Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Sound Circuit

Peace Love and Teamwork

4/16/2014

From a talent standpoint, it can be easy to envy Peace Love & Stuff. Bassist Jacob Doll and drummer Joe McGuire provide as solid a rhythm section as you’ll find in the capital city, and they’re backing two of the area’s most irrepressible talents in guitar magician Dylan Boyle and effervescent, eminently lovable front woman, Lavonne McRoberts.

Peace Love & Stuff plays Gas Lamp on Friday, April 18. Photo by Lucas Moser

Peace Love & Stuff plays Gas Lamp on Friday, April 18. Photo by Lucas Moser

The vintage rock four-piece provides one of the most entertaining local shows around, and it doesn’t do it through pyrotechnics, flashy costumes (though McRoberts’ style has its own group of fans) or lighting gimmicks. Instead, the group engages its audience through the power of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll played really well.

The words all come from McRoberts’ head, but the finished product is something much more collaborative.

“Usually I drink a bottle of wine, and four songs pop out of me — the lyrics, anyway,” McRoberts said. “Then Dylan comes in and is like, ‘I think it should be like this.’ ”

The 25-year-old Boyle — a guitarist whose name will one day undoubtedly be spoken with the same reverential tones reserved for Iowa greats like Joe Price and Bo Ramsey — will fatten McRoberts’ lyrics up with a hook or two before Doll and McGuire come in and put the meat on the song’s frame.

“Joe and Jake are really good at providing the foundation,” McRoberts explained. “Dylan is really good at coming up with a guitar hook on the spot. Together we’re a really effective team. I come in with the lyrics and maybe a chord progression, and they help shape it into the vision in my head.”

After years of shaping that vision, Peace Love & Stuff is finally in the studio, putting the finishing touches on its first full-length album. The band’s self-titled EP, released through East Village clothing shop Raygun, was well received and has whetted fans’ appetites for more, though getting it finished has been a slow process. Now, despite a release date that is still firmly listed as “TBA,” the band has been in the studio all winter getting the album’s 13 tracks in the can.

“Everything’s tracked,” Boyle said. “Now we’re just finishing up the final mixing and stuff.”

“I’m really proud of everything we’ve recorded so far,” McRoberts added. CV

Jokers