Album Review of
Lost Love Songs

Label: Hearth PR

Genres: Country, Folk

Styles: Americana Country, Contemporary Folk

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Written by Joe Ross
February 3, 2022 - 5:56pm EST
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I’ve been searching for lost love songs,” exclaims singer/guitarist Joey Capoccia, “I’ve been sleeping under the stars, wadin’ the rivers with the fallen angels, drinkin’ champagne out of Mason jars.” In “Wouldn’t You Know,” one of thirteen original songs written by Capoccia, we hear an entertaining mix of clever folk, bluegrass and Americana. While maybe not the same lyrical depth of Robert Hunter’s, The Pine Hearts’ songs are arranged to present joyful exuberance, contemplative messages and an organic groove that are winning them a legion of regional fans throughout their Pacific Northwest base. On Lost Love Songs, the core trio of Joey Capoccia, along with Derek McSwain (mandolin, vocals) and Dean Shakked (bass, vocals) is supplemented with Lob Strilla’s banjo (and some piano), Bevin Foley’s violin, and Bart Budwig’s trumpet and harmonies.        

The band members’ eclectic backgrounds in bluegrass, rock and even punk music allow them to display serious savvy across a wide spectrum of acoustic string music. For example, breezy bluegrass offerings like “Mary the Night’s on Fire” and “Sugarcane” are followed by a waltz-timed ballad, “Unrequited Love” and rootsy folk ballad, “Oceans and Limousines” that evolves from a soft, poignant tale to a most pleasing grassy romp with co-producer Budwig’s trumpet solo for a unique coloring, as it does in the closing number, “Unit of Time.”         

First formed in the early 2010s, The Pine Hearts were a traditional-leaning folk and bluegrass trio in Olympia, Wa. Three albums were released during 2013-2015, before Capoccia connected with the two other current instrumentalists and vocalists, McSwain and Shakked. Their 2018 album Carousel returned to classic Nashville bluegrass sensibilities, and their 2019 Back To Sustain live album was recorded direct to tape in an old grange hall to feature favorite original tunes. Now, Lost Love Songs shows the Pine Hearts’ dedication to being soul-tugging balladeers, fun-chopping bluegrassers, and simply eclectic musicians making for a good-timey atmosphere at the festivals, parties, brewpubs and saloons they regularly play. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)