The Promise Is Hope review…April 22, 2018….

THE PROMISE IS HOPE

EVERY SEED MUST DIE

RIVER–BROTHER–HOME–LOST AND FOUND–ALWAYS I–EVERY SEED MUST DIE–ALWAYS II–MARY ANN–JE VOUS SALUE, MARIE–GRATEFUL–LULLABY

The Promise Is Hope is the collective talents of the husband-and-wife duo of Ashley and Eric L’Esperance, who met at a song swap and rapidly became the talk of the New England folk scene.  Prior to their third album, the couple had suffered through their fair share of the “downs” side of life’s ups and downs.  Losing four family members to different tragedies as well as dealing with the disintegration of their local community faith, they turned to their only true means of comfort, their music.  They wrote a batch of songs, and were looking for an intimate sound.  They headed to Batavia, NY, and, specifically, to the Old Bear Studio, and producer Chris Hoisington, known for his excellence in the “less is more” approach they were seeking.  The results are breathtakingly stunning.  “Every Seed Must Die” features eleven original songs of love, life, loss, despair, hope, and, ultimately, redemption.  Their voices blend so well together that lovers of exquisite harmonies will relish these cuts.  Aside from the vocals, both are on acoustic guitar and Mellotron, and Ashley is the pianist.

The material is somber, reverent, and intended to soothe the souls of listeners going thru life’s harshest times, another reason why their natural, blended harmonies were so vital to this project.  The set begins with Eric taking the opening vocal on “River,” where that body of water is compared to the love of his life, and, as Ashley’s vocal and Daniel Zambrano’s cello come in, that love begins to “caress your weary heart.”  “Home” deals with being grateful for life’s many blessings, while the theme of “Lost And Found” is finding that one true love, both emotionally and spiritually.  Ashley gives an authentic French reading of the traditional prayer, “Je Vous Salue, Marie,” and closes the set with a beautiful ode to a mother’s love for her children, “Lullaby.”

Our favorite was the title cut.  Both lend their vocals to the tale of life, death, and rebirth, where “Every Seed Must Die for a new life to grow,” and is “the signpost for a world I will one day see!”

Given the recent tragic shootings in Parkland, FL, and now, two more in Antioch, TN within the last seven months, this world is indeed in need of comfort and healing.  We urge you to find solace in the living water found within the lyrics of “Every Seed Must Die” from The Promise Is Hope.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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