all that you love, all can be seen…

Sanctuary might be a little hideaway of sounds for Durr. Unknowingly, he might have created a beacon of hope and warmth for his listeners. It’s so enjoyable. Joining him on the record are Frosty Baylor, Courtney Blake, Clifford Williams, Jimmy Chaos and Magdelena Sustere

Gwen Waggoner