(Soundbite of song, "Down By the Water")
Mr. PAUL CURRERI (Musician): (Singing) Just beside the high beams, this side of darkness. It's all still (unintelligible) down by the water.
LIANE HANSEN, host:
That's a song called "Down By the Water," by a young musician named Paul Curreri. It's on his album, "California," which comes out this month. Now, Paul Curreri is married to Devon Sproule. She's a musician, too. And as it happens, her new album also just came out.
(Soundbite of song, "Good to Get Out")
Ms. DEVON SPROULE (Musician): (Singing) Good to get out of the house. It's good to get out of the house. It feels so good.
HANSEN: That's a song called "Good to Get Out," on Devon Sproule's album, "Don't Hurry For Heaven." We visited the husband and wife musicians in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they make their home. It's also where they met, when Devon was 18 years old and playing a show in town.
Ms. SPROULE: And I was playing my last song, and it was a Johnny Cash tune, and all of a sudden, there was this dude on stage with me. It was kind of a high stage. You know, he had to climb onto it.
Mr. CURRERI: I hadn't quite moved yet to Charlottesville and was working a catering gig that night, and some people asked if I wanted to go hear Devin Sproule. And so I had investigated in the papers who was on the music scene, and I saw that she was only like 18, and I said, I don't want to go hear that. She's 18 years old, that's her whole bag, I bet.
And they said, have you ever heard her? She's kind of good. So they dragged me, and I walked in and I thought: my goodness, you're kind of cute. And then the next thing I thought was, hey, I know that song. I don't know, something propelled me onto that stage, and I think it was more than whiskey.
Ms. SPROULE: And since then, I've seen him propel himself onto many other stages with many other total strangers. So, although I think it's a very romantic way to meet, I know that he just happens to be that kind of dude, also.
HANSEN: Well, you both have new albums, and they are being released pretty much within weeks of one another. Is this coincidence or serendipity?
Mr. CURRERI: It is coincidence, and it's almost an unfortunate one. Devon and I have been married about five years and somehow have always just managed to not be broke at the same time. And nothing can make you broke like releasing an album. The money does come back in, but that first bit, so having to do it at the same exact time hasn't been absolutely ideal. But what can you do?
HANSEN: Right. Well, we want to hear you play a little bit from your respective CDs, and Devon, I'd like to start with you. You're actually going to play the title tune. Is it "I Don't Hurry for Heaven" or "Don't Hurry for Heaven"?
Ms. SPROULE: It's "Don't Hurry for Heaven," and it'll kind of explain itself a little bit, what that...
Mr. CURRERI: It's more of a command than a confession.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: All right. We'll hear it. This is Devon Sproule, playing "Don't Hurry for Heaven" from her latest CD of the same name.
(Soundbite of song, "Don't Hurry for Heaven")
Ms. SPROULE: (Singing) I don't believe that you should believe in heaven anymore. The way that you're going, I'm afraid of you floating away. And if it's forever, then you've got forever to get there. Oh, don't hurry for heaven while I'm taking care of you here.
Baby, you've got a body worth more than its lot of admiring. I'm talking about studies and statues, I've not found a match for you yet. But if you keep on living like you've been living, darlin', who's to say. Don't hurry for heaven. My darlin', don't hurry away.
Tell it on the mountain, and tell it 'cross the sea. Tell them all you're coming home to me.
Well, I've heard that the curves of a guitar are like the curves of a woman, and you can tell a true player by his want to get better, they say. So if you love me even half as much as you love your old Martin, you should be practicing on me just about...
Tell it on the mountain. Tell it 'cross the sea. Tell them all you're coming home to me.
HANSEN: Devon Sproule, playing and singing in her living room the song she wrote for new CD, the title tune in fact, called "Don't Hurry for Heaven."
I have to comment on the lyric: the curves of a woman are like the curves of a guitar - that's in reverse, actually. If you love me half as much as you love your old Martin, you should be practicing on me just about every day.
Your husband Paul is sitting next to you, he's also a musician, and I can't help but notice the man has a Martin guitar.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: Is there something autobiographical being written there?
Ms. SPROULE: Well, let's just say that we don't - we're not always sitting next to each other when we play and certainly not when we write, although, you know, aspects of our life are very - you know, maybe inspire...
Mr. CURRERI: I wasn't offended.
Ms. SPROULE: No, no not at all. I'm - he's the much more prolific one. So I finish a song, and he's happy for me no matter, no matter what's on it.
Mr. CURRERI: No matter if it's chastising me or not.
HANSEN: Paul, before you sing the title track to your new CD, "California," this was a long, hard road to this album with you. You couldn't sing for a while. What happened?
Mr. CURRERI: Oh, well, yeah, I hurt one of my vocal cords, and it took me off the road for over a year. Basically, I quit smoking, and it turns out that you can damage your vocal chords right after that pretty easily because they expand in their newfound health, which for most people, that's wonderful news.
But I was dismayed because I had a hometown show, which are the only ones that ever make me nervous. And so I spent the whole day singing a Lucinda Williams song called "Fruits of my Labor," which is this real barker, kind of yeller, to, quote, rough up my voice. And it did, and the show went fine, but then I couldn't speak for about two months, and then I eventually canceled the same American tour three times over, and eventually, I decided that I had to stop.
But it was, like, one of the best years of my life this past year, with the exception of that one single, enormous compromise. There was, like, hardly any other compromises in my daily life. I rode the motorcycle through the mountains a whole lot and produced some records for other people, including Devon.
HANSEN: Well, this is Paul Curreri with the title tune from his new album, and it's called "California."
(Soundbite of song, "California")
Mr. CURRERI: (Singing) Too few folks know how fun it is to believe an invisible self like this. There's too few folks know how fun it is, to believe an invisible self like this. So I'm gonna drink wine 'til I can see the great beyond in the room with me in California, California, California.
To burn that bridge, man, and bet that farm, there's a risk of loss when one wants this heart. To drift among all the untied knots, to get your passport stamped where your heroes got caught out in California, California, California, California.
HANSEN: That's Paul Curreri playing "California," the title tune from his new CD. Paul, that tune, you know, you were talking about California in a way that's sort of - be careful what you wish for kind of mode. It's not the place you think it is.
Mr. CURRERI: Well, maybe it is, and maybe it isn't, but I don't want to investigate and see that it isn't.
Ms. SPROULE: Who wants to go out to California and go broke trying to live by the beach? And we do like it here a lot, you know.
HANSEN: Have you ever considered performing together? I mean, I don't know, calling yourself Sprouleri or...
Mr. CURRERI: I think it would be Curroule because it has to start with mine.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: Now I can see why you wouldn't form a bad.
Ms. SPROULE: We have done, like, a duet concert in our hometown every year for Valentine's Day, pretty low-pressure, you know, thing for our families and friends. Because we both like our own music and our own songs, and we like working on it by ourselves and all this stuff, and we like touring by ourselves, I think the only way we would do that is if somebody was like: listen, I'm going to record, you know, you guys playing together, and then I'm going to promote it as, like, these two artists coming together and blah, blah, blah, and we're going to make money, I'd be, like: Oh, okay.
Mr. CURRERI: I think that'll happen eventually one day.
HANSEN: Thank you so much for inviting us to your home to listen to you play for us.
Mr. CURRERI: Thank you, Liane.
Ms. SPROULE: It was such a pleasure.
HANSEN: You are going to play something together for us, and this is not on either one of your two albums, but it's a chance for us to hear you both. Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri with "I Want to Die in My Shoes."
(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Die in My Shoes")
Mr. CURRERI and Ms. SPROULE: Lord, over to the great beyond. I'm a half a man, and I'm half...
HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Happy Easter. I'm Liane Hansen.
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